A member of SMRT's staff performing maintenance work. Photo by SMRT.

Making sustainability a key part of SMRT’s DNA

As a leading public transport operator in Singapore, SMRT is aware that our businesses and actions impact how current and future generations live, work and play.

Mindful of our responsibilities, we have embraced sustainability as one of our key corporate values, integrating it at the strategic and operational levels with the aim of creating a positive impact for Singapore and its people.

The aim of being sustainable is to create value over the long term for our stakeholders, by keeping a keen eye on environmental sustainability, community engagement and development, and having strict corporate governance and robust systems and process to make sure business practices are conducted in a transparent, ethical and responsible manner.

SMRT’s sustainability strategy has three pillars:

  • Green Business & Operations – Focus on building operations resilience and resource efficiency to guard against climate change risks.
  • Sustainable Communities – Focus on enhancing workplace wellness, workforce development and building sustainable communities.
  • Responsible Practices – Focus on generating shareholder value through ethical and transparent business practices.

AN ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY ORGANISATION

At SMRT, sustainability is a key aspect of our plans and programmes as we align ourselves with the Singapore Green Plan 2030. We are committed to environmentally sustainable developments in energy reduction, water conservation, better waste management, and green advocacy. The goal is to cut energy and carbon footprint consumption by 5 per cent, and to reduce year-on-year water and paper consumption by 10 and 20 per cent respectively.

SMRT has been exploring ways to achieve this. These include:

  • Ramping up the use of solar power for Bishan, Tuas West and Mandai depots.
  • Having fully electric taxi and bus fleets by 2026 and 2040, respectively.
  • Switching to eco-friendly hand dryers at MRT station toilets.
  • Implementing dual-cycle recycling for trains (water from the second rinse of a train is recycled for pre-washing of the next train), which saves about 670,000 litres of fresh water monthly.
  • Managing metal and e-waste, which has so far seen 1,600 tonnes of scrap metal recycled, and electronic waste disposed of properly, reused or re-sold.

A key component of SMRT’s sustainability strategy is to also nurture a green company culture.

This means actively engaging staff on green initiatives and goals, raising their awareness of the latest sustainability issues, and encouraging them to take ownership and participate in a green lifestyle. Staff can share their ideas for sustainability projects and showcase their achievements. Activities, such as workshops and fairs, will also be conducted to further efforts in green advocacy.

Externally, we spread the green message to stakeholders, partners and the wider public by leveraging our media, digital and network assets. SMRT also aims to expand our efforts as an environmental steward, seeking collaborations with notable campaigns such as Earth Day, World Environment Day, and Singapore International Water Week. We also work with green non-governmental organisations such as Singapore Environment Council to improve our green practices and targets.

LOOKING AFTER OUR WORKFORCE

To be sustainable is more than just being environmentally friendly. It also means adopting more sustainable employment practices to create a more equitable workforce, which in turn creates a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.

A member of SMRT's staff performing maintenance work. Photo by SMRT.
Providing re-skilling opportunities for staff to be future ready is a key aspect of SMRT’s sustainability drive. Photo: SMRT

Developing a workforce that is adaptable, competent and flexible is vital to SMRT’s sustainability strategy. Employees have ample opportunities to upskill and develop their capabilities through work-study programmes and partnerships with Institutes of Higher Learning. SMRT also works with LTA to run programmes and scholarships for engineering students to build a steady supply of talent. This helps establish sustainable growth for the future in order to provide quality jobs for the workforce and deliver service excellence to our customers.

Being sustainable also means looking after the well-being of our staff, particularly with the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic being felt. Besides regular and sustained public messaging efforts to remind commuters to follow safe management guidelines, SMRT has also introduced measures to protect its staff, such as stepped-up testing and vaccination drives for frontline employees and educating our taxi partners on safety precautions when interacting with passengers. SMRT has also started mental health and wellness initiatives for employees by joining the City Health Alliance since 2020.

A MORE INCLUSIVE COMMUTING EXPERIENCE

Frontline staff from SMRT assist a commuter to board a bus. Photo by SMRT.
SMRT is committed to helping foster a more inclusive public transport experience for all commuters. Photo: SMRT

Being sustainable also means contributing towards building a public transport system that is inclusive and responsive to the needs of all commuters. Efforts by SMRT to support this include:

  • The April 2021 launch of the Go-To SMRT initiative, which sees the transport operator enhancing its commuter services and facilities to better serve the community.
  • The certification of 17 MRT stations and five bus interchanges by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) as Dementia Go-To Points.
  • A first-in-Singapore trial of the NaviLens app to help visually handicapped commuters navigate the Woodlands Integrated Transport Hub with greater ease.

SMRT is also working with partner organisations such as AIC, Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, the Alzheimer’s Disease Association, Guide Dogs Singapore and the Handicaps Welfare Association to provide more inclusive, commuter-centric services to these with special needs.

MAKING SUSTAINABILITY A KEY PART OF SMRT’S DNA

In the coming years, sustainability will become an increasingly important element in SMRT’s business and actions, and we will do so in an accountable, transparent and responsible way.

We take a multi-pronged approach towards this goal. While being environmentally friendly and aligned to the Singapore Green Plan 2030 is a key component, sustainability, to us, also means caring for our employees’ physical and mental well-being, as well as doing our part to foster a more gracious, caring and inclusive public transport culture.

The full SMRT Group Review 2021 report can be viewed here. Visit here for more on SMRT’s sustainability drive.


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