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4 Ways for Serial Entrepreneurs to Go Green

4 Ways for Serial Entrepreneurs to Go Green

  • 01 October 2021
  • By OCBC Business Banking
  • 10 mins read

With climate change and sustainability issues serving as a constant reminder not to take our planet for granted, the push for businesses to go green is stronger than ever. Currently ASEAN’s largest green finance market, Singapore rolled out a Green Finance Action Plan which includes a S$2.7 billion investment programme to finance green solutions and set up environmental risk management guidelines for businesses.

For serial entrepreneurs, transitioning the business model of your group of businesses and adopting more eco-friendly habits can be beneficial for the following reasons:

  • Shows commitment towards reducing environmental impact
  • Boosts your group’s corporate image and underscores brand values
  • Aligns your multiple businesses with the government and regulators to potentially win contracts
  • Lowers costs in the long term with practices such as lesser material wastage through recycling and reusing

Going green is also not just for those in the “green” sector, but for all companies regardless of their business activities.

Unsure of where to begin? Here are 4 ways for your businesses to go green.

1. Adopt environmentally friendly business practices

Start by making simple yet impactful changes, such as monitoring your power sockets to reduce standby power or choosing energy-efficient LED bulbs. To keep your offices cool, choose air-conditioning or refrigeration systems with a higher energy efficiency rating of at least 4 ticks. Alternatively, you can install ceiling fans to improve natural ventilation and save on electricity bills. If you happen to be renovating, this will also place your business in good stead to obtain a green renovation loan where you can save on loan fees. You could also reduce your company’s transportation carbon footprint by having virtual calls in place of face-to-face meetings. These small tweaks can greatly reduce your overall carbon emissions.

2. Anchor sustainability in your business plans

Go beyond smaller actions and steer your group’s focus towards the bigger picture of environmental conservation and sustainability. National Geographic estimates that nine million tonnes of plastic flows into our oceans annually, harming the biodiversity and food safety of generations to come. Every business has a part to play. Serial entrepreneurs in the F&B industry can explore investing in a food compost machine to reduce waste. Biodegradable packaging and utensils made from recycled paper or innovative options such as corn starch or mushroom to reduce plastic consumption is another option. Switching your product packaging to eco-friendly materials sends a clear signal to potential customers and partners about your commitment to sustainability. Who knows, this opportunity to build your network with like-minded companies may come in handy in the future.

According to a report by the United Nations-linked Business and Sustainable Development Commission, businesses in Asia could gain access to at least S$6.9 trillion in market opportunities and create 230 million jobs just by incorporating some sustainability goals. In making these significant steps, you can capitalise on the growing market demand for green products and services, while attracting a loyal customer base and talent pool that places sustainability and societal contribution at a high value.

3. Adopt green labels and certifications

In Singapore, it is easy to display your green credentials through the adoption of many green labels and certifications available. Having a physical marker and indicator of a company’s commitment to the green initiative is essential for gaining customers' trust to foster a lasting relationship and loyalty to your brand. When renting or purchasing a new office space, look for buildings accredited with the BCA Green Mark certification, which has been given to eco-friendly buildings in Singapore since 2005. To solidify your group’s reputation and grant you favourable business opportunities as a serial entrepreneur, you can also strive for other accreditations like the Singapore Green Labelling Scheme, Eco-Office Certification and Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards. These are given to businesses with a strong commitment to environmentally friendly practices.

4. Make full use of government initiatives and grants

Take advantage of the plethora of government initiatives available, such as the MAS Green and Sustainability-Linked Loan Grant Scheme, which grants SMEs sustainable financing of up to S$20 million, covering green projects related to energy efficiency, green buildings, and pollution control. Securing funding for projects ahead of time can help you defray the costs of implementing new green technology, as well as position your companies as pioneers in the green movement.

Helping you do well and do good

At OCBC, we have a SME Sustainability framework to support small businesses with sustainable business practices, as well as those participating in sustainability projects. With this framework, it is simpler and less costly for SMEs to access sustainable financing to accelerate and achieve their sustainability plans. Let us help businesses like yours capture emerging opportunities in sectors such as renewable energy and green buildings and contribute to a sustainable economy.

Contact us to find out more, and one of our Relationship Managers will be in touch.


The serial entrepreneurial journey entails working with different business partners from different industry verticals. This gives them the opportunity to tap on their expertise, glean best practices and expand their network, possibly opening doors into niche sectors.


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The information provided herein is intended for general circulation and/or discussion purposes only. Before making any decision, please seek independent advice from professional advisors. No representation or warranty whatsoever in respect of any information provided herein is given by OCBC Bank and it should not be relied upon as such. OCBC Bank does not undertake any obligation to update the information or to correct any inaccuracy that may become apparent at a later time. All information presented is subject to change without notice. OCBC Bank shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising directly or indirectly howsoever in connection with or as a result of any person acting on any information provided herein. Any reference to any specific company, financial product or asset class in whatever way is used for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation on the same.

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