Great Eastern partners Zero Waste SG to build environment consciousness among secondary school students through its Sustainable Schools Programme 2022
Singapore, 27 April 2022 – Leading regional insurer Great Eastern and local non-governmental organisation Zero Waste SG today announced their partnership and kick-off of the 2022 edition of its Sustainable Schools Programme. Sponsored by Great Eastern, the programme is an 8-month holistic initiative to build environmental awareness and advocacy among secondary school students as Singapore moves towards a zero-waste future.
This year’s Sustainable Schools Programme is set to reach out to selected secondary schools through a variety of educational outreach activities in addition to a competition which will run throughout the year.
Zero Waste SG and Great Eastern will engage 15 teams from 12 schools across Singapore in the Sustainable Schools Programme. Participating schools include Anglo Chinese International, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School, Hougang Secondary School, Jurong Secondary School, Nanyang Girls' High School, Raffles Girls’ School, St Patrick's School, Serangoon Garden Secondary School, School of Science and Technology Singapore, Unity Secondary School, Yio Chu Kang Secondary School and Yuan Ching Secondary School.
As part of knowledge building, Zero Waste SG will also be giving assembly talks and running virtual workshops, co-curricular activities training sessions and teacher empowerment workshops on topics such as climate change, recycling, zero waste and sustainability in schools, to help raise greater awareness and knowledge around environmental issues. Aiming to reach over 11,000 students, the educational sessions will empower them to take proactive steps towards building a more sustainable future, starting with their school environments, in accordance with the Singapore Green Plan 2030.
To give students first-hand experience in solving sustainability issues, the programme culminates with the 15 teams taking part in the Sustainable Schools Competition to generate innovative solutions and build sustainable habits for the future. The Sustainable Schools Competition will see students designing and implementing sustainability projects in their respective schools through a guided process where they will be mentored by facilitators and experts throughout the competition.
The competition will run from May until late November, where all teams will present their sustainability projects to a judging panel. Three winning teams will be selected, with the top team receiving $2,000. Projects with successful implementation outcomes will be consolidated and shared in reports and future resource kits as case examples to highlight effective behavioural changes which can be transferred, scaled up and used in other schools or community spaces in the long-term.
As title sponsor, Great Eastern has contributed S$120,000 to support Sustainable Schools Programme 2022, which includes funding for the participating teams to conduct their sustainability projects* as well as the competition prizes. In addition to being on the judging panel, its staff and financial representative volunteers will also support the educational outreach activities as facilitators.
Colin Chan, Managing Director of Group Marketing, Great Eastern said, “As we celebrate World Earth Day this month, it is fitting that we kick off this initiative to empower youth with the knowledge and skills to work towards a zero-waste future. Building green literacy and nurturing sustainability champions among our youth will go a long way in creating real change, and we are delighted to partner with Zero Waste SG on Sustainable Schools Programme. This is one initiative anchored upon our key sustainability pillars which aim to achieve a low-carbon economy, improve people’s lives and drive responsible business practices. We look forward to more opportunities to engage, enable and empower the next generation to build a sustainable future for all.”
Angie Ng, Executive Director of Zero Waste SG said, “Environmental and sustainability issues are shaping our lives in this rapidly changing world, and personal responsibility for climate change is imperative. Our youth, to whom we will leave the Earth to, are valuable contributors to climate action. By providing students with the knowledge and opportunity to embark on student-led sustainability projects in their schools, we hope to empower them to act as agents of change who will drive a culture of sustainability in schools and communities.”
For more information on Great Eastern’s sustainability focus and initiatives across the region, please visit: https://www.greateasternlife.com/sg/en/about-us/sustainability.html.
*Note to editors:
Raffles Girls’ School won the 2021 competition, where its team prototyped clear trash bins to highlight actual amounts of the food wastage in their school. To address the occurrence of wasted food during recess due to students not finishing their meals in time, the team also added clocks to the canteen to prompt greater awareness of time management during their recess breaks.
About Great Eastern
Founded in 1908, Great Eastern is a well-established market leader and trusted brand in Singapore and Malaysia. With over S$100 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 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 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.