Eco-Business and CDL officially launch Singapore’s first EcoBank

  • Launched in support of the 50 For 50 initiative, EcoBank aims to raise awareness on Sustainable consumption, and funds for disadvantaged women and children

Mr Grant Kelley, CEO of CDL (back row, fifth from right), presented a mock cheque of S$10,000 to Dr June Goh, First Vice President of SCWO (back row, centre), in the presence of Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and Ministry of Health (back row, fourth from left), Ms Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer of CDL (back row, third from left), Ms Jessica Cheam, Founder and Editor of Eco-Business (back row, fourth from right), and students from Woodgrove Secondary School, who contributed their pre-loved items.

Singapore, 16 January 2016 – Eco-developer City Developments Limited (CDL) and sustainability firm Eco-Business have launched a new national campaign – EcoBank – to raise awareness about sustainable consumption and raise funds for charity.

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and Ministry of Health, graced the official launch of EcoBank at City Square Mall today.

The ‘reduce and reuse for good’ initiative aims to increase public awareness of waste reduction and sustainable consumption in Singapore. This is achieved through encouraging the public to extend the lease of daily items they no longer need by donating them, or by buying from the EcoBank Bazaar to reduce waste and raise funds for a good cause.

The EcoBank collection drive kicked off on 26 December 2015 and collection bins were set up at City Square Mall and selected CDL buildings (Republic Plaza, City House, Fuji Xerox Towers, Manulife Centre, Central Mall Office Tower and Quayside Isle).

Mr Grant Kelley, CDL’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “EcoBank is our latest outreach initiative serving many objectives. We hope to not only encourage waste reduction but also support the needy through the donations collected. Response has been overwhelming. Over the past three weeks, over 6,000kg of pre-loved items were collected from seven CDL commercial and retail properties. Our employees contributed some 500 volunteer hours to sort and organise the collected items for this meaningful initiative.”

The pre-loved items, including clothes, toys and books, from the public, will be for sale at a two-day EcoBank Bazaar held at City Square Mall this weekend on 16 and 17 January 2016.

As a co-organiser of the EcoBank initiative, CDL also made a S$10,000 pledge to the SCWO Service Fund. CDL’s contribution and funds raised from the Bazaar will be matched by the Singapore government under the Community Chest’s dollar-for-dollar Care & Share movement.

The Bazaar aims to raise at least S$40,000 to support the activities of Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO), which supports disadvantaged women and children in Singapore.

EcoBank supports Singapore’s vision of becoming a zero waste nation by 2030 under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015. The blueprint, launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 2014, outlines a S$1.5 billion effort for Singapore to become a smart, eco-friendly city with a zero waste culture.

EcoBank’s guest-of-honour Dr Amy Khor said: “Singapore faces unique challenges in waste management, given our land scarcity and the increasing amount of waste generated each year. Last year, Singapore generated about 7.5 million tonnes of waste, which is 50 per cent more than what we generated 10 years ago. If we continue at this rate, Semakau Landfill will run out of space by 2035.”

“The joint EcoBank project by CDL and Eco-Business is the first-of-its-kind in Singapore, and is an example of a ground-up initiative that promotes the message of sustainable consumption. EcoBank aims to raise public awareness of recycling and seeks to change public behaviour in the long run. Such outreach and engagement efforts will no doubt bring us closer to realising Singapore’s vision of a Zero Waste Nation. I am heartened by such ground-up initiatives by corporate citizens,” she added.

Ms Jessica Cheam, Founder and Editor, Eco-Business, said: “Singapore is an affluent society. Many of us are privileged in that our physical and material needs are taken care of. But the challenge is that even though we’re a small country, our waste footprint is disproportionately high. This is mainly because consumers often buy and discard goods without a second thought. Our traditional “take, make, dispose” model needs to change to a circular one in which resources are circulated back to the economy and used for as long as possible. EcoBank enables this, and combines it with a social cause.”

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and Ministry of Health (second from right), toured the EcoBank Bazaar, accompanied by Mr Grant Kelley, CEO of CDL (first from right), Ms Jessica Cheam, Founder and Editor of Eco-Business (third from right), and Dr June Goh, First Vice President of SCWO (fourth from right).