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OCBC and Singapore Green Building Council launch inaugural Challenge to accelerate the development and use of sustainability solutions

OCBC and Singapore Green Building Council launch inaugural Challenge to accelerate the development and use of sustainability solutions

  • 06 Dec 2023

Winners of the SGBC-OCBC Built Environment Decarbonisation Challenge will receive funding of up to $80,000 each to test their solutions at selected OCBC buildings.

Singapore, 6 December 2023 – The Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) and OCBC today announced the launch of the inaugural SGBC-OCBC Built Environment Decarbonisation Challenge, against the backdrop of the United Nations COP28 climate conference today focusing on multilevel action, urbanisation and the built environment.

The Challenge aims to expedite the adoption of sustainability solutions by identifying and supporting innovative technology solutions to decarbonise the built environment. Buildings account for 20 per cent of emissions in Singapore and are a central focus of Singapore’s Green Plan 2030 to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

From 6 December 2023 to 16 February 2024, companies are invited to submit proposals showcasing solutions that prioritise carbon abatement and energy efficiency in buildings while considering cost-effectiveness and practicality in terms of deployment and maintenance.

The winners of the Challenge will work with SGBC to have their solutions piloted at selected OCBC managed buildings. There is a possibility of scaling up the solutions in all OCBC buildings or in other test bedding opportunities catalysed by SGBC. Winners will also receive funding of up to $80,000 each.

(From left to right) Mr Allen Ang, 1st Vice President, SGBC; Ms Yvonne Soh, Executive Director, SGBC; Ms Emily Teo, Head of Group Property Management, OCBC; Mr Mike Ng, Group Chief Sustainability Officer, OCBC.

The Challenge is part of a broader collaboration between OCBC and SGBC, where a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in November 2023 to jointly drive decarbonisation efforts in the built environment sector.

The MOU encompasses the following areas: the SGBC-OCBC Built Environment Decarbonisation Challenge, the sharing and transfer of knowledge on decarbonisation between SGBC and OCBC staff, bank clients and tenants, and the availing of green financing opportunities to SGBC’s network of member organisations.

Mr Lee Ang Seng, President of the SGBC, said: “It is heartening to witness OCBC’s efforts in expanding its decarbonisation efforts from operational emissions to now cover its real estate assets. We are excited to collaborate with OCBC on this endeavour to uncover sustainable and innovative solutions, which can not only contribute to OCBC’s decarbonisation roadmap, but also uncover solutions that will benefit the broader real estate sector and identify market-ready solutions for building owners seeking to retrofit their buildings.”

Mr Mike Ng, Group Chief Sustainability Officer of OCBC, said: “Sustainability has been embedded in OCBC’s DNA, and our partnership with the Singapore Green Building Council on this Challenge further exemplifies our unwavering commitment to build a greener future. The Singapore Green Building Council has the expertise and network while we can provide the infrastructure for test bedding of solutions. We look forward to working together with the winners.”

For more information on the SGBC-OCBC Built Environment Challenge, please visit the website.

OCBC’s decarbonisation efforts

OCBC has achieved carbon neutrality in its operational emissions from 2022, guided by the drive to accelerate its decarbonisation efforts. The Bank has also committed more than $25 million in decarbonisation efforts across key markets to deploy energy-efficient technologies and increase share of renewables in its energy mix.

This includes retrofitting the Bank’s managed buildings and data centre with more energy-efficient technologies, such as replacing conventional lightings with LEDs and changing to more energy-efficient air-conditioning systems. Close to 10 of the Bank’s buildings in the region will have solar energy systems installed by 2024 where the energy that will be generated each year – over 450 MWh – will help offset OCBC’s energy consumption, which can power more than 135 three-room HDB households.

Other initiatives in OCBC’s decarbonisation roadmap include converting its fleet of corporate cars to electric vehicles and deploying electric vehicle charging facilities at major commercial buildings it manages. As of December 2023, a total of 24 charging points has been installed at the Bank’s buildings in Singapore, Malaysia and Greater China.

The Bank’s regional data centre – which contributes 40 per cent of its carbon emissions in Singapore – has also implemented a rack-based cooling system in 2023, reducing the facility’s emissions by over 400 tonnes annually, equivalent to removing close to 400 cars from the roads. Rack-based cooling is an energy-efficient cooling method for data centres as it allows for targeted chilling with the cooling units installed in closer proximity to the servers.


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