Just two months after thousands of Singaporeans joined WWF’s Earth Hour, leading market research firm The Nielsen Company and figures released by the EMA have confirmed that Earth Hour Singapore was a big success with the most phenomenal levels of participation and action.
Nielsen research revealed that a massive 40% of the Singapore population took part by turning off their lights for the hour and 56% agreed that they would be making a conscious effort to save the Earth by deliberately reducing their energy consumption.
According to EMA, there has been a 42 MW drop in electricity demand during the period of 8.30pm to 9.30pm on 28 March 09. WWF infers this reduction in electricity consumption represents an equivalent participation of over 1.6 million people in Earth Hour.
These results also come the same week as the WWF hosted the “Earth Hour Singapore 2009 Corporate Participation Awards”, designed to celebrate the involvement of businesses in Singapore across three categories with the winners being:
• Earth Hour Singapore 2009 Corporate Participation Award for greatest impact –MacDonald’s Restaurants
• Earth Hour Singapore 2009 Corporate Participation Award for best engagement activities – StarHill Global Reit
• Earth Hour Singapore 2009 Corporate Participation Award for “beyond 60 minutes” initiative – Jebsen&Jessen SEA and Holcim (Singapore) Pte Ltd.
A special recognition was also presented to Colliers International for the Best Creative and to Baik Singapore for the Best Picture.
Winners were presented with trophies for their involvement in the campaign and thanked in person by the WWF team.
Speaking about the Nielsen and EMA results Earth Hour Campaign Manager Carine Seror said “The results reflect what we hoped and we felt to be true – that Earth Hour really captured the imagination of Singapore and was the first step towards lasting change regarding environmental awareness and action. The next step is now to keep up the good work by making long lasting behavioral changes.”
Craig Law-Smith Marketing Director Southeast Asia for Microsoft and member of the Earth Hour committee said of the results “In our experience, results such as those achieved by the WWF do not come along every day. These are participation figures that many commercial brands would be very proud of and an indication of how far reaching Earth Hour really was here in Singapore.”
Earth Hour is over for another year but the fight against climate change is not. Later this year world leaders will meet in Copenhagen for the Global Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) to decide on the agreement that will replace the Kyoto Protocol.
In participating in Earth Hour, people in Singapore voted for the planet vs global warming. WWF will take their vote to Copenhagen sending a strong message to the UNFCCC that we, in Singapore and around the world, are looking for a science based and effective new global climate change deal.
The WWF is also calling on people and companies to continue with progressive environmental commitments that help reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint. A few suggestions could include:
1. Buy energy efficient appliances
If you’re buying a washing machine, refrigerator, dish washer or oven, buy the most energy-efficient model you can afford. The same is true for office equipment like computers, copiers, printers.
2. Fluorescent lamps are cheaper in the long run
Replace your lights you use most with compact fluorescent lamps, they use only around one-quarter of the electricity to provide the same light. And they last four times as long as a normal light bulb!
3. Turn up your air conditioning
Setting your air conditioning on low temperatures not only wastes energy but also weakens your ability to adjust your body temperature. By setting your air conditioning 1 degree Celsius higher, you will already save on your energy bills while decreasing your likelihood of getting a cold.
4. Avoid stand-by and turn off lights
Turn off televisions, videos, stereos and computers when they are not in use – they can use between 10 and 60% of the power they use when on “stand by”. Turn off lights when you don’t need them – it saves energy already after a minute or two. Turn off computer screens when you take a break.
5. Wash economically and dry your clothes under the sun
Use the washing machine or dish washer only when you have a full load. Use washing powder suitable for low temperature washes and use economy programmes.
6. About your fridge
Don’t leave fridge doors open for longer than necessary, let food cool down fully before putting it in the fridge or freezer, defrost regularly and keep at the right temperature.
7. Getting around and on your way to work and school
When you want to make short journeys, try walking! Use a bicycle for short trips and local shopping. It keeps you fit too and is fun too! Make more use of public transport, such as buses and trains, for longer journeys. Share care journeys with work colleagues or friends – up to a third of car mileage is accounted for by the drive to work.
8. About your car
If you have to buy a car, buy a fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly one. This will save you money and keep more CO2 from going into the atmosphere. Make sure that your tires are inflated correctly – this can save you 5% on the cost of your petrol. Turn off your engine when waiting in your car.
9. Reduce your air travel
When you travel to your holiday destination by plane you are contributing to significant emissions of climate change causing carbon dioxide. So take vacations nearer to home, or get there by other forms of transport such as train, bus or boat. If you have to fly, consider buying carbon offsets to compensate for the emissions caused by your flight.
10. Enjoy the sun! 🙂
Fit solar panels on the roof of your home. Turn your own home into a clean power station!
For more information regarding climate change or on the WWF’s work across the region and the world see here www.wwf.org