The EcoFriend Awards recognise the efforts and achievements of people in Singapore who have made a difference to the environment.
This event was graced by the Minister for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Masagos Zulkifli.
Whether school teachers, students, volunteers, or individuals from both the public and private sectors, these individuals have dedicated personal time and effort to protect, promote, and improve our environment.
The goal of the EcoFriend Awards is to encourage individuals to continue and expand their efforts in caring for the environment.
All efforts made by an individual in protecting, promoting, and enhancing Singapore’s Clean and Green environment over the last two to five years will be considered in the selection of award recipients.
The EcoFriend Awards are open to all individuals who have lived in Singapore for at least the past six months.
Ten Individual Recognised For Outstanding Efforts In Environmental Sustainability
18 Jul 2019
Singapore, 18 July 2019 – Ten eco-champions were recognised today for their outstanding contribution to the environment at this year’s EcoFriend Awards, organised by the National Environment Agency (NEA). The awards were presented by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, during a ceremony held at Sheraton Towers Singapore.
2 Between 2007 and 2019, there have been 137 recipients of the EcoFriend Awards. This year saw a total of 343 nominees, an increase from the 338 nominees in 2018. The numbers are encouraging as more individuals are being recognised for doing their part for the environment. They are sterling examples of how each and every one of us can play a role in caring for our environment and spur collective action towards becoming a Zero Waste Nation.
EcoFriend Awards 2019 Winners
3 One award recipient this year is Ms Pek Hai Lin, Manager of Zero Waste Singapore. Bring Your Own (BYO) Singapore movement started in 2017 to encourage retailers to provide incentives to consumers who bring their own reusable bags, bottles or containers. In light of its positive response, Ms Pek subsequently developed the BYO Rating, a system to assess F&B retailers’ efforts in reducing plastic disposables, and introduced the BYO movement to schools and companies. BYO Singapore has reached out to about 5,000 people, and reduced the use of more than 2.6 million pieces of disposable items to date. Since March 2019, Ms Pek has also been leading the Zero Waste Singapore team in the second phase of the ‘Food Waste, Don’t Waste!’ campaign, a pilot project conducted at Tampines Greenlace HDB estate to encourage residents to segregate and dispose of food waste in dedicated food waste bins. Ms Pek and her team conducted door-to-door outreach, learning tours and engagement activities.
4 Another award recipient is Ms Farah Sanwari, Executive Director of Sustainable Living Lab (SL2). With the goal of changing consumer mindset to consume less, Ms Farah co-initiated Repair Kopitiam, a community project aimed at promoting a repair culture, in 2014. The initiative offers repair services by repair coaches, who are volunteers trained by SL2 to repair basic items such as simple household appliances, furniture, toys and clothing. The repair coaches involve their “patrons” in the process as much as possible, passing on the joy and satisfaction experienced from restoring the items to them. To date, more than 300 volunteers have been trained to run the programme and conducted more than 130 workshops, with more than 60 items repaired at each workshop. In devising ways to tackle waste, Ms Farah also co-founded FiTree, a Muslim environmental group that aims to inspire Muslims to be true khalifah fil ardh, or Stewards of the Earth. She spearheaded the Green Iftar, a campaign promoting the adoption of eco-friendly iftar, or breaking of fast, practices by mosque congregations during the Ramadan month, such as using recyclable or reusable crockery and utensils.
5 Another notable award recipient this year is Ms Amy Ho, Director of the Office of Environmental Sustainability at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Ms Ho hopes to pass on her green lifestyle to her students through sustainABLE NUS (I am ABLE!), a holistic campaign that aims to raise awareness, prompt action, and empower the student body to achieve a sustainable campus. By working with more than 40 partners, Ms Ho and her team introduced various seminars and workshops for the student body, such as the Aviva Digital Garage Operation Lifehack 2.0 – The Sustainability Edition. Organised in 2018, the hackathon brought students together in solving a problem statement in relation to Good Health and Well-being, Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Climate Action of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. She has also been instrumental in the development of the NUS Sustainability Strategic Plan 2017-2020, which steers all campus-wide sustainability efforts. Ms Ho actively engages the various steering committees, external agencies, internal partners, staff and students to fill the gaps in identified areas and set sustainable targets to be achieved by 2020, such as improving energy and water efficiency indices by 20 per cent and increasing the green space areas in buildings on campus to 45,000 m2 (refer to Annex A for the full list of this year’s award recipients and their achievements).
6 Mr Tan Meng Dui, Chief Executive Officer of NEA said, “It is encouraging to see more championing the cause of environmental sustainability and promoting it within their own spheres of influence. I hope that the stories of these role models will inspire more ground-up initiatives that lead to a zero-waste lifestyle.”
7 The Awards ceremony also included a showcase by eight exhibitors including NEA and various non-governmental organisations and youth groups. The exhibition showcased sustainability and environment-related initiatives that encourage visitors to participate in engagement programmes that are available to the public. For example, Zero Waste Singapore promoted their Bring Your Own Bag campaign, where they worked with supermarkets to remind members of the public to bring their own bags, to discourage the usage of plastic disposables. To encourage consumers to declutter and refresh their closets without spending and wasting resources, Swapaholic featured their clothes swapping parties and a mini quiz to raise awareness of the concept of textile waste (refer to Annex B for the full list of exhibition highlights).
8 The EcoFriend Awards 2019 is organised in conjunction with Climate Action Week, which will run from 17 to 23 July 2019. More than 340,000 individuals, organisations and educational institutions have pledged to reduce their carbon footprint for a sustainable Singapore. Show your care for our environment by taking the climate action pledge at www.climateaction.sg/pledge.