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President’s Award for the Environment 2019 presented to Environmental Champions

26 September 2019 - The President’s Award for the Environment (PAE) was presented to Elias Park Primary School, Mee Toh School and Singtel by President Halimah Yacob on 26 September 2019. This is the 13th PAE since its inception in 2006. (Past participants are listed in Annex A)

2          PAE is Singapore’s highest environmental accolade for individuals, educational institutions and organisations that have made significant contributions towards environmental sustainability in Singapore. It recognises and honours sustained contributions by environmental champions from the People, Private and Public (3P) sectors.

Enhanced Nomination and Evaluation Process

3          The nomination forms for the PAE were enhanced this year to enable the judging panel to make a holistic evaluation. Nominees were requested to provide measurable outcomes, where possible, to quantify the results of their initiatives (e.g. percentage reduction of electricity consumed, reductions in carbon emissions). Nominees were also required to submit a list of stakeholder/partner referees who could provide further insights on the nominees’ efforts. In recognition of the importance of the various aspects of environmental sustainability, nominees were encouraged to provide specific examples of initiatives aligned to the five pillars of the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint — An Active and Gracious Community, Towards a Zero Waste Nation, ‘Eco Smart’ Endearing Towns, A Leading Green Economy and A ‘Car-Lite’ Singapore.

Environmental Champions contributing to a Sustainable Singapore

4          These three environmental champions are inspiring examples of how Singaporeans can contribute to a clean, green and sustainable Singapore, as well as to Singapore’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change.  More details on the three winners can be found in Annex B and at www.pae.gov.sg.

 5          President Halimah Yacob said: “I am heartened to see the efforts put in by Elias Park Primary School, Mee Toh School and Singtel to champion environmental and water resource sustainability, and congratulate them on being awarded the President’s Award for the Environment. We need everyone’s support to face growing environmental challenges, such as climate change. I hope more individuals and organisations will follow the inspiring examples set by the 40 recipients of the PAE and contribute to a sustainable and climate-resilient Singapore.”

6          Ms Fuziah Taha, a member of the PAE 2019 Judging Panel, member of the Climate Action SG Alliance, and recipient of the 2012 EcoFriend Award said: “Organisations with a strong culture of sustainability play an important role in inculcating and bringing out the environmental consciousness in each individual within the organisation and among their partners. Their programmes, innovations and values demonstrate that every bit counts towards conserving our environment for future generations to enjoy. I am happy to see that the PAE 2019 recipients have consistently galvanised the community to care for the environment, and are monitoring the impact of their efforts to do even better. The award will be a great motivation for them to continue championing environmental sustainability and nudge others to join in such efforts.” (PAE 2019 Judging Panel in Annex C)

7          Mdm Chua Pei Pei, Principal of Elias Park Primary School, said: “This award is an affirmation of the work of our school towards environmental conservation. We are heartened and humbled by the efforts put in by our staff, students and various partners, past and present, in helping to shape beliefs and build conviction in protecting the environment. We will continue to work towards building a sustainable community.”

8          Mrs Wang-Tan Sun Sun, Principal of Mee Toh School, said: “The award affirms the efforts of the school community, stakeholders and partners, put together over a decade. This award will encourage us to continue seeding the values, skills and knowledge for environmental sustainability in all our young who pass through our hands!”

9          Ms Chua Sock Koong, Singtel’s Group CEO, said: “Singtel is honoured to be recognised for our sustainability efforts which is made possible by the hard work and active participation of our employees. Tackling climate change has become the defining issue for society today and it is incumbent on businesses to lead the way. We see sustainability as vital to our long-term growth as it creates opportunities for new ways of working that will drive greater efficiency. We strive to leave the smallest environmental footprint possible and we are determined to work towards a better and more sustainable future together with our partners.”

- End -

 Annex A

Past Recipients of the PAE Awards

A total of 30 nominations were received in 2019 in the following categories:

  • 4 Individuals;
  • 12 Educational Institutions; and
  • 14 Organisations.

2          Since 2006, 40 outstanding environmental champions have received the PAE.

List of Past Recipients

S/N

Year

PAE Recipients

Industry

1

2006

 

  • Waterways Watch Society

  • Dr Geh Min

  • Prof Tommy Koh

NGO

-

-

2

2007

 

  • City Developments Limited

  • Prof Leo Tan

  • Mr Tan Gee Paw

Real estate developer

-

-

3

2008

 

  • SouthWest CDC

  • Alexandra Hospital

  • Senoko Energy

CDC

Healthcare

Power Generator

4

2009

 

  • Commonwealth Secondary School

  • STMicroelectronics Pte Ltd

  • National Youth Achievement Award Council of Singapore

Schools (Secondary)

Semiconductor

NGO

5

2010

  • Hitachi GST

  • Singapore Polytechnic

  • Nan Hua High School

Hard Disk Drive Supplier

School (IHL)

Schools (Secondary)

6

2011

  • Woodgrove Secondary School

  • SMRT Corporation Limited

  • Dr Tan Wee Kiat

Schools (Secondary)

Public transport operator

-

7

2012

  • Marsiling Secondary School

  • Panasonic Asia Pacific Pte Ltd

  • HSBC Limited

Schools (Secondary)

Consumer electronics

Bank

8

2013

  • Fuhua Primary School

  • Dunman High School

  • Siloso Beach Resort

School (Primary)

Schools (Secondary)

Hotel

9

2014

  • Mr Eugene Heng

  • Institute of Technical Education

  • Ngee Ann Polytechnic

-

School

School (IHL)

10

2015

  • Mrs Kirtida Mekani

  • Mr Kwek Leng Joo

  • East View Primary School

  • Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company

-

-

School (Primary)

Wafer Fabrication

11

2016

  • Bukit View Secondary School

  • Marsiling Primary School

  • Ricoh Asia Pacific Pte Ltd

School (Secondary)

School (Primary)

Marketing and Sales

12

2017

  • Dr Shawn Kaihekulani Yamauchi Lum

  • Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

  • Anchor Green Primary School

-

Healthcare

School (Primary)

13

2019

  • Elias Park Primary School

  • Mee Toh School

  • Singtel

School (Primary)

School (Primary)

Telecommunications

 

Annex B

 President’s Award for the Environment 2019 (Educational Institution) – Elias Park Primary School

Elias Park Primary School (EPPS) provides a green and sustainable environment for teaching and learning, with the school and its partners working together to promote environmental awareness.

Under the Building and Construction Authority – Ministry of Education (BCA-MOE) Back to School programme, EPPS became a BCA Green Mark (Gold) certified campus in 2017. The school also organises various outdoor learning opportunities for their students to explore green initiatives. For instance, EPPS hosts a Renewable Energy Hub where students can learn about alternative energy sources and the environment, and a bio-retention tree that tests the natural filtration of water. It also has a vertical green wall and an eco-garden which attracts butterflies – these amenities facilitate the teaching and learning of Science and English beyond the classroom. In addition, the school advocates a car-lite lifestyle where over 70 per cent of their students walk, cycle, or ride on public transport to and from school.

EPPS advocates zero food waste by establishing its own food waste management programme. Its Primary 3 students use fruit peels to make compost and also work with canteen vendors to recycle excess food using bio-digesters. The food waste is then converted into fertilisers for plants in the school. At the North East Clean and Green Singapore Carnival in 2016, some of these fertilisers were shared with the public.

EPPS has been consistent and proactive in supporting community and sustainability initiatives. Its students have been regularly participating in the Clean Singapore Learning Trail since 2009. It has also been conducting water rationing exercises with PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency since its inception in schools 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 exemplifies the values of the President’s Award for the Environment 2019.

President’s Award for the Environment 2019 (Educational Institution) – Mee Toh School

 Mee Toh School adopts a whole-of-school approach towards environmental sustainability. Through their Applied Learning Programme in Environment Education, every student is equipped with the values, knowledge and skills to care for the environment. The school creates opportunities for students to make meaningful connections between what they have learnt about environmental issues and their daily experiences. Mee Toh School also partners key stakeholders, including parents and the community, and work with agencies such as the National Environment Agency (NEA), National Parks Board and PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, in educating students about the environment.

Mee Toh School earned the BCA Green Mark (GoldPluscertification in 2018. The school aims to be eco-smart by tracking 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 and progress of their environmental sustainability efforts. The school reduced its total electricity consumption in 2018 by more than 7 per cent, compared to 2017. All staff use their own plates and cutlery for meals at school events. Its Parent Support Group, PATH, actively supports the school’s weekly recycling efforts, and the school collected 9,150 kg of recyclables in 2018.

Students also contribute to the community’s green efforts. For instance, its Primary 5 students collaborated with NEA and Punggol 21 Community Club to use Micro:bits to count the e-waste items collected within the Punggol community, 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 distributed to a home for the elderly. 

Mee Toh School was awarded the President’s Award for the Environment, for their dedication to environmental education and advocacy.

President’s Award for the Environment 2019 (Organisation) – Singtel

Singtel demonstrates a strong commitment to sustainability. Singtel’s senior management has been proactively leading its green initiatives, with the support of the Group Sustainability Unit which was established in 2010 to drive environmental and sustainable practices.

Committed to leaving minimum environmental footprint, Singtel has been disclosing its environmental performance through the annual Sustainability Report since 2010.  In 2016, it conducted a Life Cycle Assessment, and a climate adaptation and resilience study. This helped the company to understand its environmental impact and set carbon reduction targets. Singtel was the first company in Asia (beyond Japan) to commit to and have absolute carbon reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative in 2017. Recently, it was one of the 28 global companies to commit to a new ambitious target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Its energy reduction efforts include upgrading equipment and mobile networks for energy efficiency and exploring renewable energy options. Since 2015, Singtel has achieved a reduction in carbon emissions intensity by more than 60 per cent.  

Singtel believes in engaging its staff in sustainability efforts. Staff are engaged to practise the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) through its annual Project Little Eco StepS (Project LESS) campaign, which was started in 2011. This year, the company launched ‘The Last Straw’ campaign to eliminate the use of disposable plastics in its staff cafeterias. An e-learning module on sustainability was provided for all Singtel staff.

The company has partnered other organisations in environmental initiatives. For example, Singtel worked with SingPost for ReCYCLE, a nationwide e-waste recycling programme. The programme has recovered over 24,000 kg of e-waste since 2017. It has also teamed up with the National Parks Board on the annual Plant-A-Tree Day, which has seen Singtel volunteers plant as many as 1,200 trees over the last decade.

Singtel, with its dedication to environmental sustainability to contribute to a green economy, is deserving of the President’s Award for the Environment 2019. 

Annex C

PAE 2019 Judging Panel

Role

Name

Designation

Chairperson

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah

GPC Chairperson (EWR)

Members

Mr Eugene Leong

2 Deputy Secretary

Ministry of the Environment &

Water Resources

Mr Tan Meng Dui

Chief Executive Officer

National Environment Agency

Mr Ng Joo Hee

Chief Executive

PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency

Mr James Soh

Executive Director

National Youth Achievement Award Council

Ms Isabella Loh

Chairman

Singapore Environment Council

Dr Ho Nyok Yong

 

President

Singapore Green Building Council

Mr Jagadish CV

CEO

Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company

Mr Puvan Ariaratnam

 

Director (Character & Citizenship Education), Student Development Curriculum Division,

Ministry of Education

Ms Fuziah Bte Muhamad Taha

Member of Climate Action SG Alliance

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