Singapore Environment CouncilCity Developments Limited

FAQ

About Project: Eco-Office

  • What is Project: Eco-Office about?
    Project: Eco-Office is a project which aims to outreach to staff workers and encourage them that everyone can do something for the environment in the workplace. Our focus looks into the heart-ware of offices – instilling a new green culture where staff are conscious about their habits and their environmental impact.

    Besides starting out with the initial phase of giving out posters and stickers to promote the message across, a self-rating system was also developed in the second phase, to allow offices to be able to have benchmark of how green they are through implementing their environmental programmes and initiatives. External audits are performed to validate and award the Eco-Office label to such offices which have displayed environmental consciousness in their operations.
  • What is the Eco-Office Self-Rating System?
    It is a self-audit system that organisations can use to gauge their own performance and is a means to generate base data of environmental practices of offices in Singapore. It also serves as a guide to help office workers improve on their daily work practices.
  • What is the role that SEC and CDL play in Project: Eco-Office?
    SEC is the administrator of Project: Eco-Office whereas CDL acts as the sponsor partner.
  • How did Project: Eco-Office start?
    Seeing that Singaporeans spend at least 8 hours day in the office in general, SEC and CDL came together with the idea of reducing consumption and waste generated in the office, and promoting reusing and recycling of paper and other office stationery. Hence, Project: Eco-Office was launched in June 2002 on World Environment Day at the Quadrangle at Raffles Place.
  • Who can apply for the Eco-Office label?
    Any organisation may apply for the Eco-Office Label; it is not restricted by industry. We can be environmentally friendly in all areas of work.
  • Is there a minimum or maximum number of staff a organisation needs to have in order to be eligible?
    The Eco-Office Label is applicable to all organisations regardless of size.
  • What is defined as an “office”?
    Any area of the organisation that engages in office duties and involves paper work would fall under this classification. This includes the reception area. Production and manufacturing activities are excluded.
  • I’m interested to find out more. Who can I contact?
    You may send in your enquiry to ecooffice@sec.org.sg
  • Apart from the audits, what else does SEC offer offices?
    The SEC will accept requests to speak on sustainability and environmental topics when there is synergy between the requesting organisation and SEC’s mission and vision. Specific to the Eco-Office Labelling Scheme, SEC also visits offices and provides advice on how to improve their efforts so as to meet the audit requirements for the Eco-Office certification. This is done for offices that have yet to meet the audit requirements, and it is upon the company’s request.
  • What is the message that Project: Eco-Office is trying to convey?
    Project: Eco-Office is trying to promote the environment message that every staff worker in the work place can do their part for the environment by practising simple eco-conscious habits such as switching off lights when not in use and using paper on both sides before sending it for recycling.
  • Where can I find more environmental advice or guide?
    You may refer to our tips section http://www.sec.org.sg/ecooffice/eco-office-tips.php for more information. We also put up daily tips on our Eco-Office Facebook Page for your reference.
  • Where can I get contacts of recycling waste contractors?
    You may refer to http://www.nea.gov.sg/energy-waste/waste-management and click on the respective category to obtain the relevant contacts.
  • Does SEC have a template of action plans on environmental policies and/or initiatives?
    We do not have such templates. However, there are daily tips which you can refer to on our Facebook Page, and also the tips page.

About the application process

  • What is the first step to apply for the Eco-Office Label?
    Email us at ecooffice@sec.org.sg and we will respond accordingly.
  • Who are the auditors involved in the certification?
    SEC’s panel of auditors include AECOM Singapore, GreenA Consultants, Setsco Services, Earthys Pte Ltd, Chloros Solutions and Singapore Tests. For each Eco-Office audit, only one of these companies will be appointed. Appointment is done fairly on a round-robin basis.
  • What are the documents that I need to prepare for the Eco-Office audit?
    Documentary records required to be prepared include recycling records, energy and water bills, environmental policy and practices, and invoices. Soft copy evidence such as meeting minutes, emails and photographs of activities can also be shown during the audit.
  • What is the cost of applying for the Eco-Office Label? What about renewals?
    The cost of certification is $1,500. The same rate applies for re-certification which is done every three years.
  • How long is the length of the audit?
    The audit is half a day long.
  • How long does it take for an organisation starting out on environmental initiatives to get Eco-Office certified?
    Depending on the scope of environmental initiatives and management support for environment policies, the organisation can take between 3 to 6 months (approximately) before they are ready with sufficient data to be audited.
  • When is the presentation ceremony held?
    It is held around last quarter of the year.
  • Is there an application period?
    Applications are open all year round. However, there is a presentation ceremony which occurs annually around last quarter of each year. Applicants which have their external audit done between 1st Sep and 31st Dec of that year will be eligible for the presentation ceremony the following year.
  • Are there any spot-checks for offices after being certified?
    Yes, follow-up audits will be conducted on a random basis around the mid-point mark of the office’s certification.

About the Eco-Office Label

  • What is the Eco-Office Label? Who is it given to?
    This is a certification issued by SEC to certify that an organisation is environmentally friendly and employs sustainable practices. SEC promotes and administers this certification while an external auditor performs the site audit to verify that certification requirements are met.
  • What is the validity of the Eco-Office Label?
    The Eco-Office Label certification is valid for three years from the date of certification. The office needs to undergo re-certification to be allowed to use the Eco-Office label after the first or latest label has expired.
  • Why should I apply for the Eco-Office Label? What are the benefits of having the Eco-Office Label?
    Benefits of the Eco-Office label include maximisation of cost savings, complementing efforts to develop green infrastructure in offices and buildings, gaining environmental credentials and helping to spread the environmental message beyond the office.

    The tangible aspect is of course the maximisation of cost savings as the office works towards keeping within the targets set for its environmental goals and reducing water, electricity and paper consumption.

    The intangible aspects of the Eco-Office Label would be gaining the environmental credentials – giving organisations the standing of being environmentally responsible in the eyes of investors, and company stakeholders. This branding also allows Eco-Offices to distinguish themselves as different – having a green culture instilled within the organisation.

    The cascade effect also occurs where the environment message is spread beyond the office, as employees bring the habit of being environmentally conscious back to their homes and experience similar cost savings in their utility bills.
  • How can certified offices use the Eco-Office Label?
    The Eco-Office Label can be used on their collaterals such as letterheads and namecards. It can also be displayed on email signatures and website banners.
  • How is the Eco-Office label different from the Green Mark?
    The Eco-Office label focuses on the heart-ware in the offices i.e. environmentally conscious habits and practices while Green Mark is more focused on the hardware i.e. green infrastructure of the office building. Thus the Eco-Office label helps to complement the office’s efforts to go green through the installation of environmentally friendly infrastructure.
  • What are the criteria used for assessment under this Eco-Office Certification?
    The main components of the Eco-Office Certification include organisational policy and environment awareness, purchasing and operations, waste management, energy conservation, water conservation and indoor air quality.