Keppel, UOB and Banyan Tree Group win award for sustainable business practices

A cleaning community initiative in Phuket by the Banyan Tree Group. PHOTO: BANYAN TREE GROUP

SINGAPORE - Keppel Corp, United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Banyan Tree Group are among local companies recognised by a United Nations-linked entity for their sustainable business practices.

The eight winners of the Apex Corporate Sustainability Awards were announced in a ceremony at The Fullerton Hotel on Thursday (Dec 9).

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who was guest of honour at the event, said: "Individual firms may not feel like they can make much of an impact by themselves.

"But collectively, businesses have enormous reach to your customers, and the ability to drive sustainability efforts across your supply chains."

He noted that oil and gas giants such as Shell are already taking steps to reduce emissions and that other businesses also need to do their part.

The awards were organised by Global Compact Network Singapore, the local chapter of the UN Global Compact.

Conglomerate Keppel Corp, which was named Apex Winner in the sustainable business category, developed Singapore's first large-scale desalination plant.

Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant can treat seawater and rainwater from the Marina Reservoir and produce about 136 million litres of drinking water a day. PHOTO: KEPPEL CORP

The facility, which has about 20,000 sq m of open green rooftop space for community activities, can treat seawater and rainwater drawn from the Marina Reservoir and produce about 136 million litres of drinking water a day.

UOB was named Apex Winner for sustainable solutions for its programme promoting the adoption of solar power. The programme, U-Solar, Asia's first integrated financing platform for solar power, is available in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

UOB works with 15 partners to incentivise the adoption of solar power by businesses and home owners through flexible financing.

UOB has worked with OEL Group, a leading rice distributor based in Malaysia, to set up solar facilities at their warehouses in the country. PHOTO: OEL GROUP

Banyan Tree Group, a winner in the sustainable business category, has buildings that employ efficient energy and waste management systems.

The multinational hospitality company also has associates that preserve the heritage of its destinations by supporting local flavours and championing artisan crafts, for example.

The other winners were Royal DSM and DTC World Corp in the sustainable business category, and Azbil Corp, Guava Amenities and TES-AMM (Singapore) in the sustainable solutions segment.

"Going green is not just something that's good to have for businesses. Increasingly, it will become an integral part of your operations," Mr Wong said.

He added that investors and consumers are placing greater emphasis on environmental sustainability, so businesses that move to green practices will be in a better position to thrive. "The future will be a green future, and if you're not making the effort to get there, you will be lagging behind."

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