SINGAPORE: Singapore is Asia's greenest city, while Kuala Lumpur scored an overall average rank in The Asian Green City Index.
The index — a study commissioned by Siemens AG and performed by the independent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) — analysed the environmental sustainability of 22 major cities in Asia.
Singapore — the only city in the study to score an overall well above average rank — stood out for its ambitious environmental targets and its efficient approach to achieve them.
Barbara Kux, member of the managing board and chief sustainability officer for Siemens AG, attributed Singapore's success to its government's emphasis on the importance of sustainability since its independence in 1965.
"The government did not dilute its commitment by working in many different fields but rather focused on key areas such as water, waste and energy efficiency,"said Kux at the press conference during the release of the Asian Green City Index on Monday, Feb 14.
Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur best performance in the index came from the air quality and transport categories, achieving an above average rank. The study showed that its Light Rail Transit (LRT) System is the fourth longest in the index and the second longest among cities in the mid-income range (GDP per capita of US$10,000-US$25,000/RM30,500-RM76,250).
The study also found that the city's average daily sulphur dioxide emission are particularly low at six micrograms per cubic metre which is the second lowest level in the index.
Less favourable performances were noted in waste, energy and carbon emission, sanitation and water categories. The city was ranked well below average in water category, recording one of the highest leakages rates in the index as well as its high waste generation and poor waste collection and disposal.
However, Prakash Chandran, president and CEO of Siemens Malaysia Sdn Bhd, felt that ranking average overall is a great start for Kuala Lumpur.
"The index is a good reflection of where Kuala Lumpur stands in terms of its sustainability, and is a stepping stone for us to move forward to improve our city's livability factor," said Prakash.
The Asian Green City Index examined the environmental performance of 22 major Asian cities in eight categories: energy and carbon emission, land use and buildings, transport, waste, water, sanitation, air quality and environmental governance.
"The index supports cities in their efforts to expand their infrastructures on a sustainable basis. We want to enable Asia's up and coming urban centres to achieve healthy growth rates coupled with a high quality of life," said Kux.
Asia is the third region to be analysed for Siemens by EIU. The series began in 2009 with the European City Index which identified Copenhagen, Denmark as the greenest city. This was followed by the Latin American Green City Index in 2010 which saw Curitiba, Brazil coming out on top.
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