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Environmental enthusiasts with viable green initiatives can once more apply for the #OCBCCARES Fund for the Environment

Environmental enthusiasts with viable green initiatives can once more apply for the #OCBCCARES Fund for the Environment

  • 17 Sep 2018

Singapore, 17 SEPTEMBER 2018 - Individuals and interest groups that have viable solutions for enhancing Singapore’s environmental landscape but lack funds for implementation can apply for the #OCBCCares Fund for the Environment from 17 September 2018. This is the second year that the Fund is calling for proposals. Applications close on 30 November 2018 and successful applicants will be notified by February 2019.

The #OCBCCares Fund for the Environment, which commits S$100,000 annually to provide full financial support for ground-up initiatives that enhance environmental sustainability in Singapore, is the first such private sector-led initiative here.

To help applicants prepare robust proposals and structure projects, OCBC Bank staff volunteers will provide training in four key areas: financial planning; budgeting know-how; PowerPoint; and presentation skills. The workshop is scheduled for 23 October 2018, 4 to 7 pm. Prospective applicants can register for the workshop at


Call for more diverse environmental issues to be addressed

Unlike the Fund’s inaugural year in 2017 when 50% of the 28 applications received were about waste reduction or recycling, OCBC Bank hopes to receive more applications covering diverse environmental issues.

Ms Koh Ching Ching, OCBC Bank’s Head of Group Brand and Communications said: “While there is mounting interest on the subject of waste management and going plastics-free, environmental sustainability is more than this. There are many other measures we can take to prevent the depletion of Planet Earth’s carrying capacity and ensure that we live well now, and in the future. I look forward to receiving proposals that address varied issues – from clean waters and energy, tackling the greenhouse effect, to biodiversity efforts.”

“The fact that we could fund six projects last year for S$87,000, which is less than our Fund’s annual commitment of S$100,000, shows that initiatives to protect our environment need not be expensive missions! I hope more people will be inspired to consider the types of action they can take to build a sustainable eco-friendly community.”


The Fund has attracted positive response since its launch in 2017

When the #OCBCCares Fund for the Environment was launched in July 2017, response was very positive. Over 50 participants attended a workshop organised by OCBC volunteers in August 2017 to equip prospective applicants with the skills to help bring their proposals to fruition. 28 individuals and interest groups submitted applications. The applicants came from diverse backgrounds, with ages ranging 20 to 69. The funding amounts requested varied from $2,000 to $150,000. The Fund ultimately supported six initiatives amounting to S$87,000.

Since then, OCBC Bank has continued to receive feedback from the public and interest groups, indicating that there is a growing segment of Singapore’s population that feel strongly about green issues and are prepared to roll up their sleeves and contribute – but lack funds for implementation.

Ms Koh added, “The launch of our Environment Fund in 2017, in an area where private sector sponsorship remains relatively thin on the ground, was timely. We saw a subsequent groundswell of action and calls for more to be done for the environment – from pledges to tackle climate action; reduce carbon footprint; to individuals and corporates taking steps to use less plastics. We are glad that we helped spur action.”


Update on the six projects that the #OCBCCares Fund for the Environment supported in 2017

All six initiatives that received support in 2017 turned in positive outcomes, with long-term impact on Singapore’s environment:

  • 800 kg of plastic bottles were collected from three mass sporting events for recycling
  • 880 kg of fruit peels were collected from the same events and were sent to community gardens to be used as compost
  • 10,000 students from the National University of Singapore halls and residences switched to reusable containers for meals
  • 40 individuals received training and are now equipped to lead macaques that venture into residential areas back to their natural habitats
  • 300 trees and shrubs were planted and a butterfly garden installed on an 8-ha scout campsite to enhance biodiversity
  • 10 new species of butterflies were spotted at the campsite as a result of the biodiversity initiative. It has also attracted the rare changeable hawk and white-bellied sea eagles to set up nests at the campsite.
  • 63 outreach programmes for 9,800 individuals were organised to promote human-wildlife coexistence.

Ms Koh said, “The impact of these initiatives exceeded expectations.   We certainly did not envisage that our funding, averaging at S$14,500 per project, would result in outcomes of such a magnitude.”

These six initiatives have also done well in rallying community participation to tackle Singapore’s growing environmental concerns. Different segments of society - cyclists, runners, scout members, university students, interest groups and residents living close to forest reserves - have come together to offer support, including changing their lifestyle habits to go green.

*More details on outcomes of the 6 projects can be found in Annex 1


Eligibility to apply for funding and closing date

The Fund is open to individuals and interest groups with implementable environmental sustainability initiatives that will deliver benefits for Singapore and the community.

Applications for funding will be carefully assessed to ensure that the projects can achieve outcomes that include:

  • Adoption of environmentally responsible behaviour or habits among residents in Singapore
  • Successful efforts to conserve, recycle or minimise waste of environmental resources including water, energy, natural habitats and food
  • Biodiversity conservation initiatives, including habitat enhancement, habitat restoration and species recovery
  • Resolution of pressing local environmental sustainability issues
  • A stronger call, from ground-up, for the community to make lifestyle changes and adopt more environmentally-responsible habitsApplication forms can be downloaded at ( The closing date for submission of entries is 30 November 2018. This Fund is not available to individuals and groups with existing commercial interests; or for government-initiated projects.Evaluation by an independent committeeApplications will be evaluated by an independent committee comprising representatives from OCBC Bank, the National Environment Agency (NEA), the National Parks Board (NParks) and the PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency. Mr N Sivasothi, Senior Lecturer at the National University of Singapore’s Department of Biological Sciences and Director of Studies, Ridge View Residential College will chair the committee. All but one of the committee members were part of the 2017 evaluation committee and have kindly agreed to continue their stint in this year’s committee. OCBC Bank thanks Mr Tan Nguan Sen, Chief Sustainability Officer at PUB, Singapore's National Water Agency for his support over the past year.


All the committee members are experts in their respective fields and will advise project owners on project parameters, pitfalls to avoid, how to implement solutions to address gaps and how to avoid duplication of government efforts.


Details of workshop to help applicants prepare robust proposals

Date         : 23 October 2018, Tuesday

Time         : 4 – 7 pm

Venue       : OCBC Campus, Room 301

260 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088542


Prospective applicants can register interest at

Annex 1

#OCBCCares Fund for the Environment

Outcome of all six initiatives that received funding totalling S$87,000 in 2017


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Environmental enthusiasts with viable green initiatives can now apply for the #OCBCCares Fund for the Environment

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