In 2019, we organised two events for our Singapore employees:
On 16th August 2019, volunteers from CNCo and Swire Pacific Offshore, our sister company, spent the afternoon cleaning up one of Singapore's beaches. Over two hours, they removed a remarkable amount – 1,470 kg – of ocean plastic.
The activity was organised by our Sustainable Development team in partnership with Seven Clean Seas, a beach-cleaning community. Before the beach clean-up, Tom Peacock-Nazil, co-founder and CEO of Seven Clean Seas, shared how plastic can be useful yet harmful. Plastic is pervasive, corrosion-proof, easy to clean, light, and its properties can be tweaked to serve various purposes. However, plastic becomes harmful when it is broken down into microplastics, tiny fragments of less than 5mm, and methane (which is 20 times more harmful than carbon dioxide) is released in the process. We are increasingly and unintentionally eating, drinking and breathing microplastics.
"30 motivated individuals rose to the challenge of cleaning up a 1 km stretch of beach and it's sad to say that the event was a huge success. As usual in Southeast Asia, the beaches were covered in plastic debris and the volunteers collected a staggering quantity of plastic in just two hours; there was everything - from marine ropes, PET bottles, nets, straws to styrofoam. A great result!" said Tom.
Below: 1,470 kg of ocean plastic was amassed during the beach clean-up exercise.
25 CNCo and SPO employees worked hard to harvest fresh vegetables at Kampung Kampus, an organic farm located in Singapore. Kampung Kampus is a 2.6-hectare low-carbon community campus built by the community on the grounds of Ground-Up Initiative (GUI). GUI is a non-profit organisation in Singapore which aims to be a role model in urban sustainability and nurture grounded leaders in the country.
Besides CNCo and SPO volunteers, a group of students with special needs and their teachers from the Rainbow Centre was also involved in the harvest. Rainbow Centre is a social service agency in Singapore that supports people with disabilities to lead empowered and thriving lives in inclusive communities.
Volunteers were briefed on how to harvest various types of vegetables and soon busied themselves in the greenhouse. The total yield included more than 20 kg of watercress, Ceylon spinach, Chinese broccoli and ladyfingers among others. After the vegetables were collected, the volunteers were divided into two groups; one to pack the vegetables while the other headed back to the greenhouse to prepare the ground for growing subsequent crops. They were taught how to use a hoe to loosen the soil; thereafter, they planted the germinated seeds into the ground.
"This event was very meaningful. I was able to share special activity moments with youth from the Rainbow Centre and interacted with my new colleagues through our farming mission. It was great teamwork!" - Vincent Chee, Global Head NGPL, CNCo, a first-time volunteer.
Below: CNCo and SPO volunteers at Kampung Kampus with their harvest.