Ladies and gentlemen,
1. Good morning. Thank you TRIA and KFC Singapore for inviting me to the launch of your collaboration on a closed-loop recycling pilot programme.
2. We welcome these innovative green partnerships which contribute to Singapore’s efforts in addressing climate concerns. Last year, the Government launched the Singapore Green Plan 2030. This national green movement has set important goals and plans to secure a sustainable future for Singapore and Singaporeans.
Improving our waste management capabilities
3. With rising climate change, it has become more pressing and urgent to transform the way we live and do business. Growing consumption in Singapore has led to greater amounts of packaging and food waste. However, recycling rates remain low.
4. To safeguard our environment, we need to extend the lifetime of our resources and better manage our waste. One of the key strategies of the Government’s Zero Waste Masterplan is to promote a circular economy approach that keeps our resources in a closed loop through better design and more efficient operations.
5. The TRIA-KFC collaboration does just that. The technology being piloted today – will turn food packaging as well as food waste into farm-ready fertilisers that can then be used for crops overseas. This will not only reduce pollution by lowering the amount of waste being burnt or sent to landfills but also contribute to a greener environment and bring us closer to our Zero Waste goals.
Innovation is key to sustainability solutions
6. Clever circular economy solutions like what we see today have the potential to break the cycle of escalating waste. Innovation is critical for sustainable development, especially with rising global demand for food supplies and fast-depleting resources. The Government is committed to deepening our research and development (R&D) efforts and will continue to partner industry and academia closely on this front.
a. For example, Enterprise Singapore holds the annual Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge which brings together industry stakeholders and corporates in developing solutions to achieve targets like resource efficiency, zero waste and green transport. Since it started in 2019, more than 30 private and public organisations have provided challenge statements for the Challenge, providing opportunities for local enterprises to develop innovative sustainability solutions.
b. The Government has also committed about $220 million to encourage initiatives in resource circularity and water technologies under the Urban Solutions & Sustainability (USS) effort of the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 (RIE2025) plan. Under this, the National Environment Agency (NEA) will support R&D efforts that complement our waste-related initiatives such as the $80 million funding initiative called ‘Closing the Resource Loop’ (CTRL).
Government committed to the green transformation of the F&B sector
7. Increasingly, businesses are expected to show greater responsibility toward protecting the environment as their customers feel the growing impact of climate change. Consumer attitudes are changing toward valuing sustainable practices. On the upside, this creates new potential for F&B brands to innovate and become front-runners in sustainability. Food services companies can also benefit from capturing these growing business opportunities.
8. With this in mind, we launched the Food Services Industry Transformation Map 2025 last month to further support the greening of our F&B sector. Enterprise Singapore will work with food services companies to (i) help them incorporate sustainability practices; (ii) improve their green branding; and (iii) promote collaborations with the research and innovation ecosystem.
Navigating the green transition
9. Local enterprises can tap on the S$180 million under Enterprise Singapore’s Enterprise Sustainability Programme (ESP) to build their capabilities in sustainability and nurture the green shoots of sustainability development. Besides training and support for businesses in their green transformation, the ESP also drives sector-specific initiatives and opens up access to green financing. TRIA had successfully tapped on the ESP for their expansion plans. We encourage companies to leverage the ESP for a head start on their sustainable journey.
10. I am encouraged that TRIA is planning to expand its workforce to support its research, product development and business development efforts. We look forward to seeing more green jobs created. The Government is sparing no effort to help companies and workers reskill and/or upskill for the green economy. For instance, we have a Career Conversion Programme (CCP) for Sustainability Professionals, developed in conjunction with Workforce Singapore (WSG) to equip workers with the needed skills and knowledge to do well in the green economy.
Encouraging Collaboration between Industry Players
11. Besides local growth opportunities, there is also global potential for sustainable businesses. In this pilot programme for instance, TRIA and Shanaya, a local waste management firm will collect the packaging and food waste generated by KFC Singapore, and work with a Norwegian fertiliser company (Yara) to make sure that the fertilisers created will meet the requirements of the farms using the feed. This overseas collaboration opens up new opportunities for local businesses like TRIA and Shanaya to scale for markets outside Singapore.
12. We encourage our local companies to emulate this spirit of innovation and collaboration. Their story is testament to the capabilities of our home-grown enterprises to serve potential overseas demand.
13. I would like to commend TRIA and KFC Singapore for having the gumption and imagination to launch this exciting pilot for closed-loop recycling. We look forward to a successful programme that will set the example and stage for many more F&B players to step up their sustainability drive and build a greener, better world to come.
14. Thank you.