2019 Winners’ Profiles
|Mee Toh School||Singtel||Elias Park Primary School|
Mee Toh School
Mee Toh School adopts a whole-school approach towards environmental sustainability through their Applied Learning Programme in Environment Education. Every Mee Tohian is equipped with the values, knowledge and skills to care for the environment as part of character building. The school creates opportunities to enable students to make meaningful connections of what they have learnt about environmental issues with daily experiences. As part of Inter-disciplinary Project Work and Values-in-Action Project, students integrate what they have learnt and leverage the strengths of team work to explore innovative ways to solve real-world problems. Recognising that it takes a village to raise a child, Mee Toh School works in partnership with key stakeholders including parents and the community, and leverage support from agencies such as the National Environment Agency (NEA), National Parks Board and PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency in environmental education.
Mee Toh School has a strong organisational culture in sustainability. It has earned the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark (GoldPlus) certification. The school tracks environmental data such as the amount of waste recycled, energy and water consumption levels, and the diversity in flora and fauna in the school to monitor the impact of their environmental sustainability efforts. All staff use their own plates and cutleries for meals at school events. Its Parent Support Group, PATH, actively supports students to collect and track the amount of recyclables weekly.
Mee Tohians also contribute to the community. In 2019 Year Towards Zero Waste, in collaboration with NEA and Punggol 21 CC, Primary 5 students used Micro:bits to count e-waste items collected, and shared their learning with the community to champion e-waste recycling. Its Primary 3 students were also involved in eco-farming of vegetables which were sent to a home for the elderly.
With their dedication to environmental education and advocacy, Mee Toh School is deserving of the President’s Award for the Environment 2019.
Singtel demonstrates a strong commitment to sustainability. Its senior management leads its sustainability strategy with the support of a Group Sustainability unit. The Group Sustainability unit was established in 2010 to drive environmental and sustainability practices, and has a manager dedicated to environmental sustainability, a practice still uncommon in Singapore. Singtel has been disclosing its environmental performance through its annual Sustainability Report since it was first published in 2010.
Singtel is committed to leaving the smallest environmental footprint. In 2016, it conducted a Life Cycle Assessment and a climate adaptation and resilience study. This helped the company understand its environmental impact and set carbon reduction targets. It was the first in Asia (excluding Japan) to commit and have absolute carbon reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative in 2017. More recently, Singtel was one of only 28 global companies to commit to a new ambitious target of achieving net zero carbon by 2050. Its energy reduction efforts include upgrading equipment and mobile networks for energy efficiency and exploring renewable energy options.
Singtel believes in engaging its staff in sustainability efforts. Its annual Project LESS campaign has encouraged staff to reduce waste, reuse and recycle since 2011. In 2019, Singtel launched ‘The Last Straw’ campaign to eliminate the use of disposable plastic in its staff cafeterias. In addition, it recently introduced an e-learning sustainability module for all staff.
Beyond internal efforts, Singtel has partnered SingPost for ReCYCLE, a nationwide e-waste recycling programme, since 2017. The programme has recovered over 24,000 kg of e-waste to date. It also works with the National Parks Board on an annual Plant-A-Tree Day, which has seen Singtel volunteers plant some 1,200 trees over the last decade. Singtel, with its dedication to environmental sustainability, is deserving of the President’s Award for the Environment 2019.
Elias Park Primary School
Elias Park Primary School (EPPS) adopts a whole-of-school approach in promoting environmental awareness. Together with their partners, the school enhances the Eliasian experience by providing a green and sustainable environment for teaching and learning.
As part of the Building and Construction Authority – Ministry of Education (BCA-MOE) Back to School programme, EPPS became a BCA’s Green Mark (Gold) certified campus in 2017, with the help of an ex-student. The school has various outdoor learning opportunities for their students. EPPS has a Renewable Energy Hub where students can learn about energy and the environment, and a bio-retention tree that tests the natural filtration of water. They also have a vertical green wall and an eco-garden which attract butterflies to facilitate the teaching and learning of Science and English topics. Over 70 per cent of their students walk, cycle, or ride to and from school.
EPPS has an established food waste management programme. Its Primary 3 students use fruit peels to make compost. The students also work with canteen vendors to recycle excess cooked food using biodigesters. The food waste is turned into fertilisers for plants in the school. At the North East Clean and Green Singapore Carnival in 2016, these fertilisers were also given to the public.
EPPS has a distinguished history in supporting community and national sustainability initiatives. Eliasians have participated in the Clean Singapore Learning Trail since 2009, and conducted PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency’s Water Rationing Exercises since its inception in 2016. The school’s efforts were recognised with the Watermark Award (2009), Community-in-Bloom Silver Award (2012, 2014, 2016), and North-East District Environment Diamond Award (2017 and 2018).
As a school that actively promotes environmental education beyond the classroom and with an established track record in environmental excellence, Elias Park Primary School is deserving of the President’s Award for the Environment 2019.