Sustainability Design Idea

Sustainability is a fairly new trend for many organisations. For many applications, this is still underway to include sustainability in the solution design. Although there is a lot of room to incorporate sustainability, these steps can be simplify into a few basic ideas.

Basic Sustainability Cheatsheet
  • Create CO2 modules or features set.
  • Quantify CO2 consumption in application.
  • Allow users to select choices for CO2 spending.
  • Tabulate and report CO2 spendings or savings.

The road to incorporate sustainability in applications is still a far way. It is good to let consumers have the choice to play a part for sustainability. As application owner, we will need to play a part to provide sustainability design for consumers.


Earth Day 2021

22 April is Earth Day 2021. We are doing a good job towards sustaining Earth for longevity. However, as technologist, there are much more that we can help to advocate.

Here are some of my personal takes for Earth Day 2021.

  • Waste less, waste not.
  • Bitcoin is a waste of energy.
  • Design for sustainability.
  • If you cannot find it, it is likely you do not use it.
  • Complex solutions are not efficient.
  • Every simple actions helps in sustainability.

What are your steps for sustainability on Earth Day?

Value Chain Redefined

The concept of value chain is not new. It is time to give a new meaning to value chain for the year 2019 and onwards. A pandemic like COVID-19 have redefined value chain to a new dimension.

Classic Value Chain

A value chain is a set of activities to create a product or services with the objective of maximising profit and create a competitive advantage. You will find standard raw materials or resources as inputs and finished products or services as end products. Supporting activities like HR, IT and logistics exists to smooth the operations of this process.

Value Chain Redefined

From COVID-19, value chain are tightly coupled with itself for end to end visibility. Social responsibility and sustainability triggers the evolution of value chain. Digital Transformation displaces old value chain and create new ones. New paradigm are formed where Agile invoke the innovation of customer experience.

In a nutshell, do be prepared for the new chain by acquiring new skillset and mindset. It is no longer viable to retain your old value chain. It’s now or never.

Electric Vehicle and Petrol Station

As I was leaving the petrol station, I ponder over the moment where I may have the chance to use an Electric Vehicle (EV). What will happen to the petrol station? Can they be converted to Electric charging?

This dilemma is a constant reminder of what change can bring. Though sustainability movement brings many benefits, there are awareness that we are never receptive to this change. Sustainability will bring about a disruptive nature to incumbent. There will also be high switching cost to consumers.

Long Road

Unlike all new technologies, sustainability is driven by the thought of a dying Earth. There are a lot of political and huge forces resisting this efforts. The most well known is perhaps the withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement. It is very likely I will not see much drastic change in my lifetime. Of course, I do hope that the future generations can do better from the seed of sustainability.

Carbon Footprint Report

Many organization is in need of sustainability approach and strategy. A quick dirty way to start off is always the Carbon Footprint Report. So, what exactly is a Carbon Footprint Report and how can it be dirty and quick? This is 3 simple steps to start your sustainability movement using Carbon Footprint Report.

Step 1: Communicate Report Objective

In my real life experience, building a Carbon Footprint report is actually the easiest part. Most forgot to communicate the report objective to all the stakeholders. Often, the Carbon Footprint purpose is lost in translation. So, it is not surprising that its creation is a one time event and not being utilised.

Step 2: Monitor your Checkpoints

Another positive outcome you can derive from Carbon Footprint Report is the setup of checkpoints. There are many instance where the report is generated and processed as raw data. This is unproductive as you need sustainability checkpoint. The checkpoints ensure your sustainability efforts are monitored and guided in the correct direction.

Step 3: Broadcast your Win

The last part is the most important part. With one small step using Carbon Footprint Report, you can broadcast your sustainability achievements with continuing checkpoints. This reinforce your benefits of your sustainability program and creates more awareness. You may also develop a domino effect to other applications in setting this report as a key success part of all Sustainability program.

Will you be buying Electric Vehicle (EV)?

The conversation of buying Electric Vehicle pop up during a typical family conversation with family friends. We are being asked will we will be buying EV if we be changing our petrol car. Recently, there is a lot of buzz in Singapore on EV. While the intention sound noble to the sustainability cause, I feel very sceptical to owning an EV in Singapore. Instead, this article will be a positive side to encourage you to buy EV assuming all concerns have been addressed.

Pros of EV
  • EV produce lower gas emissions than combustion vehicles.
  • EV is quieter because it is running on battery power.
  • EV can use renewable energy for its battery source like solar or wind power.
  • EV could be easily monitored, automated and maintained. Imagine you can control and view your EV via your App.

The steps to EV is gradual but will be possible. I may not able to see in my lifetime. Like the mobile enabled generation, we shall soon see an EV enabled roads! Stay tuned, it will be a rough journey to save the World!

Sustainable Value Creation

With growing trend of Sustainability topics, I recently have an interesting read on Sustainable Value Creation (SVC). Value Creation is defined as benefit delivered to consumers from existing capital, in short Value = Benefits − Cost (cost includes economic risk). Borrowing from this definition, SVC refers to the value creation in a sustainable way.

The subject touches SVC from the perspective of CEO in major organisations. Not surprisingly, the top ranked SVC is brand, trust, reputation and revenue growth. Thus, I feel that it will be worthwhile to apply this concept using my perspective from an end consumer.

Consumer SVC
  1. Organisation must provide adequate cost-benefits analysis of Sustainability vs Non-Sustainability to consumers.
  2. Organisation must give clear transparency on sustainable efforts and processes.
  3. Consumers must easily recognise Green Standards for Organisation e.g. ISO 14091, Adaptation to climate change – Guidelines on vulnerability, impacts and risk assessment.
  4. Consumers shall be given incentives to be Green instead of being penalized e.g. Carbon Rebates vs Carbon Taxes.
What do you think should be your SVC?

Green Public Transport in Singapore

There is a hype of news in Singapore over the switch to Electric Vehicle (EV). Consumers are also encouraged to take the Public Transportation. Ironically, there is less awareness and emphasis on Green Public Transport and their Sustainability Programs.

Sustainability Checklist
  1. Sustainability Program stated on Organisation website
  2. Sustainability Strategy for the next 5 years.
  3. Clear and public disclosure on the information of Transportation Fleet owned, be it Electric Vehicles, Hybrid, Eco Friendly or Combustion Engine Vehicles.
  4. Estimated Published Carbon Footprint generated by Transportation Fleet.
Quick Rating

Using the checklist, I do a quick survey on the overall landscape of Singapore Public Transportation organisations. This is their ranking in terms of their Sustainability program.

  1. ComfortDelGro
  2. SMRT
  3. SBS Transit
Public Transport with NO Sustainability Program on their Website
  1. Tower Transit – No Sustainability Program in Singapore but present in UK
  2. Go-Ahead Singapore
  3. Transcab
  4. Premier Taxis
  5. Prime Taxi
Simple Thoughts

Out of 8 public transport operators, only 3 have clear sustainability program. Only ComfortDelGro have achieved all the items in the simple checklist. On the other hand, the rest do not have clear indicators to their sustainability program. It is obvious more should be done with Green Public Transport. This observation is also consistent with my Commentary on Singapore Budget 2021 Clean and Green Transport. While debates rages whether consumers should change to EV or not, there is a more pressing need to educate Green Public Transport on existing transport operators.


Road to Measuring Carbon Footprint

There is a growing concerns over Green efforts and sustainability talk. The ozone layer have been broken and temperature are rising with pollution of Earth. Environmental issue are nothing new and run contradictory to economic growth. With current technologies, it is feasible to measure and leverage carbon tax on its footprint.

What is Carbon Footprint?

Carbon Footprint is carbon dioxide given out by the produce or process, i.e. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The full definition by Wright, Kemp, and Williams states that it is

A measure of the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions of a defined population, system or activity, considering all relevant sources, sinks and storage within the spatial and temporal boundary of the population, system or activity of interest. Calculated as carbon dioxide equivalent using the relevant 100-year global warming potential (GWP100).

From the definition, we saw that there is a potential dispute with the processes and interaction that emit the greenhouse gases. Moreover, the majority of the product lifecycle will give out carbon emission one way or another. The next question is how much and how to measure!

Measuring Carbon Footprint

The measurement of Carbon Footprint is under constant debate as our concern for sustainability and environment rises. The final commitment comes when countries sought to reduce carbon emissions with the introduction of carbon tax. For the first time, there is agreement on some common measurement of Carbon Footprint, namely the energy sector. Many research and papers are also done on how to measure these Carbon Footprint. You could even find free online Carbon Footprint calculator which you could try out.

Default Carbon Footprint Computation

Just like the fight for obesity, Carbon Footprint values will soon be default view like calories on food. One example is the Energy Labels to be displayed on electrical applicants in Singapore. Another effort is the introduction of Carbon Tax in Singapore, which makes the measurement and reporting of GHG emissions mandatory. I will foresee major technologies providing Carbon Footprint computation as a service as organisations seek greater visibility to sustainability. For more in-depth reading on Carbon Footprint, you could check out this book on how to reduce Carbon Footprint at a personal level, read my other articles on sustainability or look at Singapore Emission Profile for reference.

Green Logistics 101

Green is the new fab now. Singapore has just announced its Green Plan 2030. Green Technologies, Green Fuel and Green Logistics are some of the futuristic areas that will be gaining popularity as sustainability become a concern for Earth survival.

Source: Google Trends
What is Green Logistics?

Green Logistics refers to the flow of logistics that are conducted in a sustainable way with the purpose of reducing the carbon footprint. The other key objective of Green Logistics is to focus on the transportations of goods in order to minimize the impact on environment.

How Cloud helps Green Logistics

Green Logistics is not new. It is an ideal way to save the world but languish for many years as conceptual ideas because of higher consumer costs to be Green. The arrival of Cloud technologies have revived the interest of Green Logistics with the sole purpose of Greater Good i.e to commoditize carbon cost using Cloud computing.

Commoditizationc of Carbon

Carbon are being commoditised and implemented as Carbon Tax in many countries. The aim is twofold, to reduce carbon gas emissions and passed this carbon cost to consumers through taxes. For the first time, Carbon can be measured and be quantified like commodity. Higher carbon will translate higher cost for the consumers. Carbon heavy industries like energy sector is the first to be impacted. Similar for logistics, majority of carbon tax will derive from fuels.

Future of Green Logistics

The measurement on the consumptions of carbon will spur customers and supply chain providers to offer carbon services or Green Logistics. Cloud technologies will be adopted to capture these carbon usages. The first adoption will be the iOT of fuel in vehicles. Next, massive digitisation of data such as weather and traffic conditions will be captured for route and load optimization. With these information, Machine Learning (ML) can provide detailed analytics on how reduce Carbon Tax without increasing consumer costs. It will be exciting to see Green roles or Green Technologist in Logistics sectors. Green is the new Change, let us embrace it!