Sustainable Living

Making a difference for a sustainable future

Published on 23 May 2023
On World Earth Day, SMU reinforced its commitment to sustainability to drive positive change.
On World Earth Day, SMU reinforced its commitment to sustainability to drive positive change.

Over the years, the University has implemented a range of sustainable practices, including reducing its carbon footprint, promoting the use of renewable energy, adopting the use of responsibly sourced materials in development projects, rainwater harvesting and implementing waste reduction programmes.

The University finetuned its SMU Vision 2025 strategy almost three years ago, which emphasised Sustainable Living as a priority area. The move reaffirmed SMU's commitment to the environment and highlighted the importance of creating a sustainable future for the planet. Vision 2025 sets out a master plan for the university to be a thought leader and solution partner in addressing sustainability challenges facing society.

Furthermore, the Sustainability Blueprint launched in 2022 steers SMU's ESG (environmental, social and governance) actions in concerted ways. It outlines SMU's sustainability goals and strategies and provides a framework for implementing sustainable practices across the university.

With an aim to cultivate a ‘Greener University’, the Blueprint, covers a diverse spectrum of areas, from optimising energy use and reducing/ avoiding carbon emissions, sustainable water management, and waste reduction, to sustainable travel, buildings, procurement and investment. Specific targets with a clear roadmap for each area also guide the University to meaningfully reduce environmental impact and contribute to a more sustainable future.

For example, in the area of energy and carbon, SMU has set a target of evolving into a carbon-neutral campus by 2030. As such, the verdant city campus has been implementing broad-reaching energy-efficient measures, such as developing net-zero and super low energy buildings, upgrading building systems, and installing renewable energy systems.

As part of its Earth Day celebrations, SMU dedicated a section in its newsroom to highlighting its contributions towards a greener planet through research, thought leadership, achievements, outreach, and education efforts.

SMU also invited its community to indulge in poetry and flash stories focusing on the Earth Day theme, ‘Invest in our planet’, authored by members of the SMU Literati — a student club specialising in literature and poetry.

Additionally, the university turned the spotlight on The Greenhouse, SMU Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship's (IIE) incubation lab, which plays a crucial role in promoting sustainability on the SMU campus. This dynamic facility has been empowering entrepreneurs to bring their smart city and sustainable living technology ideas to life, providing a fertile ground for ground-breaking developments.

As a testament to how SMU students have been taking action to create a more sustainable future, outgoing student community managers Cheryl Devan, Clement Wong, Shanice, Shaune Ellevina, and Wei Jun shared their behind-the-scenes insights into  the importance of sustainable practices and how The Greenhouse is a nexus of sustainable innovation.

Lastly, Southeast Asia's first and only student venture fund and training programme Protégé Ventures recently announced its 10th pre-seed investment in Angie’s Tempeh. The IIE-supported fund has backed Angie’s Tempeh, a start-up that offers a healthier and more sustainable plant-based alternative to the fermented soybean dish. The latter is a welcome addition to innovative start-ups that promote sustainable consumption habits.

Through its research, thought leadership, achievements, outreach, and education efforts, SMU is making a significant contribution towards a greener planet. By taking action and making a difference, we can ensure that the world we leave behind is one that future generations can thrive in.