Responsible TourismNot just the state of fun: Sentosa will forge the sustainable path with Temasek to transform into a zero-carbon tourism destination.

Sentosa on its way to becoming carbon neutral by 2030

Some 200 business, including hotels, dining establishments, attractions, and the marina club and golf club are joining the island's carbon-neutral plan.
Some 200 business, including hotels, dining establishments, attractions, and the marina club and golf club are joining the island's carbon-neutral plan. Photo Credit: Sentosa Development Corporation

Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) has laid out plans to transform the island into a carbon-neutral destination by 2030 as part of its long-term sustainability vision.

Singapore's Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing made the announcement in Parliament on Thursday, 4 March, stressing that this is part of the Lion City's efforts towards capturing opportunities in the green economy.

"Ten years from now, we expect that global tourism will have sprung back into a more vibrant sector. Tourists will have a greater interest in sustainable travel options, for example, eco-friendly hotels and attractions. Through [Sentosa], we will strengthen Singapore as an exemplary sustainable tourism destination."

“Sustainability is a key priority and integral design principle in SDC’s journey to create great guest experiences and safeguard Sentosa’s value proposition for generations to come," said SDC chief executive Thien Kwee Eng.

SDC Temasek MOU
SDC and Temasek have signed an MOU to, among other things, identify opportunities to test solutions to lower the island's carbon footprint. Photo Credit: Sentosa Development Corporation

With the latest MoU inked between SDC and state investor Temasek in December 2020, the sustainability pact will testbed more sustainable technology concepts and solutions in Sentosa, while some 200 businesses on the island, including hotels, restaurants, attractions as well as the marina club and golf club, will also come on board the carbon mitigation and abatement efforts.

Among them is Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, which is "focused on reducing our carbon footprint through investments in smart design to reduce the consumption of energy, and tapping on alternative sustainable energy sources such as solar-powered air-conditioning," said the hotel's general manager, Gavin Weightman.

These solutions are expected to leverage smart infrastructure to first detect and analyse energy usage, before using the data to engage users and influence consumption patterns, with the goal of reducing wastage.

The SDC and Temasek agreement will also explore new ways to deploy cooling solutions on Sentosa island and close the waste loop entering Singapore’s incineration plants. Travel options on the island destination will also progressively go green.

Sentosa's green plan was already years in the making. In 2019, Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) chief executive Keith Tan made mention of an innovation scheme to attract new technologies, ideas and concepts to Sentosa to improve areas such as accessibility, tourism experiences, sustainability and digital technologies.

Since then, the SDC has launched a number of sustainability efforts, including technology testbeds such as Singapore’s first on-demand autonomous shuttle public trial in 2019, and engagement of local enterprises through the Sentosa x Enterprise scheme and Enterprise Singapore’s Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge in 2020.

There's also the ongoing development of the 30,000sqm Sentosa Sensoryscape, connecting the integrated resort Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) in the north to the island’s beaches in the south.

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