Sustainable facilities: Institutional compliance and the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city Project
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Purpose - The Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city Project, the agreement of which was signed in 2007, is an important milestone that would further cement ties between Singapore and the People's Republic of China (PRC). The Eco-city Project will be used to showcase the latest green technologies adopted in buildings with a view to reducing the adverse effects of global warming, carbon emissions, and climate change; leading in the process to sustainable facilities. The purpose of this paper is to examine the institutional compliance framework for transferring environmental sustainability regulations from Singapore to China. Design/methodology/approach - The paper examines the current environmental sustainability regulations that are already in place in Singapore, with a view to possibly transfer these regulations as well as the supporting green technologies, codes and practices to the joint Sino-Singapore Eco-city Project in the PRC. The study proposes an understanding of the institutional compliance framework to facilitate this transfer. Findings - There are existing statutory provisions within the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in the PRC that encourage the use of solar and renewable energy with a view to fostering sustainable construction, including provisions dealing with water pollution. However, beyond these generic areas, it appears that statutory provisions within the MEP do not institutionalize the same level of details that can be found in Singapore relating to the conceptualization, design and construction of sustainable facilities. Hence, transfer of such provisions from Singapore to the Tianjin Eco-city Project can be facilitated through an understanding of the institutional compliance framework from the Chinese side. Research limitations/implications - The environmental sustainability regulations that are already in place in Singapore will be examined in the paper. The study explains the reasons why these regulations were implemented in Singapore, and the framework within which such provisions may be transferred to the Tianjin Eco-city Project. Practical implications - The paper observes that while the legal systems in both Singapore and the PRC may be different, it would be strategic and expedient for the Chinese partners in the Eco-city joint project to familiarize themselves with the environmental sustainability regulations within Singapore's jurisdiction with a view to possibly adopting them in the PRC through the institutional compliance framework. Originality/value - Singapore is probably the first and only country in the world to enact building regulations pertaining to environmental sustainability with attendant inputs from an appropriate Code for Environmental Sustainability of Buildings and the Green Mark Scheme. The successful completion of the Tianjin Eco-city Project could provide a role model for further development of Eco-cities in the world, leading to greater emphasis to be placed on sustainable facilities anchored on the institutional compliance framework. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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