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OCBC Bank launches global Sustainability Innovation Challenge to pilot waste management and reduction solutions at SATS

OCBC Bank launches global Sustainability Innovation Challenge to pilot waste management and reduction solutions at SATS

  • 06 Jun 2022

OCBC Bank has partnered its corporate customer SATS, a leading food solutions provider, to launch the inaugural OCBC Sustainability Innovation Challenge. Companies worldwide will pitch solutions to address three waste management and reduction challenges identified by SATS relating to the segregation of different types of waste, conversion of waste into byproducts of value, and the design of a business-to-consumer circular waste ecosystem.

The solutions will complement SATS’ holistic approach to waste management. Besides being the chief ground handler and inflight meals caterer at Changi Airport, SATS’ food solutions business also extends to commercial and institutional catering services, manufacturing and distribution of food products. Between January and September 2021, SATS managed over 250 tonnes of mixed waste each month, including those from inbound flights at the Changi Airport hub. Mixed waste is also generated from its institutional and other catering businesses.

The three winning solutions from the challenge, selected by SATS senior management, will have the opportunity to pilot prototypes at SATS in Singapore, with a view to scaling the solution across its global operations.  Each of the winning teams will receive an S$80,000 grant from OCBC Bank to facilitate these pilots, which might go towards the purchase and development of waste management software and technologies, machinery, and implementation costs.

OCBC Bank will consider providing further support, including additional financing, for the commercialisation of the most promising solutions beyond the initial testbed provided by this challenge. By doing so, the bank aims to accelerate the agri-food industry’s shift to more sustainable practices, including the adoption of circular economy practices to reduce or better manage waste.

While the inaugural challenge focuses on waste management in the food industry, subsequent editions of the OCBC Sustainability Innovation Challenge will address other sustainability-related issues experienced by other industries.

Advancing sustainability is central to the Bank’s refreshed Corporate Strategy to Excel for Sustainable Growth. The bank aims to capture green opportunities as clients and communities transition to a low-carbon world, and establish itself as a regional leader in sustainable finance and investing. Co-developing value propositions with clients like SATS in strategic areas outside of these areas enables the Bank to deepen relationships while driving positive change.

Innovation and Technology is also one of the key drivers identified in the Climate Strategy – the bank aims to lead and sponsor innovative sustainability-related solutions in the region, and the OCBC Sustainability Innovation Challenge is one of the programmes developed to achieve this goal.

Ms Sylvia Ng, Head of Strategic Planning, OCBC Bank, who leads the Innovation and Technology drive under the bank’s Climate Strategy, said, “Besides supporting the green movement through our sustainable finance efforts, responsible banking policies and by minimising our own operational carbon footprint, we are always looking for ways to do more. Innovation, in particular, is critical to addressing climate challenges. By collaborating with our corporate customers, we envision that this sustainability challenge will spotlight real issues experienced by different sectors, and through global crowdsourcing, we are optimistic about finding – and then nurturing – viable solutions.

For the inaugural innovation challenge, we are pleased to partner with SATS to find solutions relating to effective waste management and reduction for the agri-food industry. This is an issue of strategic importance as Singapore looks to adopt food waste segregation and treatment solutions under the Zero Waste Masterplan, so it is particularly meaningful that we are able to work with another homegrown business and long-time customer to tackle this challenge.”

Ms Tan Yen Ling, Head of Sustainability and Strategic Projects at SATS, said, “Sustainability sits at the heart of SATS’ business strategy and our purpose and mission are linked to the long-term interests of the customers and communities we serve. As Asia’s leading provider of food solutions and gateway services, we have a vital role in encouraging the adoption of more sustainable practices. We believe that collective action as an ecosystem is essential to create a more sustainable world as we endeavour towards our 2030 sustainability goals.”

The OCBC Sustainability Innovation Challenge is OCBC Bank’s latest programme for supporting sustainable innovations. Other programmes include the #OCBCCares for the Environment Fund, in which the Bank partners government bodies, advocates, citizen groups, customers and employees to address climate change. The Bank has also partnered with EcoLabs Centre of Innovation for Energy and Singapore-based sustainability venture capitalist firms Mistletoe and Blue Ashva on the Sustainability Innovation Programme to support SMEs and startups in bringing sustainability solutions to the market. 

Information on the OCBC Sustainability Innovation Challenge is available here.


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