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SABIC holds the 2019 ‘Lights of Our Future’ competition in Singapore, encouraging youths to contemplate future sustainability

SABIC, a global leader in diversified chemicals, has successfully implemented the company’s global signature CSR programme ‘Lights of Our Future’ through a competition in Singapore. After comprehensive classroom sessions engaged more than 120 students, the top three winning teams finally emerged at the Final Presentation and Award Ceremony held today in the school hall at Canberra Primary School.

The ‘Lights of Our Future’ programme was first initiated in Singapore in 2014. It has been widely adopted throughout the Asia Pacific region in locations including, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and even SABIC’s home turf of Saudi Arabia. In 2019 the programme is set to reach more than 11,000 students in 21 locations worldwide, including freshman programmes in the Americas and Europe. In Singapore alone, SABIC has reached out to more than 1,400 students aged 10 to 11 since the programme started, with more than 140 SABIC employees in Singapore devoting 1,500 hours to the development and delivery of the programme since it started in 2014. Close to 3,000 students in APAC have benefitted from the programme to date.

For this year’s competition in Singapore, Primary 5 students from Woodgrove Primary School and Canberra Primary School attended the classroom sessions in mid-April, where SABIC employees, volunteering as trainers, imparted their vast knowledge on the concept of sustainable living, executing interactive lessons on the topics of energy, greenhouse gases, water and waste, with syllabus content that was developed in-house. Throughout the course, the volunteers engaged the students in discussions and brainstorming sessions that turned out to be sophisticated and nuanced, demonstrating the students’ strong understanding of pressing environmental issues that will be pertinent to their futures.

Following the sessions, 20 projects were submitted for the competition, which challenged teams to identify issues of sustainability around their campuses and homes, and devise feasible and practical solutions. Eight teams then advanced to the finals, after the projects were judged and shortlisted, based on their subject relevance, project feasibility and the quality of the presented materials.

Witnessed by close to 100 students and guests, the final presentation and award ceremony today at Canberra Primary School welcomed guest judges including Mr. Abdullah Al-Otaibi, regional leader, SEA & ANZ, SABIC, Mr. Eugene Ang, senior executive, outreach & engagement, communications & 3P Partnership, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Ms. Hailin Pek, Manager, Zero Waste SG and Ms. Jessica Cheam, founder & managing editor, Eco-Business. Mr. Terence Koh, executive director, Singapore Chemical Industry Council (SCIC) also graced the event. 

After intense deliberation, the judges finally managed to whittle down the eight submissions to three winning teams. 

  • The First prize went to the project team from Woodgrove Primary School, for recommending to organise a books-and-toys recycling drive to support a circular economy and drive towards a waste-free Singapore.
  • The Second prize went to the project team from Woodgrove Primary School, for suggesting to collaborate with North West CDC’s Reduce @ Northwest Program on an energy conservation campaign that encourages residents to use electricity wisely.
  • The Third prize went to the project team from Canberra Primary School, for proposing to generate electricity using kinetic energy using specially designed paving tiles in shopping malls and re-engineering the exercise equipment at community corners in the heartlands to gather kinetic energy.

Mr. Abdullah Al-Otaibi, regional leader, SEA & ANZ, SABIC, bestowed high praise on the winning teams, as well as the runners up and all who participated, stating, “By encouraging these young and bright minds to focus their attention on issues surrounding sustainability, we are helping them to prepare for the future while being mindful about the present; the strong and innovative ideas presented today could very well be the solutions needed tomorrow. SABIC takes pride in fulfilling its responsibilities by promoting sustainable living and education in the communities that we operate in and our signature ‘Lights of Our Future’ programme is just one example of us living out our Chemistry that Matters™ ethos.” 

“Despite being young, participants were encouraged to think big and resolve difficult issues that will impact their future. To do that, they had to think critically and creatively. Also, the students extremely enjoyed and valued the interaction with the volunteers, as it inspired them on possible career opportunities that they can have. Skills learnt through such programmes and experiences like these help shape their learning journey in school and their confidence as young leaders of tomorrow,” commented Fatin Suhaila, teacher & overall in-charge of Green Committee, Woodgrove Primary School.

Similarly, Kasni Kasim, senior teacher (character and citizenship education), Canberra Primary School, added, “As a school that values sustainability as part of lifelong learning for the pupils, this programme has provided a platform for them to apply their learning and contribute towards awareness of environmental issues. Through their great teamwork in coming up with ideas to address such issues, they are actively inspiring others to think about the possibilities needed to tackle climate change. Thus, the experience gained is authentic. I believe the pupils have learned and enjoyed throughout the whole journey. Their voices in addressing issues on climate change will be valuable resources for the next generation to come.”

“This is a truly business-to-grassroots initiative, with employees from SABIC volunteering to journey with students learning about sustainability. It is so important for the youths of today to be engaged in these real world challenges from an early age. The brilliant ideas that the students came up with shows their deep interest, and nurtures their creativity in thinking about solutions that can be implemented locally. We hope that we will see more of these programmes across schools in Singapore in time to come,” said Jessica Cheam, founder & managing editor, Eco-Business.

About SABIC

SABIC is a global leader in diversified chemicals headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We manufacture on a global scale in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, making distinctly different kinds of products: chemicals, commodity and high performance plastics, agri-nutrients and metals.

We support our customers by identifying and developing opportunities in key end markets such as construction, medical devices, packaging, agri-nutrients, electrical and electronics, transportation and clean energy.

SABIC recorded a net profit of US$ 5.7 billion in 2018. Sales revenues for 2018 totaled US$ 45 billion while total assets stood at US$ 85 billion. Production in 2018 was 75.3 million metric tons.

SABIC has more than 33,000 employees worldwide and operates in around 50 countries. Fostering innovation and a spirit of ingenuity, we have 11,738 global patent filings, and have significant research resources with innovation hubs in five key geographies – USA, Europe, Middle East, South Asia and North Asia.

About SABIC in Asia 

Established in the 1980s, SABIC has over 40 offices and close to 3,000 employees across the region. With 10 manufacturing and compounding sites in China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Thailand, SABIC constantly strives to better serve our customers in the Asian region. A leading global organisation in research and technology, we have two Application Centers in Moka, Japan and Sungnam, Republic of Korea and three Technology Centers in Bengaluru, India, Shanghai, China, and Daejeon, Republic of Korea.

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