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5 Fun Facts About Sustainability at LTA

Posted on | 26 Jan 2024

Image of public transport modes

Singapore’s Green Plan 2030 has ambitious goals for our public transport!

By 2030, the plan is for 75% of all journeys during peak hours to be made on mass public transport, for electric buses to make up half the public bus fleet and for our rail network to expand up to 360km with 8 in 10 households to be within a 10-minute walk to a train station.

LTA is doing its part to reach these green targets. But to really make a stand for the planet, we’re going beyond just reducing architectural materials used to build new train stations, installing electric vehicle chargers and using low carbon concrete. We’re also creating a culture where sustainability practices are more than just woven into the infrastructure: They are a way of life.

Here are some fun facts about our journey:

#1 It’s literally lighting up your life
Graphic of street lamp

Have you been feeling like it’s brighter and clearer along the streets these days? Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you! The roads are actually looking sharper, thanks to the new LED lights we’ve switched to.

These lights are more eco-friendly. Compared to the traditional High-Pressure Sodium Vapour street lights we used to use, these new LEDs consume 25% less energy. They also last seven years longer and only need to be changed once a decade, which means less replacement and in turn, less waste!

Did you know? We achieved 30 million kWh of annual energy savings from full conversion to light-emitting diode (LED) street lighting!

#2 There’s more eco-consciousness on our mind

Graphic of globe with eco-friendly elements
*Note: Tracking of WDI began in 2022 (baseline year).

From resource conservation within our operations to preserving biodiversity, it takes serious commitment to manage and reduce our environmental impact.

More than an idea, we’re taking real steps to reduce our environmental footprint with an eco-conscious mindset!

The first step is recognising the importance of conserving natural resources and biodiversity for the sustainability of future generations. We’ve set targets to improve our Energy Use Index (EUI), Water Efficiency Index (WEI) and Waste Disposal Index (WDI) by 2030. This means putting in place measures that help us manage and reduce our environmental impacts of energy, water and waste consumption, even simple ones such as reminding staff to switch off their devices after work and during their lunch breaks. In particular, we do this within the operations and premises that are under LTA’s direct control.

By implementing this, we reduced our overall consumption since 2018, allowing us to exceed our EUI and WEI targets in 2022*.

Graphic of public transport nodes with green features

Finding a balance between commuter comfort and environmental friendliness is one of the many challenges LTA faces in our quest to develop more sustainably, making it crucial in our journey to remain creative, innovative and up to date with the latest technology.

Testament to our success, the Upper Thomson Station received BCA’s Green Mark Platinum accolade for achieving more than 30% energy savings, despite being located underground!

#3 We need teamwork to make the green dream work

LTA recognises that sustainability takes teamwork and collaboration, not just within the organisation, but with external agencies as well.

One of our key areas of interest is how waste plastics can be reused in public roads instead of ending up in the landfill. To explore this, we’re working on two trials. The first trial, with Singapore Polytechnic and Samwoh Innovation Centre, found that recycled waste plastic additives can improve durability of roads, offering potential for industrial roads carrying heavy loads. The second trial, with National University of Singapore, tests the viability of using plastic-bituminous composite asphalt mixes on stretches of the West Coast Highway and Pan Island Expressway.

These collaborations are an exciting step in Singapore’s sustainability journey to study the feasibility of greener road surfacing materials and improve their durability.

We also preserve biodiversity by working closely with stakeholders and fellow government agencies. Before building new infrastructure, rigorous Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are conducted for relevant areas together with nature groups and technical agencies. LTA also works closely with the National Parks Board (NParks) to identify trees that can be successfully transplanted.

Talk about making the dream work by ensuring a sustainable and harmonious coexistence between urban development and natural habitats!

Graphic of eco-friendly materials used for making roads

#4 Teamwork means we need you, too!

Graphic of our public transport modes and rpads

Each time you switch from driving to walking, riding a bike or public transport, you’re doing a bit to turn the tides against climate change. A big part of LTA’s sustainability journey is to empower you to do that via more green commuting options!

On this front, we’re growing the cycling path networks to reach 1,300km by 2030, building a network of 150km sheltered walkways for 400m from all MRT stations and 200m from bus interchanges, redesigning roads for friendlier streets and much, much more. All in the name of making it easier and more comfortable for you to go car-lite and walk, cycle or ride (WCR)!

Did you know? By 2040, we target for all WCR journeys to be a mere 20 minutes from their nearest neighbourhood centres!

#5 Green roots run deep within our organisation

We support the Singapore Green Plan 2030, a whole-of-nation movement to advance Singapore’s national agenda on sustainable development. Beyond that, many LTA officers are stepping up to participate in sustainability initiatives!

At the heart of what we do, we strive to weave sustainability into the fabric of our organisation culture by nudging employees to make greener choices in their daily work lives. It starts with simple steps, like setting the air conditioners in our offices to 25 degrees Celsius.

Graphic of cyclist and runner

For example, over a 9-month period from September 2021 to May 2022, officers gamely made the switch to Walk Cycle Ride in our “Ride a Greener 100,000km” challenge. Despite that most of our staff were working from home, over 80,580km of greener commutes were logged.

To celebrate the achievement, eight trees, one for every 10,000m were planted at the LTA Hampshire campus.

In November 2022, we also implemented an island-wide energy conservation initiative known as SWITCHOFF. Lighting at selected bus stops, covered linkways, and travel time display electronic signboards were switched off between 1am and 5am when footfall and traffic volume are low.

To date, 67 constituencies have pledged their support and SWITCHOFF has been implemented in 45 constituencies between November 2022 and July 2023!

Check out LTA’s inaugural Sustainability Report 2022/23 (PDF 6.7MB) for more information or keep a look out for more CONNECT articles in this sustainability series!
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