Nearly eight in 10 small businesses in Singapore have lost business due to emissions reporting rules: survey

Six in 10 business leaders have reported losing existing or prospective new business due to stringent emissions reporting requirements, according to a survey of 500 executives conducted by Schneider Electric.

Small companies, in particular, are disproportionately disadvantaged, says Schneider Electric on May 8, with 78% of respondents reporting a loss in business due to compliance issues. This is compared with 52% of large companies being affected.

Almost half (47%) of overall business leaders surveyed and 57% of small business leaders surveyed agree that it will become “significantly more expensive” to do business due to increased emissions reduction requirements in supply chains.

To help suppliers with lowering supply chain emissions, 81% of business leaders said they are providing financial incentives, while 74% are providing access to expertise and 28% are providing training.

The survey, conducted in March, also found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents had not fully measured or analyzed their greenhouse gas emissions.

Lack of appropriate technology is highlighted as a key barrier, with less than half (44%) of business leaders indicating their companies already have all the tools, technologies and infrastructure needed to easily measure and analyze the carbon footprint of their organization’s supply chain.

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According to Schneider Electric, this perception varies across sectors, roles and seniority levels, with 58% and 56% of board members and C-suite executives indicating this, compared with just 25% of senior managers. “[This points] to a stark gap between those developing supply chain emissions strategies and those implementing them,” says the firm.

By industry, those in Singapore’s real estate sector are the most prepared, with 81% achieving full implementation of the technology, tools and infrastructure they need, with engineering and education the least prepared sector, tied at 13%.

Despite gaps in supply chain emissions data, the study finds that Singapore businesses are pressing forward by taking a range of measures to green their supply chains, according to Schneider Electric.

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According to the survey, 63% of respondents are switching transportation and/or distribution routes, 55% are placing increased requirements on their suppliers and 47% are switching suppliers.

Other steps employed by organizations in Singapore to reduce emissions levels include switching transportation and, or distribution vehicles or modes of transport (36%) and seeking third-party support on sustainability consultation and certification (9%).

The gap in technology and infrastructure to adequately measure and manage supply chain emissions must be addressed as part of Singapore’s green journey, says Kim Yoon Young, cluster president, Schneider Electric, Singapore and Brunei.

“In particular, more data and training are required to ensure the impact of supply chain adjustments on small businesses can be better managed and wider economic consequences avoided,” adds Kim. “This will require increasing cooperation between public and private sector stakeholders to manage and it is pleasing to see the positive reaction to the Singapore government’s recently enhanced measures in this area.”