SP PCEO / SP Principal & CEO Message
At the 2019 National Day Rally, PM Lee Hsien Loong had described climate change as an existential challenge for Singapore. It requires each of us to make the effort and play our part in getting Singapore to be more sustainable. As he had put it, “Otherwise one day our children and grandchildren will be ashamed of what our generation did not do.”
All government bodies are required to implement various sustainability measures under the GreenGov.SG initiative. But, as an educational institution, Singapore Polytechnic is expected to do more. Responsible for shaping the minds of more than 10% of each birth cohort, and also the transformation of the adult workforce, we have an outsized reach to various segments of the Singapore population. It is our responsibility, and privilege, to promote sustainability to everyone who participates in our training programmes.
Thus, Singapore Polytechnic will commit to implement sustainability measures over and beyond what are required of us. For instance, while the government has committed to reach the net-zero target by 2045, we must aim to reach the target earlier. We are in the midst of a consultancy study to see what measures and goals we should put in place to do so.
Beyond the measures and goals that Singapore Polytechnic sets as an institution, every staff of Singapore Polytechnic will also be encouraged to voluntarily make personal behavioural changes towards a more sustainable lifestyle. This is particularly needed because as an education institution, we have infused sustainability into our curriculum. But for our students to internalise the learning, they must see us walking the talk. All staff must thus be role models, collectively living out what is taught, and inspiring our students to also change towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Only in doing so, can we fulfil our calling as educational change agents.
This journey that Singapore Polytechnic as an institution takes towards our net-zero target, and the parallel journey our staff collectively take towards a more sustainable lifestyle, will be long and arduous. They look particularly daunting now as we take our first baby steps.
But it is heartening to note that we are not alone in this journey and there are friends and partners with whom we can share encouragement and collaborate. The Institution of Engineers, in particular, is one such strong partner and the 2023 edition of the Charles Rudd Distinguished Public Lectures is an excellent example of such collaboration.
With the theme “Transitioning to a Net-Zero World”, this event brings together experts, leaders and organisations to discuss and share insights on how we all can become more sustainable. This is an excellent platform for us to raise greater awareness for building a sustainable future, and inspire more individuals and organisations to join us in this journey towards a net-zero Singapore.
And if through this event, some of you are inspired to voluntarily make personal behavioural changes towards a more sustainable lifestyle, then it will go towards Singapore Polytechnic fulfilling our role as an education institution.
Mr Soh Wai Wah
Principal & Chief Executive Officer