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Sometimes, the cost of implementing new standards (e.g. the expenses of changing processes and equipment, engaging consultants, etc), can deter companies from taking the next step in progressing as organisations; it could also mean preventing them the opportunity to keep up with new international standards, and the chance to sharpen their competitive edge.

To help companies grow, SPRING Singapore has introduced a Quality For Enterprises Through Standards (QUEST) programme that allows interested companies to tap on government funding to implement standards such as the ISO 50001 and ISO 14064.

Defraying costs

The QUEST programme provides grants for companies to implement standards in up-and-coming areas such as carbon reduction and energy efficiency. Through this, the programme hopes to encourage companies to use standards to enhance their productivity and competitiveness. The grants will help pay for some of the implementation costs: e.g. manpower-related and training expenses, consultancy and professional services, equipment and other project-related costs, and others. With this assistance, companies will be able to adopt new standards that will not only gain them a competitive business advantage, but also market access.

Currently, SPRING Singapore supports standards such as the ISO 14064 Part 1 and 2 on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Management, and ISO 50001 on Energy Management.

ISO 14064 helps organisations identify and lessen their GHG levels to achieve ISO certification as per the standard; successful applications will see companies receiving a grant of $50,000 or 50% of total cost, whichever is lower.

ISO 50001 focuses more on energy; it will help companies chart their total energy consumption, produce an energy-reducing plan for them to follow, and achieve an ISO certification as per the standard. If applications are successful, companies will receive a grant of $35,000. Applications to receive the alternative grant of 70% of total cost have been extended to 30th June 2012.  

Qualifying for the grants          

Before organisations apply for grants, however, a few criteria should be kept in mind. Companies have to be registered or incorporated in Singapore, and have a minimum 30% local shareholding. A company’s group annual sales turnover has to not exceed $100 million, or have an employment size of not more than 200 workers.

As an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, SPRING Singapore is aimed at helping Singapore enterprises grow, and fostering trust in Singapore products and services. SPRING works with partners to help enterprises in financing, capability and management development, technology and innovation, and access to markets.

Funding is an incentive

With this SPRING funding, companies looking to control and manage their GHG emissions and energy consumption can hope to find assistance in adopting relevant standards such as the ISO 50001 and ISO 14064 to help them increase productivity and become more competitive.

With the right standards put into place by a recognised and dependable certification body, implementing ISO standards can greatly enhance an organisation’s business processes. It can improve the company’s image, add value to their services, lessen their carbon footprints, and gain international recognition and trust from both consumers and competitors alike.