2021 Winners’ Profiles
|Mr Joseph K H Koh||Nanyang Girls’ High School||DBS Bank Ltd||Edible Garden City||PSA Corporation Limited|
Mr Joseph K H Koh
Mr Joseph K H Koh is an influential and well-respected leader within local and regional environmental conservation circles.
Known as a spider expert, Mr Koh has authored four photographic guides on Singapore and Borneo spiders, and described 12 new species of spiders from Singapore and Brunei among the scores of scientific papers that he has published. Mr Koh was part of a core research working group which contributed to the Comprehensive Biodiversity Survey of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve from 2014-2018. Together with a team of budding arachnologists that he has nurtured, Mr Koh has recorded more than 800 species of spiders in Singapore. He has pledged his >12,000-specimen collection to the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and continues to devote time to pass on his skills and knowledge to young people with a passion for spiders.
Under his leadership, WWF-Singapore embarked on several collaboration projects with NParks to combat the illegal wildlife trade, and to garner public support of NParks’ species recovery programme and efforts to turn Singapore into a “City in Nature”. WWF-SG has also started to explore collaboration with other government agencies to help promote a “whole-of-society” approach to reduce waste and emission to further the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and beyond. As Chairman of the “Friends of Bukit Timah Forest” community group, Mr Koh has played a pivotal role in publicising the rich biodiversity in the forest ecosystem with Bukit Timah Nature Reserve as its core, and in developing a network of partnerships to involve more Singaporeans to protect, restore and enjoy the forest.
Mr Koh has served as Chairman of NParks’ Nature Reserve Scientific Advisory Committee from 2012 - 2017 and was Chairman of the WWF-Singapore Board of Directors from 2018 to 2020 and is currently its Senior Advisor. Prior to that, he held key appointments in the Ministries of Finance, Home Affairs, Defence and Foreign Affairs. He was Singapore’s High Commissioner to Australia from 2002 to 2005, and High Commissioner to Negara Brunei Darussalam from 2006 to 2012. While pursuing a career in the public service, Mr Koh maintained close links with the NUS Department of Biological Sciences and was instrumental in encouraging and strengthening NUS’ biodiversity research ties with scientists from universities and research institutions of other countries.
In the many roles he has held over the years, Mr Koh has helped to groom many passionate advocates for nature conservation, and deepened local and international understanding of Singapore’s environmental and biodiversity conservation efforts. He has also made significant contributions in the dialogue between the government and civil society on issues related to environmental conservation, and continues to play an active leadership role in rallying community support to turn Singapore from a little red dot into a bright green spark.
Nanyang Girls’ High School
Nanyang Girl’s High School’s (NYGH) activities are wide-ranging and sustained, ensuring that each student at every level has the opportunity to be a green ambassador for the environment. The school has an environmental education council and the teachers in the council work together to incorporate environmental education in the curriculum and other areas where possible.
NYGH is one of the few schools that actively promotes cycling, offers a cycling-centric module in the Physical Education curriculum, and is a strong advocate of active mobility. It also volunteered to host the Land Transport Authority’s Walk, Cycle, Ride Symposium in 2016.
NYGH has been an extremely dedicated partner of the National Environment Agency since 2018. Its students demonstrated their zero waste efforts at the Youth for the Environment Day, Clean and Green Singapore, Say Yes To Waste Less campaign and Singapore’s 2019 Year Towards Zero Waste. The school has also participated in other activities organised by government agencies such as NParks’ forest restoration work at the Rifle Range Nature Park. In 2020, NYGH was one of the first five schools to have brought in a Reverse Vending Machine under the Recycle N Save initiative to encourage the uptake of recycling within the school.
NYGH’s care and ownership for the environment is demonstrated by its numerous teacher-student driven initiatives within the school and with the community such as its recycling, food composting, edible gardening and waste reduction efforts.
DBS Bank Ltd
DBS Bank Ltd drives its sustainability agenda at the C-suite level, with a Group Sustainability Council that develops its sustainability framework and oversees evaluation of key performance indicators. Local Sustainability Councils in key markets execute initiatives that are in line with the Group’s overall sustainability agenda.
DBS has demonstrated leadership in the sustainable finance sector, as the first bank in the world to launch a Sustainable and Transition Finance Framework and Taxonomy to guide corporate customers in transitioning to more sustainable business operations, and the first Singaporean bank to offer transition financing. It has made a commitment to progressively phase out funding for sectors that are carbon-intensive (such as coal and palm oil) and is actively pursuing financing opportunities in the sustainable and renewable energy sectors.
As a financial institution, DBS has exercised its influence to mobilise capital and structure financing solutions, such as green and sustainability-linked loans, to support sustainable development and build a resilient economy. It is also contributing to national efforts as a member of the Monetary Authority of Singapore-convened Green Finance Industry Taskforce, and is involved in Climate Impact X, an initiative born out of its participation in the Emerging Stronger Taskforce’s Alliance for Action (AfA) on Sustainability.
DBS engages its employees and the community in the region extensively on the topic of food waste. The impact is further amplified through its network of social enterprises, which DBS supports through the DBS Foundation. In 2020, DBS worked with 19 ecosystem partners to drive 50,000kg of food impact, and activated 11,700 staff to reduce or recycle food waste, or redistribute up to 150,000 kg of food. It has supported national campaigns, such as the Say Yes to Waste Less campaign and sponsored the second season of MasterChef Singapore to raise awareness on food waste. The bank also partnered NParks and Tote Board in launching the Gardening with Edibles initiative to encourage home gardening and increase interest in local produce.
Internally, DBS has committed to energy conservation efforts, attaining the Green Mark certification for all its office premises and switching to renewable energy sources progressively. The bank is also an active proponent of sustainable procurement, having founded the National Sustainable Procurement Roundtable with three other organisations and publishing a Circular Procurement Playbook.
Edible Garden City
Edible Garden City is one of Singapore’s pioneers in urban farming, an advocate for local produce and greening of under-utilised spaces.
Edible Garden City contributes to the advancement of the agri-food industry by grooming young farmers, researching the cultivation of new plant species and growing mindshare with stakeholders. It has placed Singapore on the world map for urban farming, having represented Singapore in many regional and international conferences and developed a framework that is intended for scaling up.
To date, Edible Garden City has groomed 80 urban farmers, contributed to academic publications and successfully cultivated new plant variants that are supplied to local restaurants and consumers.
Edible Garden City has a strong track record in community engagement through its educational workshops and farm-to-table programmes, with a clear focus in centring its business on urban farming, educating and R&D for close loop farming. Through its network of corporate partners, it is also able to reach out to the wider community to encourage environment and sustainability in the workplace culture.
It has been an active proponent of the Grow Your Own Food movement since 2012 and has created 260 food gardens out of under-utilised spaces.
At the Dubai World Expo 2020, Edible Garden City has been selected to showcase its closed loop farm solution under the Expo Global Best Practice initiative, which highlights projects which have provided impactful and sustainable interventions that can be scaled up and replicated in other parts of the world.
PSA Corporation Limited
PSA Corporation Limited has contributed significantly to the Energy Reset pillar under the Green Plan, with efforts to reduce carbon emissions in their operations, improve energy management and contribute to the industry’s decarbonisation efforts.
PSA leverages its position as the world’s largest transhipment hub and employs data analytics to maximise vessel utilisation and improve connections between ports to reduce carbon emissions. It has committed to phasing out diesel-based equipment, turning to electricity and liquified nitrogen gas, a cleaner fuel, to power its port equipment and prime movers respectively. PSA is also working closely with like-minded industry partners to pioneer ways to explore the use of hydrogen as a low-carbon energy source. It has also invested in innovation, with the set-up of a PSA Living Lab to pilot and testbed solutions in resource deployment and efficient routing.
In 2020, PSA started working with partners to develop smart grid solutions for port applications. The project includes developing an AI-based smart grid management system and a Battery Energy Storage System to optimise energy use.
PSA is also committed to a sustainable concrete framework to reduce the embodied carbon footprint of our construction projects. Efficient materials like low-carbon and lightweight sustainable concrete with Ground Granulated Blastfurnace Slag, which has carbon emissions savings of up to 72%, were used for Tuas Port construction.
As a leading port operator driving supply chain orchestration, PSA is well-positioned within the value chain to develop innovative solutions that improve efficiency and resiliency, and also support supply chain decarbonisation. PSA is growing its Cargo Solutions services to enable cargo owners and shipping lines customers to make greener logistics choices and achieve a more resource-efficient flow of cargo through its intelligent logistics solutions.
PSA has a sustainability strategy driven at the C-suite level with a Sustainability Steering Committee chaired by its regional CEO. It has a strong culture in environment and sustainability awareness through its staff engagement activities and training opportunities. As a strong supporter of national environmental and sustainability campaigns, PSA has worked with NParks and the community to co-create Pasir Panjang Park.