At DBS, we are on a journey to become a leading bank that creates sustainable solutions to serve the rapidly growing economies of Asia. As a bank with extensive operations across Asia, it is important for us to manage our environmental footprint. This is especially critical because the Asian markets that we operate in are experiencing tremendous growth. As DBS continues to grow our franchise, we are committed to conducting our business sustainably by incorporating environmental and social considerations.
We minimise our environmental footprint by reducing our consumption and improving our overall efficiency. We achieve this by actively tracking key environmental metrics relating to our infrastructure and employee behaviour. These metrics form the basis of strategies and initiatives that drive the improvement in sustainability across our operations. We continuously improve the completeness of these metrics.
Driving sustainable behaviours
We actively encourage employees in our key markets to adopt sustainable lifestyle habits through campaigns that raise awareness on how individuals can be the change. DBS Singapore takes reference from the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources for annual focus topics, including incorporating circular economy thinking and practices in our operations. One such campaign was the DBS Eco-Cup campaign, a six-week behavioural change programme conducted in collaboration with a government agency, that resulted in employees practicing better recycling habits with reduced contamination of recyclables.
The sustainability campaign comprises a two-part pre-launch, Eco-Cup competition, ‘Trash it right’ game and launch of a reverse vending machine and food digester. All of which were designed and tailored for our staff to motivate and engage behavioural changes towards sustainability, particularly on energy-saving and recycling.
Pre-launch (Part 1): Star Wars Day
Tapping into an existing annual event, Star Wars Day, we engaged staff at one of our key offices, DBS Asia Hub (DAH), in Singapore to learn about energy saving and environmental sustainability through quizzes and whack-a-mole game. A team of staff dressed as Star Wars characters also paraded the office to convey educational messages on energy efficient behaviours. Senior management also leveraged Star Wars Day to launch the solar panels that have been installed on the roof of DAH.
Part 2: Rallying Eco-heroes
We enlisted 185 Eco-Heroes from various departments on a voluntary basis to be a part of the campaign to create awareness as ambassadors and engage their colleagues. To equip Eco-Heroes with the relevant skills and knowledge, we organised a briefing before the campaign started. Eco-Heroes who attended the briefing were taught tips on how to engage their colleagues, as well as tips on energy-saving and recycling by the respective local authorities.
The main campaign was the Eco-Cup Competition which took place across the entire organisation (in all four office buildings) for a total of six weeks. Driven from the ground by the Eco-Heroes of each department, staff across the different floors in each building pitted against the different floors on two focus areas – energy savings and recycling rate. Adopting a point system, each level earned points from the energy saved from the campaign and the weight of waste recycled right. Progress updates on the competition on a weekly basis with vouchers to be won; and at the end of duration, the Top 3 floors based on the highest scores were rewarded to a hearty buffet breakfast for all on the winning floors.
“Trash it right” Game
The objective of “Trash it right” was to educate staff on what are the correct items to be thrown into the recycling bins. Before the campaign was launched, we observed that only 0.5% of the items in the existing recycling bins were recyclable. Held during the first week of the campaign, approximately 500 staff were educated through a classification game about recycling.
Launch of Reverse Vending Machine and Food Digester
In line with DBS’ efforts in ensuring that our practices are environmentally sustainable, we brought in the Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) to DAH during the campaign period to complement the campaign focus on recycling. A food digester was also introduced at the same event to raise awareness of food waste. At the launch event, staff were rewarded with an ice-cream cone if they brought their own empty aluminum cans or plastic bottles to be recycled by the RVM. The first 100 staff who indicated their interest also received free fertiliser produced by the food digester.
To date, we have observed sustained improvements in employees practicing better recycling habits with reduced contamination of recyclables, even after the campaign concluded, which has demonstrated a clear behavioural shift towards environmental sustainability, meeting the main objective of the campaign.
Over a 6-week Campaign, it resulted in an average reduction in electricity use of 1,115 kWh per week and a total of 72,000 kWh of energy. This is equivalent to a total reduction of 5,000 kg of CO2 emissions over the course of the Campaign.
Improved recycling rate
Recyclable waste increased from 0.5% to 70% as a result of recycling right education, with a total of 1,887KG of trash being recycled as part of the competition.
Employees were engaged thoroughly through social media, fringe activities (quizzes, ice cream giveaway, etc.), activations (Star Wars parade, solar panel launch, etc), workshop and games (in a form of competition). In numbers, we achieved the following: