Singapore Environment Council (SEC) has announced that the enhanced Singapore Green Labelling Scheme (SGLS) for pulp and paper products will commence in January 2017.
SEC said that a revamped certification and labelling scheme will empower consumers to take a stand in support of the environment and against practices that cause the haze.
It also added that the initiative will have more rigorous criteria benchmarked against environmental practices used in the EU, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
According to SEC, the assessment criteria have been enhanced to include the way companies prevent the outbreak of fire on their plantations as well as how they manage their environmentally sensitive peatlands.
It stated that companies will be given time to strengthen their business practices to ensure they comply with the enhanced SGLS certification criteria. This means they have to put in place environmentally friendly and sustainable business practices including effective measures for fire control.
Details of the certification will be announced at the launch in January 2017.
The SEC noted that a workshop for paper manufacturing companies will be conducted on 10 January 2017 to help companies understand the enhanced SGLS criteria. Companies wishing to take part in the workshop can register their interest via email at [email protected]
Ms Isabella Loh, Chairman of the SEC said: “With more stringent measures including both fire management as well as peat management, the enhanced SGLS will provide consumers with a more reliable green label when choosing environmentally sustainable paper products.”
“The effects of the haze each year can be felt right across Singapore and the region – from the impact it has on our respiratory health through to the millions of dollars it costs our economy. The enhanced eco-label for paper products gives consumers the ability to register their opposition to environmentally unfriendly practices that cause the haze.”
“Importantly, the enhanced green label will help profile responsible businesses that are doing the right thing. SEC is encouraging all paper product companies to apply for this enhanced labelling scheme,” Ms Isabella said.
Mr Seah Seng Choon, Executive Director of CASE, said, “Consumers have a vital role to play in changing the business practices that contribute to the haze. If everyone in Singapore purchased products produced in a sustainable manner, it will send a clear signal to paper companies across the region.”
“The enhanced SGLS is a means of mobilising consumer power to encourage more environmentally sustainable manufacturing,” he added.