Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore), Brickland Grassroots Organisations (GROs) and Singapore-based solar energy system developer Sunseap Group are collaborating to cocreate and empower new sustainability initiatives for residents of Brickland in Singapore.
Brickland GROs will partner the two parties to introduce food waste digesters to various coffee shops within the vicinity, set up a virtual power plant and solar photovoltaic panels at various residential blocks, all of which are part of the upcoming eco-circular belt at Keat Hong Woods.
The collaboration would allow Brickland residents, together with the GROs and community volunteers, to work together to make their neighbourhood a more sustainable place to live in.
As the knowledge partner in this collaboration, NTU through its Nanyang Business School (NBS), will seek to provide skills and training for individuals to spearhead and launch sustainability projects through workshops and training organised by NBS’s Centre of Business Sustainability. NTU students from the Corporate Social Responsibility Club will also be involved in sustainability community projects with residents in Brickland.
Sunseap will lend their support by tapping into industry best practices and a portfolio of clean energy solutions. Their experience and knowledge can be put to good use across all stages of Brickland’s sustainability journey. Brickland will also be receiving Sunseap’s sponsorship of ‘Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)’ to offset the day’s energy consumption, making this a carbon-neutral event.
At the event, a dialogue was also held with residents and executives from the three parties, moderated by an NTU MBA student Mr Goh Wei Hao. The dialogue titled, “Towards Sustainable Living: Role of the Community and Consumers”, aims to spark conversations on how various stakeholders can contribute to facilitating the transition into a more sustainable future.
Children from underprivileged families also participated in the Solar-Operated Toy Car Making Workshop to engage and impart young residents with sustainability-related knowledge and practices through hands-on activities.
Mr Don Wee, Grassroots Adviser to Chua Chu Kang GRC Grassroots Organisations (Brickland) said, “As we progressively introduce new initiatives targeted at transforming Brickland into an eco-town, we also aim to raise awareness among our residents regarding sustainability and climate change to enable them to feel more empowered towards this cause. This dialogue will kickstart, connect and engage residents with interests in sustainability to channel and champion sustainability initiatives ground up within the community.
Mr Lawrence Wu, President & Executive Director of Sunseap Group, said: “With our experience in the clean energy space, Sunseap looks forward to supporting Brickland’s timely sustainable living initiative. We will explore solutions such as data-linked Energy Intelligence to optimise resource allocation, installation of Electric Vehicle charging points around the neighbourhood, and utilizing Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) to offset carbon emissions. Sustainability is an achievable goal, and it can have a positive effect on everyone’s quality of life.”
Professor Boh Wai Fong, Deputy Dean of NTU’s Nanyang Business School, said: “Sustainability is a key issue that world leaders are addressing today, and everyone can play an active role within established frameworks and new initiatives. Through this partnership, which will see collaboration between a university, a corporate partner, and a grassroots organisation, we hope this brings greater awareness of sustainability, and instils its importance into the community.”
The collaboration is aligned with NTU’s Sustainability Manifesto, which aims to propel its wide-ranging sustainability efforts over the next 15 years, encompassing the actions of its employees and students, and spans all aspects of the university’s mission in education, research, innovation and service to society and humanity.
Sustainability efforts to benefit residents of Brickland
The upcoming eco circular belt at Keat Hong Woods will be the first of many sustainability initiatives in Brickland, said Brickland GROs. As the main neighbourhood park in the housing estate, Keat Hong Woods will lead the way in infusing sustainability initiatives into existing greenery.
Mr Wee added: “As we seek to cocreate the community together, residents are welcomed to put forward their ideas with the GROs and our community volunteers for an all-inclusive Brickland.”
Elaborating on NTU’s involvement with Brickland, Prof Boh said the NBS Centre of Business Sustainability (CBS) will be organising events to boost the sustainability impact of businesses. This will include workshops and seminars by faculty focusing on corporate sustainability and responsible business operations, with respect to environmental and societal impacts.
Prof Boh added: “Encouraging sustainability is a very important initiative, and we hope NTU’s faculty expertise in the area, along with our student outreach groups, would help Singapore move towards more sustainable living. We also hope this would encourage more students to step up to become our green ambassadors in future.”
NTU students from the Corporate Social Responsibility Club will also be involved in sustainability community projects with residents in Brickland to spread the word of the up-and-coming initiatives within the community, and how they could also participate.
 Renewable Energy Certificates are market-based instruments substantiating that electricity has been generated from renewable energy sources. They are purchased by companies to offset their carbon emissions.