Led by our wonderful Parent Ambassadors, 175 parents and staff have taken part in our ‘behind the scenes’ Sustainability Tours, as well as 150 Grade 3 students this past term. From seeing the solar panels up close to hearing how the College recycles water, effectively manages its use of electricity and works with it’s catering partner, Sodexo to reduce plastic and food waste (to name a few…), the tours provided a unique insight to our sustainability mission in action.
Plans are already afoot for tours in the 2018/2019 academic year so if you missed the chance to attend a tour, you won’t have to wait long, but here are just some highlights of the sustainability features at the College:
- In 2009, East campus was awarded the prestigious Green Mark Platinum certification by Building and Construction Authority of Singapore, the highest level of award given to sustainable buildings. Dover Campus received the award in 2016 following the completion of the new High School Block.
- Both campuses have incorporated Passive Design architectural features. Passive Design works in harmony with natural elements such as prevailing wind direction and the path of the sun to minimise some of the need for electrical air conditioning and lighting and maximise natural elements such as cooling breezes and daylight.
- All our buildings are oriented with most of the windows facing a North-South direction where the sun is too high to shine onto them. This reduces the heat gain inside the buildings.
- Green roofs help insulate spaces below from the hot sun and radiate less heat than concrete surfaces, creating a cooler campus.
- Light shelves provide shade and also bounce daylight into occupied spaces which reduce the energy needed for air-conditioning and artificial lighting.
- The Astro pitch on East channels rainwater to storage tanks located under the swimming pool. On Dover, the waterfall in the Middle School on Dover serves as a collection area for rainwater and also channels wastewater from the rooftop Air Handling Unit. Capturing rainwater and condensate rainwater to use for irrigation and flushing toilets saves us from having to use precious drinking water from the mains supply.
- Throwing food away is a huge waste of Energy and Water so we have to make sure we cook and eat wisely. Some waste is inevitable but even this can be a valuable resource. From enhanced data management for more precise ordering to gaining feedback on portion sizes and favourite menus, our Operations Department works closely with Sodexo, our catering partner to reduce Food Waste at the source.
- On East, thanks to support from Sodexo we have installed a VEGA system, the world’s first low carbon and water-driven mechanism that grows vegetables through efficient and highly sustainable production methods. Food grown is then sent to our salad bar.
- On Dover, students are part of an exciting pilot project with Singapore’s National Environment Agency where our food waste goes to an anaerobic digester at Tuas which is converted into energy.
- In our kitchens, cooking oil is collected for conversion into Biodiesel.
- For the past 5 years have only used Fair Trade Coffee in our Cafe.
- Plastic waste from the canteens is hard to recycle in Singapore, so we’ve brought in reusable crockery and cutlery where possible and are always looking for alternatives to plastic for packaging. Our disposable cups are now made from Biodegradable materials – even the ones that look like plastic!
- We work with student groups on both campuses to segregate and compost our precooked organic waste through a donor-funded initiative. As much as 50 litres a day of fruit and vegetable peelings gets turned into valuable compost on each campus.
- The Rainforest Restoration Nurseries, created through The Kirtida and Bharat Mekani Environmental Sustainability Fund offer interactive environmental learning opportunities for students.
- Many trees grown in the nurseries have been planted through the Adopt a Tree programme through the UWCSEA Foundation. Parents have the opportunity to adopt a tree, have a personalised plaque and planting ceremony.