OCBC launches $100,000 fund for green projects

The green movement in Singapore received a boost yesterday with the launch of a $100,000 programme aimed at getting communities to contribute more towards caring for their environment.

Called the #OCBCCares Fund for the Environment, OCBC Bank will fully fund ground-up projects that benefit both the environment and the community.

It is open to individuals and interest groups, and is also supported by the National Parks Board (NParks), water agency PUB and the National Environment Agency (NEA).

The range of projects that can receive funding is broad, and could vary from creating an anti-food waste app, to promoting the recycling of pens in schools, to setting up a rain garden for one's community.

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Said OCBC Bank group chief executive Samuel Tsien at yesterday's launch at the Botanic Gardens: "We want to fund projects that can be realised with meaningful and sustainable impact on our environment."

Ms Sueanne Mocktar, director of NEA's 3P network division, said she welcomed the fund as her organisation's funding framework did not allow projects to receive full sponsorship.

For instance, NEA's 3P Partnership Fund - which aims to encourage environmental initiatives between the people, public and private sectors - funds only up to half of project costs for first-time applicants.

BROAD REACH

We want to fund projects that can be realised with meaningful and sustainable impact on our environment.

MR SAMUEL TSIEN, OCBC Bank's group chief executive

NParks' national biodiversity centre group director, Dr Lena Chan, also said many schools, for instance, want to improve the greenery and biodiversity within their grounds, but NParks simply did not have enough money to help them all.

Mr Tsien said OCBC's involvement will go beyond providing funding. He said staff volunteers would help all applicants with management, presentation and financial planning of their projects to increase their chances of success.

PUB, NEA and NParks will mainly support applicants through advising them.

Applications close on Nov 30. Forms can be downloaded at https://www.ocbc.com/group/who-we-are/sustainability-environment.html

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2017, with the headline 'OCBC launches $100,000 fund for green projects'. Print Edition | Subscribe