Going Green: DBS Bank and Mediacorp collaborate on CNA Insider special to fight food waste

An estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food goes to waste globally every year – an amount sufficient to feed three billion people. This is a sobering statistic that DBS Bank (DBS) and Mediacorp are bringing to wider public attention in a collaborative special with CNA Insider.

Available now on cnainsider.asia and CNA Insider YouTube, ‘Food, Wasted’ is a three-part digital exclusive produced by Mediacorp in partnership with DBS that aims to raise awareness of food waste across the supply chain. Each video and accompanying article on cnainsider.asia will offer easy tips on embracing food purchasing and preparation habits that can minimise waste, shrink carbon footprints and ultimately combat climate change and forge a food-secure future.

Nicholas Lim, co-founder of Treedots inspects a rescued piece of salmon fillet which did not pass the strict beauty standards customers have.

The broad objectives of this series dovetail with DBS’ and Mediacorp’s core corporate responsibility pillar of driving sustainability efforts through informative content that can positively influence consumer behaviour and actions. This collaborative series also complements Mediacorp’s multi-year commitment to sustained environmental coverage, in support of Singapore’s Green Plan 2030 and the national interest in climate action. 

Likewise, DBS seeks to create value for the long term by managing its business and working with partners in a balanced and responsible way. Through the DBS Foundation, the bank has been nurturing social enterprises across Asia since 2014, with SGD 50 million set aside to support the ambitions of social enterprises with businesses built around solving pertinent social and environmental challenges.

Food that is imported into Ban Choon Marketing Pte Ltd goes through rigorous checks for beauty standards, like these mushrooms being measured to check that they meet customer_s size requirements

One of the key areas the bank has been focusing on is food waste, which is an issue that has come to fore in recent months amid heightening concerns of climate change and disruptions to global food supply chains. Through its engagements with employees, clients and strategic partners to encourage a positive change in mindsets and behaviours, DBS has generated around 200,000 kg of food impact comprising food waste reduced, recycled, or redistributed, across Singapore and the region in 2020, and aims to further build on efforts this year.

Employees of a real estate company in Hong Kong learn to grow food on their building’s rooftop. The garden, started by Rooftop Republic, aims to help bring people closer to the food-growing process.

‘Food, Wasted’ audiences can look forward to inspiring stories of social enterprises supported by the DBS Foundation and other community partners, and their efforts to work towards a zero food waste future. Stories include anecdotes of how these social enterprises and community partners have identified and plugged leaks along the food production pipeline: from harvesting and transportation to inventory management and to the end consumer in supermarkets and restaurants, to bring us one step closer to a zero food waste future.

Gerald Fu, a home gardener, snips some of his bok choy for a stir fry. Since growing his own food, he_s started to appreciate his food more and waste less.

These change leaders include DBS Foundation Grant recipients TreeDots, the first online platform in Asia connecting suppliers of surplus and imperfect food with businesses and households; S4S Technologies, who creates innovative technologies designed to preserve and process high quality foods to restore the agriculture supply chain; and Rooftop Republic, a social enterprise championing urban farming communities. Please refer to Annex A for a full list of partners and DBS Foundation-supported social enterprises featured in ‘Food, Wasted’.

Sunita Dnyaneshwar, an onion processor places sliced onion into a solar dehydrator designed by Science 4 Society, a social enterprise started in India that gives food longer shelf life by dehydrating it.

Karen Ngui, DBS Group Head of Strategic Marketing & Communications said: “The volume of food waste generated in Singapore has increased at a staggering rate over the past decade. Food waste accounts for 8% of greenhouse gases produced and undoubtedly, exacerbates the rate of climate change globally. As a purpose-driven bank, we believe that by working with like-minded partners, social enterprises and the community at large, we can inculcate a greater sense of social consciousness and spark positive change. It is critical to have all hands on deck as only through the strength of the collective, can we make a lasting difference. We hope that the ‘Food, Wasted’ CNA Insider special series helps to fuel greater awareness and understanding of the sustainability issues caused by food that is wasted and/or lost across the entire food supply chain.”

A pile of papaya outside a wholesale market in Jakarta is left to rot. In Asia, up to 40_ of food is lost after harvest during handling and storage – never making it to shops at all.

Parminder Singh, Chief Commercial and Digital Officer, Mediacorp said: “We are glad to work with like-minded partners such as DBS Singapore to create engaging content that complements our corporate responsibility efforts to encourage sustainable lifestyles. As the national media network, we are uniquely positioned to leverage our creative capabilities, journalistic expertise, and the wide reach of our platforms to support the national interest in sustainable practices. We hope the ‘Food, Wasted’ CNA Insider special will make us all more thoughtful about our food habits and motivate us to waste less and go green!”

Food, Wasted can be viewed on on cnainsider.asia and CNA Insider YouTube


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