More students to get a chance to plan the greening of their own schools

Students from Juying Secondary School planting a tree as part of Biodiversity Week in 2016.
Students from Juying Secondary School planting a tree as part of Biodiversity Week in 2016. PHOTO: JUYING SECONDARY SCHOOL

SINGAPORE - Another 10 schools have joined a programme that gives secondary school students the chance to propose action plans to green their schools.

The Greenovate programme - a collaboration between the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC), Republic Polytechnic (RP) and Johnson Controls - was launched last June with an initial group of nine secondary schools.

Following energy audits by RP students and Johnson Controls, an energy service company, secondary school students in the programme draw up plans to improve the environmental sustainability of their school buildings.

Last year (2016), students from the first nine secondary schools achieved positive results with Commonwealth Secondary School and Woodgrove Secondary School attaining BCA's Green Mark Gold and GoldPlus certifications respectively.

The other schools will be undergoing assessment for the certification, which is a benchmarking scheme that aims to promote sustainability in the built environment.

Speaking on Friday (June 23) at the opening ceremony of the Build-it-Green (BiG) carnival , Mr Desmond Lee, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, announced that the collaboration has been extended for another year.

The three-day carnival, held at Bedok Town Square, is aimed at families with children and hopes to raise awareness of the importance of being environmentally sustainable and eco-friendly. The event is jointly organised by the BCA and SGBC, for the third year running.

Mr Lee, who is also Second Minister for Home Affairs and National Development, said that all Singaporeans, especially the young, play a significant role in ensuring the environmental sustainability of the built environment.

"Changing our behaviour and mindset is the main challenge, which is why it is important to start young," he said.

The event also saw the release of an illustrated storybook entitled The Adventures Of Greco And Beco: The School In The Glass City, to further spread the green message of conserving resources to school children.

It is the sequel to a 2015 book, The Adventures Of Greco And Beco: The Glass House.

The BCA has also commissioned theVoice, a local performing arts company, to produce and stage a musical based on the new book. Performances will be held at shopping spaces and libraries from July onwards, and at all primary schools by end 2019. There was a preview on Friday for carnival visitors.

Nine-year-old Tan Kai Yee, who was at the carnival with her grandmother Madam Goh Ai Hock, 73, a retiree, said she is looking forward to seeing the performance at her school.

The carnival is open to members of the public and will run until Sunday (June 25).