From rescuing bees and reducing food waste to implementing major digitalisation efforts, companies and individuals can make an impact on society and the environment through myriad ways. On Aug 3, the inaugural Sustainability Impact Awards, jointly organised by The Business Times and UOB, honoured 10 individuals and enterprises for demonstrating outstanding leadership in sustainability.
Held at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, the awards recognise and celebrate people and businesses that have made a significant positive impact on the environment and societal well-being through their sustainability initiatives.
The three winners taking home top honours that evening were telco Singtel, social enterprise The Social Kitchen and food-sustainability advocate Preston Wong. Singtel was named Impact Enterprise of the Year in the large-enterprise category — recognition for its efforts to uplift the community through digitalisation, innovation, capacity-building and philanthropy programmes.
In the category for small and medium-sized enterprises, The Social Kitchen won for its work in supporting the community through meal donation, and empowering underprivileged and marginalised individuals through training and employment opportunities.
In the individual category, Preston Wong was named Impact Leader of the Year. As the CEO and co-founder of sustainability tech startup Treatsure, Wong advocates the reduction of food waste in Singapore and raises awareness of food sustainability issues.
At the event, guest of honour Grace Fu, minister for sustainability and the environment, noted that the awards celebrate those who are demonstrating, and are committed to, a new and responsible way of doing business. “This award is not yet another accolade, not a trophy to be left on the shelf… It has to represent a new way of doing business, an enlightened vision of the meaning of doing business, where leaders think beyond the next quarter of earnings reports, sustaining the business for decades to come, and leaving an impact, a legacy that lasts far into the future.”
Another six businesses and an individual were also honoured with Excellence awards. Three other large enterprises – CapitaLand Group, City Developments Limited, and Engie South East Asia, and three other SMEs – Kaer, Mindset and Speco – were presented with the Impact Enterprise Excellence Awards for their sustainability initiatives.
In the individual category, Clarence Chua, a beekeeper and founder of rooftop farm The Sundowner, was recognised for championing bees, an integral part of our ecosystem. His work includes organising educational experiences and rescuing bees.
Chen Huifen, editor of The Business Times, said, “As sustainability is not a new agenda, BT would like to recognise the various efforts that have had an impact on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters. We are seeking companies and individuals that have gone beyond treating ESG as a box-checking exercise. We would like to encourage everyone to continue their good work and positively impact the environment and society.”