Singapore, 6 December 2021 – Leading regional insurer Great Eastern today announced it is donating over S$448,000 to support two charities as part of its commitment towards sustainability for life. The two charities are the Garden City Fund1, in support of the National Parks Board’s (NParks) OneMillionTrees movement, and local NGO (non-governmental organisation) Zero Waste SG’s Sustainable Schools Programme.
Senior executives also planted 30 trees at Great Eastern Centre at a ceremony officiated by Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Ministry of National Development, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to celebrate Great Eastern’s 113th anniversary in Singapore and the 10th anniversary of its Financial Advisory arm – Great Eastern Financial Advisers (GEFA).
Through contributions from Great Eastern’s employees and financial representatives, the Group raised a total of S$328,744 that will fund 1,429 trees to be planted around Singapore. Besides the surrounds of Great Eastern Centre, the company will also, in the coming months, be planting trees at East Coast Park and along the Rail Corridor.
This supports NParks’ OneMillionTrees movement to bring nature back into the city, as part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030’s City in Nature pillar. Launched in April 2020, this nationwide effort to plant one million more trees across Singapore by 2030 will bring the total number of trees in Singapore to more than 8 million.
In addition, Great Eastern will be donating S$120,000 to Zero Waste SG to drive its Sustainable Schools Programme in 2022, a holistic initiative aimed at building advocacy and environmental awareness among secondary school students as Singapore moves towards a zero-waste future. Starting next January, Zero Waste SG and Great Eastern will engage multiple secondary schools in educational outreach activities as part of the Sustainable Schools Programme. Students will also be invited to join a Sustainable Schools Competition, which aims to generate innovative solutions and build sustainable habits for the long-term.
Mr Khor Hock Seng, Group Chief Executive Officer of Great Eastern, presented the cheques to Professor Leo Tan, Chairman of Garden City Fund, and Ms Christine Amour-Levar, Vice-Chair of Zero Waste SG, in the presence of Guest-of-Honour, Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of National Development, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ms Sim Ann also joined Mr Khor and other executives from Great Eastern: Patrick Peck, Managing Director of Regional Agency/Financial Advisers and Bancassurance; Jesslyn Tan, Chief Executive Officer, Great Eastern Financial Advisers, at Great Eastern Centre for the tree-planting ceremony.
Mr Khor Hock Seng, Group Chief Executive Officer, Great Eastern said, “As we mark an important milestone in our history as Singapore’s leading insurance provider for the last 113 years, we are committed to making a difference in Singapore and for our customers. Climate change is a global challenge for all generations, and we are pleased to play our part in helping Singapore to build a sustainable future through our corporate effort”.
“Planting trees for a greener Singapore and raising environmental awareness among youths are just a start. These are just some of our initiatives anchored upon our three ESG sustainability pillars. With our donations to the Garden City Fund and Zero Waste SG, we hope to continue making a difference in the communities that we serve, together with these charities, and to encourage our customers, our staff & financial representatives to do their part to create a sustainable future for us all”, said Mr Khor.
Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of National Development & Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “It is very encouraging to see the SG Green Plan gaining support from the private and people sectors. I am confident that Great Eastern’s contributions to the Garden City Fund and Zero Waste SG will inspire many other companies to make sustainability an integral part of their corporate social responsibility programmes. By planting trees, reducing waste, and inculcating good environmental stewardship in the future generation, we can create a sustainable future for Singapore and work towards a City in Nature together.”
Prof Leo Tan, Chairman of the Garden City Fund said: “It is wonderful that Great Eastern is celebrating its 113th anniversary by involving its staff and financial representatives to contribute to our natural heritage. With their funding, we are able to plant over 1,400 native trees to support our local biodiversity. This will translate to lasting benefits for future generations, such as reducing surface temperatures in Singapore for greater climate resilience. We are very encouraged by this gesture and thankful for their support.”
Ms Christine Amour-Levar, Vice-Chair of Zero Waste SG said: “We are grateful to Great Eastern for their generous contribution, which will allow us to continue our outreach to youths. Education is an essential factor in the ever more urgent global fight against climate change and knowledge regarding this phenomenon helps young people change their behaviour and adapt to what is already a global emergency. Our aim is to continue to galvanise our young to take positive action and drive a zero waste strategy in the community.”
1Garden City Fund is a registered charity established by NParks, the statutory board under the Ministry of National Development
About Great Eastern
Founded in 1908, Great Eastern is a well-established market leader and trusted brand in Singapore and Malaysia. With over S$90 billion in assets and more than 10 million policyholders, including 7.5 million from government schemes, it provides insurance solutions to customers through three successful distribution channels – a tied agency force, bancassurance, and financial advisory firm Great Eastern Financial Advisers. The Group also operates in Indonesia and Brunei and has a presence in China as well as a representative office in Myanmar.
The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited and Great Eastern General Insurance Limited have been assigned the financial strength and counterparty credit ratings of "AA-" by Standard and Poor's since 2010, one of the highest among Asian life insurance companies. Great Eastern's asset management subsidiary, Lion Global Investors Limited, is one of the largest private sector asset management companies in Southeast Asia.
Great Eastern is a subsidiary of OCBC Bank, the longest established Singapore bank, formed in 1932. 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 by The Asian Banker.
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About the Garden City Fund
The Garden City Fund is a registered charity (T02CC1634C) and Institution of Public Character (IPC000104) established by the National Parks Board in 2002. The Fund works with corporations, organisations and individuals to better engage members of the public through conservation efforts, research, outreach and education. In doing so, we hope to cultivate a love for the environment, promote a sense of ownership, and encourage the community to play its part in preserving Singapore’s legacy as a lush and vibrant City in a Garden. For more information please visit https://www.gardencityfund.gov.sg/
About National Parks Board (NParks)
The National Parks Board (NParks) is responsible for enhancing and managing the urban ecosystems of our biophilic City in a Garden. We are the lead agency for greenery, biodiversity conservation, and wildlife and animal health, welfare and management. We are also actively engaging the community to enhance the quality of our living environment. NParks manages more than 350 parks, 3,347 hectares of nature reserves, the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Pulau Ubin and the Sisters' Islands Marine Park. Adding to this is the extensive roadside greenery, and the over 300 km Park Connector Network that links major parks, nature areas and residential estates island wide. Every year, we run over 3,500 educational and outreach programmes across our various green spaces. NParks has developed an urban biodiversity conservation model, which aims to conserve representative eco-systems in land-scarce Singapore. NParks also monitors and coordinates measures to enhance the presence of biodiversity in our urban landscape. NParks is working closely with partners in the landscape, horticulture, veterinary and animal sectors to increase productivity, and provide training for all levels of the workforce. Enhancing competencies of the industry will support Singapore’s vision of being a biophilic City in a Garden. For more information, visit www.nparks.gov.sg and www.facebook.com/nparksbuzz.
About ZeroWaste SG
Zero Waste SG is a charity, non-governmental organisation leading the drive towards zero waste through education and advocacy. The organisation focuses on food waste, plastic disposables, recycling and organisational waste.