March 17, 2023
EB Impact launches a third edition of ‘Sustainability Exchange’ with Meta, OCBC Bank, and SG EcoFund
EB Impact launches a third edition of ‘Sustainability Exchange’ with Meta, OCBC Bank, and SG EcoFund
Singapore, March 17th, 2023 – EB Impact, the non-profit sister organisation of Eco-Business, has officially launched its third edition of the Sustainability Exchange with strategic partners Meta, OCBC Bank, and SG Eco Fund. The Sustainability Exchange is a youth mentorship programme in Singapore aimed at accelerating the understanding of sustainability issues among youths and enabling them to apply it in real-world business and policy contexts.
The third season of the programme was launched with strategic partner Meta, in their third year supporting the initiative, along with OCBC Bank for a second year, and newly onboarded partner SG EcoFund. The programme also brings support from the Climate Action SG Alliance and academic knowledge partners from the National University of Singapore, NUS Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions, Singapore University of Social Sciences, and Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research and Education in Singapore.
Meta continues to support the programme for a third season, to continue building the network of youths and working professionals passionate about sustainability. The Sustainability Exchange continues to match youths with seasoned sustainability professionals according to their interests and expertise. This season, the mentorship programme is expanding from three months to six-months, allowing for more thoughtful projects to be derived and expanding the guidance and support for youths to work on solving sustainability challenges focused on Singapore’s transition to a greener economy.
“Meta is excited to play a part in helping to equip this new community of sustainability-conscious youths who can become the next-generation sustainability leaders in Singapore.” said Gavin Chua, Head of Infrastructure Engagement in APAC for Meta.
OCBC Bank returns for a second season as a strategic partner to commit funding for up to five projects selected from the Sustainability Exchange programme, through its #OCBCCares Environment Fund.
Launched in 2017, #OCBCCares Environment Fund provides funding to motivate the community to implement sustainable and scalable climate action solutions that will benefit Singapore. Eschewing efforts just to raise awareness, its objective is to drive actionable impact on the environment, specifically to tackle climate change. The Fund focuses on identifying gaps where sustainable and strategic support is needed; and funding projects that can directly mitigate climate change issues.
Ms Koh Ching Ching, Head of Group Brand and Communications, OCBC Bank, said: “From last years’ experience, we know that the youths involved expressed that the Sustainability Exchange programme enabled them to further hone their critical thinking, teamwork facilitation and problem-solving skills. We are glad to play a part to enable these future leaders who may very well be leading the charge for Singapore’s green journey in the near future. Most of all, we know that this allows them to play a deeper role and be more vested to achieve a positive environmental impact. It is key that the current generation understands that adopting a habit starts from young and we would like to encourage more of them to be advocates amongst their peers to be creative in their approach towards a sustainable future.
Beyond raising awareness, we want to drive actionable impact on the environment. We are happy to continue our support for the Sustainability Exchange which is in line with our goal to build an ecosystem of sustainable solutions and partnerships. This programme complements OCBC’s climate change initiatives which seek reforestation and restoration projects that manage the carbon emissions as well as expand carbon absorption and sequestration efforts. From the #OCBCCares Environment Fund to support ground-up green projects to our recently unveiled OCBC Mangrove Park on Pulau Ubin, we hope our efforts, alongside those of many other organisations and individuals, can help fight climate change.”
This season, the programme also draws support from new strategic partner SG Eco Fund – a $50 million fund set up in 2020 to support ground up projects that advance environmental sustainability and involve the community.
With the support of the SG Eco Fund, the third edition of the Sustainability Exchange will expand its programming by introducing two new pillars, in addition to the mentorship programme – capacity-building workshops and community and alumni engagement. In building an alumni network and deepening engagement with the sustainability community, the programme fits SG EcoFund’s objective of advancing environmental sustainability through community-led initiatives.
This edition convened a steering committee comprised of individuals representing academia, government and the private sector, who provide their technical expertise and guidance to come up with a pre-curated list of problem statements that focus on key industries and areas of focus in Singapore’s transition to the green economy. These include food production, tourism and hospitality, urban planning, education, technology and sustainable consumption and living.
Members of the steering committee also provided support in curriculum and content development for the newly introduced capacity-building workshops. These workshops are designed to supplement the youths’ journey in solutions ideation, and to enhance transferable skills, as they embark on their sustainability careers.
Joined by over 90 guests in person at Temasek Shophouse and virtually, to mark the official launch of season 3 of Sustainability Exchange, EB Impact hosted a hybrid forum on 17 March where representatives from government, academia, businesses and the youth community gathered to share their insights on climate action and the path towards a green economy in Singapore.
Temasek Shophouse, a social impact hub that seeks to encourage, enhance and elevate initiatives and activities that contribute towards the common good, joins this season as a venue sponsor.
"As a social impact hub, Temasek Shophouse aims to convene change-makers, foster collaborations, and catalyse solutions for positive impact towards the common good. The Sustainability Exchange is in line with our commitment to support initiatives that equip young people with the knowledge and tools to create a more sustainable future. We are excited to be a part of this effort that fosters a culture of sustainability leadership and innovation for youths, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on building a more sustainable world," Yvonne Tay, Head, Temasek Shophouse.
Relevance of Sustainability Exchange
As youths are entering the workforce and navigating an uncertain world, it becomes important we support and empower them to be agents of change. Younger generations are increasingly vocal with their concerns and are increasing their engagement and contributions to global and national policies and societal trends.
This programme will help youths develop critical thinking capabilities in sustainability and provides a thought leadership platform for youths and mentors to exchange ideas and accelerate sustainability innovation in Singapore.
Insights from the panel discussion
Dr. Abhiruchi Gadgil, Research Fellow at Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research and Education in Singapore, highlighted Sustainability Exchange as a "one of a kind approach" to bringing together a diverse team of youths and mentors with different perspectives. She emphasises that, diversity can go really wrong with many different personalities, but with projects like this with a common passion it works beautifully.
The panel discussion was also joined by Cassandra Yip-Lee, Founder and CEO of Earth School Singapore, who highlighted that :"A big part of amplifying youth voices is that we need to stop playing the blame game between ourselves and instead start empowering each other."
Launch of applications
Sustainability Exchange starts accepting applications today. Interested youths and mentors are encouraged to apply for Sustainability Exchange Season 3, from now until the application period closes on 4 April 2023.
It is highly recommended that interested applicants submit their applications as soon as possible, given the limited number of places available for the programme. Successful applicants will be notified of the subsequent steps via their registered email.
Note to editors:
All media coverage on the event should include a mention of Sustainability Exchange, an initiative by EB Impact, in partnership with Meta, OCBC Bank and SG EcoFund, supported by Climate Action SG Alliance. Learn more about the programme here.
Full list of speakers:
- Dian S. Anderson, Associate Director, EB Impact
- Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment & Ministry of Transport
- Dr Abhiruchi Gadgil, Research Fellow, Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research and Education in Singapore
- Cassandra Yip-Lee, Founder, Earth School
- Jeryl Yep, Founder, Product Innovation Lead, Semula Pte Ltd
- Yasser Amin, Chief Stridy Officer, Stridy
- Amy Ho, Director of Sustainability, National University of Singapore
Full list of steering committee members:
- Jessica Cheam, Founder, Eco-Business and EB Impact
- Gavin Chua, Head of Stakeholder Engagement APAC, Meta
- Audrey Tan, Science Communication and Outreach Lead, NUS Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions
- Dr Gadgil Abhiruchi Suresh, Postdoctoral Researcher Postdoctoral Researcher Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research & Education in Singapore
- Dr Tan Eng Joo, Senior Lecturer, School of Business at the Singapore University of Social Sciences
- Dianna Chang, Senior Lecturer, School of Business at the Singapore University of Social Sciences
- Amy Ho, Director of Sustainability, National University Singapore
List of problem statements:
Click here to find out what problem statements youths and their mentors are working on.
For media inquiries, interviews and photos, please contact:
2 Science Park Drive | 01-03, Ascent | Singapore 118222
About EB Impact
EB Impact is the non-profit arm of Eco-Business, focused on delivering training and programmes to Asia Pacific’s underserved communities with a focus on youth to generate a positive sustainable development impact. We are headquartered in Singapore and our three strategic areas of focus are Education, Youth, and Nature-based solutions. All our programmes are designed to directly generate a positive environment and social impact on society.
Founded in 2004, Meta’s (previously Facebook) mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Meta's apps and technologies to connect with friends and family, find communities and grow businesses.
OCBC Bank is the longest-established Singapore bank, formed in 1932 from the merger of three local banks, the oldest of which was founded in 1912. It is now the second-largest financial services group in Southeast Asia by assets and one of the world’s most highly-rated banks, with an Aa1 rating from Moody’s. Recognised for its financial strength and stability, OCBC Bank is consistently ranked among the World’s Top 50 Safest Banks by Global Finance and has been named Best Managed Bank in Singapore and the Asia Pacific by The AsianBanker.
OCBC Bank and its subsidiaries offer a broad array of commercial banking, specialist financial and wealth management services, ranging from consumer, corporate, investment, private and transaction banking to treasury, insurance, asset management and stockbroking services.
OCBC Bank’s key markets are Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Greater China. It has over 610 branches and representative offices in 18 countries and regions. These include more than 330 branches and offices in Indonesia under the subsidiary Bank OCBC NISP, and 100 branches and offices in Hong Kong, China and Macau under OCBC Wing Hang.
OCBC Bank’s private banking services are provided by its wholly-owned subsidiary Bank of Singapore, which operates on a unique open-architecture product platform to source the best-in-class products to meet its client’s goals.
OCBC Bank's insurance subsidiary, Great Eastern Holdings, is the oldest and most established life insurance group in Singapore and Malaysia. Its asset management subsidiary, Lion Global Investors, is one of the largest private-sector asset management companies in Southeast Asia.
About SG EcoFund
The $50 million SG Eco Fund was set up in 2020 to support projects that advance environmental sustainability and involve the community.
Since independence, Singapore has sought to balance economic growth with environmental sustainability and social inclusion. Climate change is a global challenge. Given Singapore’s constraints as a small and highly-urbanised city-state, we must leverage our strengths to enhance our climate resilience and transition to a Zero Waste Nation.
A sustainable and green Singapore can only be achieved with the people, private, and public sectors working in partnership to protect our environment and keep our public spaces clean, green and liveable. Through the SG Eco Fund, we hope to enable our community to build a sustainable Singapore for both present and future generations.
About Temasek Shophouse
As a social impact hub, Temasek Shophouse is a space that encourages, enhances, and elevates social and environmental initiatives that work towards the common good. Our work is geared towards the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which serves as a universal call to action for the greater good of humanity. We provide a collaborative community space for our residents, co-working partners, and community partners, and further engage any visitor to our space in various social-purpose programming. In so doing, we aim to encourage a spirit of active citizenry, raise awareness of pressing social and environmental issues and foster a collaborative approach towards designing solutions.
The Shophouse houses Temasek’s non-profit entities, as well as like-minded co-working partners. We are aligned with Temasek’s vision of an Active, Beautiful, and Clean world, and commitment to sustainable development. Together, we work closely with partners from the Public, Private, and People (3P) sectors to identify and address issues facing our society and beyond.
About Climate Action SG Alliance
Climate Action SG Alliance comprises a group of 17 NGOs and business leaders to advocate climate action and raise public awareness on climate issues.
About Sustainability Exchange
Sustainability Exchange is a youth mentorship programme by EB Impact which facilitates knowledge-sharing between corporates and the youth community. This initiative allows for youths to tap into the mentors’ vast industry experiences and to gain valuable insights into the sustainability space, while allowing for corporate mentors to work alongside the youth talents, generating innovative solutions that seek to address Singapore’s climate and sustainability issues.
SPEECH BY MR BAEY YAM KENG, SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY
FOR SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, AT THE LAUNCH OF
SUSTAINABILITY EXCHANGE SEASON 3 ON 17 MARCH 2023
Ladies and gentlemen
Good afternoon. Thank you for inviting me to launch the third season of the
Sustainability Exchange. I am glad to learn that this initiative has grown over the years and continues to groom our youth to be ready for the green transition and low-carbon future.
URGENT NEED FOR CLIMATE ACTION
Many of you would need no introduction to climate change and its devastating
effects. With extreme weather conditions getting more frequent and intense, the need for climate action is more urgent than ever.
Globally, climate action has been gaining momentum, but more can be done.
Based on a report released by the United Nations last year, the world is bending the curve on greenhouse gases emissions downwards. However, we remain on track for 2.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century. This is still a distance away from the 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius target under the Paris Agreement.
Despite contributing only 0.1 per cent of total global emissions, Singapore is
committed to doing our part for global climate action. In 2021, we launched the
Singapore Green Plan 2030, setting ourselves bold and ambitious targets in
sustainable development. Last year, we raised our climate ambition to achieve net zero by 2050 and was among few countries to submit our revised Nationally Determined Contributions ahead of the 27th Conference of Parties.
RIDING THE GREEN ECONOMY WAVE
With these goals and plans in place, we are now pressing ahead with actions.
For instance, the carbon tax will be progressively increased from next year onwards to encourage adoption of low-carbon solutions and improvements in energy efficiency. We are also implementing the disposable carrier bag charge from July this year to promote responsible consumption of resources.
The world is transitioning towards a low-carbon economy. It is estimated that
industries driving the global shift to net zero emissions could be worth up to $10.3 trillion by 2050. Singapore is riding the wave and harnessing sustainability as a new engine of growth. This includes positioning ourselves as a carbon services hub, a leading centre for green finance and regional centre for developing new solutions.
As we move towards the green economy, it is essential that our current and
future workforce are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge. Under the Enterprise Sustainability Programme, the Government is working with industry partners to help companies develop capabilities in sustainability. We are heartened to know that leaders in their respective fields have come onboard the programme to share their expertise and experience.
SUSTAINABILITY EXCHANGE SEASON 3
Beyond developing our workforce, we need to build a pipeline of green talent
that can ride on this momentum, accelerate the transition and sustain our development. We have seen efforts to impart relevant skills and knowledge through formal education in the Institutes of Higher Learning, but it is also imperative that youths are provided the opportunities to address sustainability challenges in the real-world context.
I am heartened to learn that EB Impact has been actively empowering our
youths and developing their skillsets through its various initiatives, including the Sustainability Exchange. Into its third season, this mentorship programme has been a platform for youths to learn from sustainability professionals. This year, it will focus on addressing challenges in food production, urban planning, tourism, technology, sustainable consumption and education, all of which are relevant to the Green Plan.
With support from my Ministry’s SG Eco Fund, Sustainability Exchange Season 3 will include new capacity building and networking components that will bring our aspiring youths’ solutions closer to fruition. These sessions will benefit both current and past participants of Sustainability Exchange. I urge youths and industry practitioners to sign up and be part of our larger community movement to advance environmental sustainability in Singapore.
Let me conclude. Singapore is committed to doing our part for climate action.
We have set ourselves ambitious goals and targets, and are taking concrete actions to achieve them. As we transition to a low-carbon future, new growth opportunities will arise. Our current and future workforce need to be equipped with the right skills and knowledge to leverage these opportunities and remain relevant in the green economy.
Our youths, who are our future, need to be given the opportunity to develop
their capabilities, whether through formal training or hands-on experiences. I thank EB Impact and your partners for your continued dedication in nurturing our youths, and congratulate you on the successful launch of Sustainability Exchange Season. Over the longer term, I hope our participants and mentors will apply your solutions in the community for greater impact.
The SG Eco Fund is a resource for participants to realise their projects developed through this programme.
Thank you, and I look forward to a meaningful afternoon with all of you.