Extreme weather events over the past year have starkly highlighted the growing reality and urgency of climate change. We have made concerted efforts in recent years to minimise our environmental impact and build operational resilience to the effects of climate change for our business and communities by focusing on climate action and product stewardship.

For our dedication to climate action, carbon emissions reduction and engagement of the wider community on sustainability, Singtel won the President’s Award for the Environment 2019, Singapore’s highest environmental accolade.

Rallying for climate action and adaptation

Recognising the urgency of the climate emergency, we want to take the lead in charting a course to tackle this global issue. In July 2019, Singtel was the only Southeast Asian firm in a pioneering group of 28 global companies to commit to keeping global temperature increase within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and reaching net zero emissions by 2050. Reducing emissions involves accelerating our use of renewable energy, such as the installation of a 1.65 MWp solar panel system on NCS Bedok data centre’s rooftop.

In the area of climate adaptation, we continue to play an active role in the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities (ABR), working to ensure that communities across Australia are better able to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters triggered by natural hazards such as the recent bushfires. Together with ABR members, we kickstarted the development of a Resilience Index Priority Initiative to improve decision-making that prioritises the future prosperity and safety of our communities.

To help communities rebuild following the devastating bushfires in Australia in 2019, we supported volunteer firefighters’ mobile services and set up the Green Shoots grants programme to help small businesses in affected areas restore connectivity.

Reducing waste through recycling

We are committed to resource conservation and reducing pollution by recovering and recycling e-waste through our e-waste recycling initiatives ReCYCLE in Singapore and Mobile Muster in Australia.

Our next step is to reduce our packaging wherever possible. Sustainable packaging helps lower our carbon footprint and environmental impact on our value chain, from resource utilisation to product packaging and all the way to their waste streams.

In Australia, we consolidated our sustainable packaging strategy into 10 targets for 2019-2021 and aligned them with the National Packaging Waste targets to make all packaging 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. As part of this journey, all components that make packaging unrecyclable have been removed from our products. We received an Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation Award for the third consecutive year in recognition of Optus’ sustainable packaging achievements.