Insight & Analysis

Press release: DBS introduces Sustainability Sparks pilot programme to help nurture the next generation of sustainability champions through learn and play

Published: Jul 2023

30th June 2023 – DBS today announced the DBS Sustainability Sparks initiative, in conjunction with Go Green SG. The pilot programme aims to raise awareness of sustainability issues among eight to 11-year-olds and inspire them to develop more sustainable habits in their daily lives through experiential learning and game play. For a start, the President’s Award for the Environment winner and Eco Stewardship Programme pilot school, Mee Toh School, will incorporate the game into its sustainability curriculum. A free online toolkit with instructions and materials is also available for download at www.dbs.com/sustainability/sparks.

The game invites players to investigate environmentally unfriendly practices hidden in common everyday situations. To win, teams must collaborate and compete to correctly identify the most unsustainable habits. By uncovering clues, students also learn to connect the dots between individual choices and how these can have an effect across the value chain. For example, they learn that seemingly small actions like discarding edible ‘ugly foods’ or not finishing the food on their plates, can add up to significant environmental impact – namely if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world1.

Armed with these facts, students are encouraged to pledge to adopt more sustainable habits in their daily lives.

To date, the game has engaged over 400 students. DBS is currently exploring the roll out of the game to more schools over the coming months. Interested schools can choose to play the game independently using the toolkit or consider partnering the DBS People of Purpose employee volunteers to support the programme.

Piyush Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, DBS, said: “Learning how to use our finite environmental resources more wisely is as important a skill as financial or digital literacy. As a member of the community and a purpose-driven bank, helping to nurture the next generation of sustainability champions is both a responsibility and privilege. We hope that more schools can join us on this journey.”

Helge Muenkel, Chief Sustainability Officer, DBS, said: “We can help children to develop environmental stewardship by introducing sustainability concepts at an early age. And learning through gameplay is both fun and relatable. We have had encouraging results from our previous engagements and look forward to expanding this pilot to more schools.”

Mrs Wang-Tan Sun Sun, Principal, Mee Toh School, said: “DBS’ initiative complements our environmental curriculum with educational game play. It piques children’s interest in learning and heightens their awareness to daily habits which impact the environment. Our efforts help to seed the culture of sustainability in their minds and empower them to be eco-stewards.”

Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, said: “Environmental stewardship is a shared responsibility, requiring action from all sectors and levels of society. DBS’ support for our Go Green SG movement through the DBS Sustainability Sparks initiative to promote awareness and knowledge among school children, is an encouraging example of how the private sector can be an active partner as we collectively create a more sustainable future for Singapore.”

DBS is committed to building a sustainable and climate-resilient future, with a strong focus on sparking collective action. With this in mind, the bank has developed various tools and initiatives that encourage individuals to take steps to create a more sustainable future. In 2021, DBS launched LiveBetter, a one-stop digital platform where users can track and offset their carbon footprint. To spur a change in mindsets and behaviours to reduce food waste, the bank introduced Towards Zero Food Waste in 2020. As at the end of last year, the initiative has generated over 2,000 tonnes of total food impact.

For more information about the DBS Sustainability Sparks game, visit www.dbs.com/sustainability/sparks or contact dbssustainabilitysparks@dbs.com

Footnote
  1. United Nations Environment Programme Food Waste Index Report 2021

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