Setting a green standard for sustainable water and wastewater management
As someone working in the field of water treatment and environmental engineering, Env Tech Managing Director, Chris Pek is hyper-aware of climate issues and how we use our resources.
“In 2014, Singapore experienced a record dry spell. Then, we faced a crisis that required as much as 30 million gallons of NEWater a day to maintain the water levels in our reservoirs,” recalls Mr Pek, who specialises in water systems management and operations.
“Thankfully, the drought broke. But it got me thinking deeply about how we will manage our water in time to come,” he added. “We must manage it carefully – and be smart about recycling our waste water.”
Mr Pek has spent some 23 years in the environment and water industry. When he joined Env Tech in 2020, he and his business partners Ong Swee Huat and Nicholas Tuh built principles of sustainability into their business. The business, which is ISO accredited for Environmental Management Systems, has been recognised as having adhered to the strictest environmental standards.
Sustainable water and wastewater management is a project category in the OCBC SME Sustainable Finance Framework which is aligned to the core components of the Green Loan Principles. Under this Framework, the bank extended a green loan to Env Tech at the end of 2020 and remains committed to contributing and creating meaningful impact in this sector, as well as others.
The green loan has helped the company design and build equipment and systems for water, and the treatment of wastewater and biosolids for its clients.
Projects have involved the treatment of contaminated soil, in the cases of clients working to reinstate land for redevelopment. Additionally, it has transformed and upgraded wastewater treatment plants for its clients to achieve better system efficiencies through the adoption of new and updated technologies.
The green loan has helped Env Tech expand with speed.
“It is not always easy for a newly set up company to acquire funding for projects,” says Mr Pek.
“In the early stages, we had approached numerous banks but OCBC noticed straight away that we are in a critical, sustainability-related area. We entered talks about structuring a green loan, and the financing enabled us to move forward with projects that have environmental impact.”
When asked why green loans are important, Mr Pek says that “they help set standards in various industries” and encourage companies and their clients to adopt green practices.
As to his own industry, he adds: “The environmental and water industry is a huge influencer that can contribute to a sustainable environment for future generations. It is important that we act now, and take steps towards a greener tomorrow.”
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