|In 2007, we continue to move our businesses towards more environmentally and socially responsible practices.
|This report details Sembcorp's environmental and socially responsible practices and performance for the year.
As our listed Marine & Offshore Engineering business separately reports such activities in its own annual report, the scope of this report covers our wholly-owned Utilities, Environmental Management and Industrial Parks businesses. We have focused in particular on our Singapore operations, which substantially account for our Group profit and turnover. Information from our operations in the UK has also been included.
Where possible, information on our overseas industrial parks' community efforts has also been included. These operations are held through minority-owned joint ventures which are responsible for their individual onsite health, safety and environment programmes and indicators.
This report is focused primarily on our efforts with respect to health, safety and environment (HSE) as well as community involvement. People development initiatives and practices are separately covered in the Human Resources & Employee Welfare section of this Annual Report.
Sembcorp, as a member of the international business community, recognises that our business activities have varying direct and indirect impacts on the societies in which we operate. We commit to manage these in a responsible manner, believing that sound and appropriate performance in this area is linked to business success.
For Sembcorp, being a responsible corporate citizen is reflected in the following principles:
||Standards of business conduct
||We ensure that our business is conducted according to rigorous ethical, professional and legal standards, through maintaining robust corporate governance and an Employee Code of Conduct for staff.
||Health, safety and the environment
||Management of our health, safety and environmental (HSE) responsibilities is our first priority. We are committed to continuously improving our HSE performance and managing health, safety and environmental risks associated with our activities, products and services. We integrate HSE considerations into all aspects of our business operations and processes with the aim of preventing accidents, injuries, occupational illnesses and pollution and conserving natural resources.
||We aim to be a fair and caring employer offering our staff equitable opportunities to develop and grow.
||We act as a responsible corporate citizen through support for community care initiatives, community partnerships and philanthropic and charitable causes, in particular causes supporting children and youth, education and the environment.
|Sembcorp's operations throughout the world are committed to these principles. The stage and level of implementation varies according to each operation area and maturity of business.
Sembcorp manages health, safety and environmental (HSE) responsibilities as its first priority. Sembcorp is committed to continuously improving its HSE performance and managing HSE risks associated with its activities, products and services.
Sembcorp has established and will maintain a HSE management system, and integrate HSE considerations into all aspects of its business operations by implementing the following policy which aims to prevent accidents, injuries, occupational illnesses and pollution as well as conserve natural resources:
||Stress to all employees and contractors their responsibility and accountability for safe performance and set appropriate objectives and targets to continually improve HSE performance.
||Educate employees to be aware of and understand the safety risks and health hazards associated with their job and the potential impact on the environment.
||Make available this policy to all interested parties upon request.
||Build, design, operate and maintain facilities and conduct operations in a manner that safeguards people, property and the environment, and minimises waste.
||Comply with all HSE laws and regulations and other HSE requirements applicable to Sembcorp's activities, products and services.
||Offer assistance to and influence suppliers, contractors and other interested parties to improve their HSE performance where necessary.
||Review and evaluate operations to measure progress and ensure compliance with this policy via periodic system audits and management reviews.
||Prepare for, and respond quickly to, accidents or other emergency situations to mitigate adverse impact to people, property and the environment.
||A 30-megawatt wood-fuelled power station, one of the UK's largest renewable energy projects
||Efficient combined heat-and-power (cogeneration) plants in China, Singapore, the UAE and the UK
||First commercial importer and retailer of natural gas in Singapore
||Supplier of compressed natural gas to Singapore's transport sector
|Water and wastewater treatment
||Industrial water reclamation, wastewater treatment and recycling plants in China and Singapore
||Recycling & recovery
Sembcorp recognises that in order for us to be a truly successful company, we must behave as a responsible corporate citizen and be committed to improving the world around us. This commitment shapes our present and future actions. We aim to safeguard the health and safety of our employees, manage our impact on the environment and contribute to the communities in which we operate.
In line with this, Sembcorp believes that integrating HSE considerations into our business practices is not only the right thing to do, but also good for our business. It helps us to manage risk better, lower costs through improved efficiency, increase our value as an investment and grow our business in an ethical and sustainable manner.
This commitment is summed up in Sembcorp's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and HSE policies above and at right. In line with Sembcorp's efforts to continually move forward in this area as a whole Group, these policies were reviewed and updated in 2007, and aligned and applied across our separate business units.
Sembcorp's approach to incorporating HSE considerations into our business operations is based on four principles.
Firstly, we actively invest in green business lines, which form a part of our core operations. We do not see these as mere add-ons, but as financially viable businesses that will give us a competitive edge in an increasingly resource-scarce world.
Secondly, we implement sound and internationally recognised HSE management systems. Each of our businesses is responsible for managing its own HSE performance and initiatives. When possible, we integrate our environmental, quality and safety measurement systems and have achieved certification under ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and Occupational Health & Safety Assessment Series OHSAS 18001.
Thirdly, mindful of key concerns with respect to our business' impact on health and the environment, we continually aim to enhance the environmental friendliness and safety of our processes, products and services through
integrating HSE measures into our business processes, as well as through ongoing feedback and innovation. Audits are incorporated into our operations to strengthen the functioning of the HSE management systems. To drive staff commitment and build an organisation-wide safety culture, employees are assessed on their HSE performance. Staff at all levels are also encouraged to contribute ideas and suggestions from an operational perspective to improve workplace practices and products and services, including employee safety and health. Outstanding solutions are rewarded at our annual intra-Group Innovate, Discover, Engineer and Achieve (IDEA) Awards.
Fourthly, we work closely with our partners and suppliers for mutual HSE improvement to effect a far-reaching positive impact.
Aside from these core principles, Sembcorp also participates actively in local CSR bodies and other industry-based sustainability initiatives as a means of sharing best practices and further contributing to the community. We are a founding member of the Singapore Compact for CSR, Singapore's first local CSR body. This is a national society initiated by the National Tripartite Initiative on CSR, which provides a multi-stakeholder platform to broaden CSR dialogue, collaboration and programmes for implementation. We are also a Green Partner and Friend of the Singapore Environment Council, an independent national society promoting environmental awareness and programmes.
In January 2008, Sembcorp's Utilities operations in Singapore became a signatory of Responsible Care, the chemical industry's global voluntary initiative under which companies, through national associations such as the Singapore Chemical Industry Council in Sembcorp's case, work together to continuously improve their health, safety and environmental performance and to communicate with stakeholders about their products and processes. In line with this commitment, our Utilities operations in Singapore pledged to adopt and apply Responsible Care's Guiding Principles through the six management practices of product stewardship, process safety, pollution prevention, distribution, employee health and safety as well as community awareness and emergency response.
Sembcorp has taken significant steps in the last few years to sharpen its business focus on Utilities, Marine & Offshore Engineering, Environmental Management and Industrial Parks Management. In the wake of these important changes to our organisation, we carried out an exercise in 2007 to review and update our CSR and HSE policies and align these across the various business units. A Chief HSE Officer was also appointed in January 2008 to oversee our group-wide HSE efforts and initiatives, including application of these policies.
At the same time, Sembcorp took steps in 2007 to move our businesses towards more environmentally and socially responsible practices. We continued to invest in our green business lines, growing these as components of our core businesses. In particular, we continued to increase investment in our wastewater treatment business, which helps our customers to treat even high concentration and high salinity industrial wastewater to meet environmental limits. In Singapore, we opened a new 1,300 cubic metres per day high salinity wastewater treatment plant and in China we began construction of a 30,000 cubic metres per day expansion to our existing wastewater facility in Nanjing. In addition, we also commenced construction of a 15,000 cubic metres per day expansion of our wastewater treatment plant in Zhangjiagang, China, which will be the first facility in the country capable of treating high concentration wastewater directly from customers without initial pre-treatment by the customers in-house.
We also made progress in greening our operations through more efficient and environmentally friendly power and steam facilities. In the UK we built a new gas turbine and steam recovery plant and officially opened a wood-fired biomass power plant which is deemed carbon neutral. On the Environmental Management front, we developed and commenced operation of a pre-disposal solid waste treatment plant in Singapore which will reduce landfill and increase recyclable yield. Our Environmental Management joint venture in Australia also acquired a waste-to-energy facility in Adelaide.
In the area of health and safety, our ongoing internal programme at our Singapore utilities operations aiming at reducing injuries, spills, hazardous releases, instances of non-compliance and unplanned shutdowns to zero, continued to show positive results.
Apart from our HSE efforts, Sembcorp also continued to contribute actively to the community in 2007. Core to these were the efforts of our company's Trailblazer-Wong Kok Siew Fund in aid of children, education and stroke research. In addition, we sponsored two employees to participate in a seven-day footrace across the Sahara Desert, as part of a group-wide campaign to raise funds for a non-profit counselling centre working with children and youth in Singapore. Furthermore, during the course of the year Sembcorp companies also contributed significantly to the arts and local charitable causes in their various communities.
In 2007, Sembcorp was awarded the Merit Award for Best Environmental Reporting in the ACCA Singapore Environmental and Social Reporting Awards.
Sembcorp continues to focus on its key HSE concerns identified based on an evaluation of the greatest potential impact of our main business operations, particularly operations which are wholly- or majority-owned. Focus is particularly on the HSE impacts of our wholly-owned Utilities and Environmental Management operations, as our wholly-owned Industrial Parks unit is essentially a corporate marketing and business development office for minority-held overseas industrial parks responsible for their own HSE programmes.
Our identified key concerns are: clean air and climate change, water, waste as well as health and safety. Our initiatives to monitor and manage these key concerns are discussed in the paragraphs below. Along with these, we also maintain an ongoing commitment towards charity and the community.
As Sembcorp is in the power generation business, our impact on climate change and clean air is a key concern for us. We strive to limit and manage our environmental impact in this regard through improving the efficiency and environmental friendliness of our power plants and fuels and also through monitoring our emissions and energy use.
Efficient power generation
In carrying out our power generation business, we leverage on technology for greater efficiency and lower emissions.
Our plants in China, Singapore, the UAE and Vietnam make use of combined cycle gas turbine technology, where waste heat from gas turbines is used to make steam to generate additional electricity via steam turbines. This enables us to generate more electricity from the fuel input.
In addition, we operate combined heat-and-power or cogeneration plants in China, Singapore, the UAE1 and the UK. Cogeneration refers to the production of both electricity and heat from a single fuel at a facility located near the consumer. Considered the most efficient use of fuel, cogeneration further improves the overall recovery of heat and also saves the fuel that would otherwise be used to produce heat or steam in a separate unit. Cogeneration plants also generate substantially lower emissions compared to conventional power plants.
In 2007, our utilities operations in the UK began construction of a new combined heat and power plant capable of generating 42 megawatts of electricity and 162 tonnes per hour of steam. The plant is expected to be operational by end of 2008.
1 In our UAE plant, extracted heat in the form of steam is further used for seawater desalination.
Sembcorp is Singapore's first commercial importer and retailer of natural gas. Considered the cleanest of all fossil fuels, natural gas produces virtually no particulate waste when combusted and less greenhouse gases per unit of energy released compared to coal or oil.
All boilers in Sembcorp's Utilities operations in Singapore run on natural gas as a primary fuel, with fuel oil as a backup. In the UK, our new combined heat and power plant currently under construction will also run on natural gas.
2007 saw Sembcorp announcing its plan to offer retail Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) on mainland Singapore as an alternative fuel for motorists for the first time. Our CNG pump, located within Singapore Petroleum Company's Jalan Buroh petrol station, began operations in February 2008. We hope our efforts will encourage more CNG vehicles on the roads of Singapore.
Energy from renewables
In 2007, we made a significant entry into the renewable energy business with the official opening of our wood-burning biomass plant in the UK in November. Our renewable energy business is financially viable and allows us to use alternative fuels. This is a step towards reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and gives us an edge in an increasingly resource-scarce world.
The Sembcorp Biomass Power Station produces clean, green, renewable energy using naturally sustainable wood for fuel. The UK's first fully wood-fuelled power plant, it uses 300,000 tonnes of recycled wood, sawmill chips, forestry discards and energy crops a year to generate 30 megawatts of electricity - enough to power 30,000 households.
The plant will save an estimated 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year compared with a conventional power station - the equivalent in greenhouse gas reduction terms of taking 67,000 cars off the road. Its operations are also classed as carbon neutral because the carbon dioxide released during the generation of energy is balanced by that absorbed by plants during their growth.
In 2007, our Environmental Management business' joint venture in Australia also acquired a waste-to-energy facility in Adelaide. The 220 tonnes per annum facility produces refuse-derived fuel, and has been operational since 2006.
|Emissions & energy usage monitoring
In 2007, we continued tracking the absolute amount of carbon dioxide emitted by our Utilities facilities in Singapore and the UK. We are glad that even with a 7.9% increase in revenue, we were able to reduce our absolute carbon dioxide emission for 2007 by 12.7% and also reduce our carbon dioxide emission per million dollars of revenue by 12.5% (see chart above). We will continue to track our emissions going forward as a key concern, and work towards controlling and reducing them.
At Sembcorp, we also recognise that reducing our energy usage can contribute to reducing our climate change impact. For our Utilities operations in Singapore and the UK, we managed to reduce our electricity use per million dollars of revenue, as shown in the chart above.
In addition to electricity consumption, we also reduced our consumption of most types of primary energy sources at our Singapore and UK Utilities operations during the year. We will continue to track our primary energy sources consumption and work at reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
At Sembcorp, we tap on recycled effluent as a
renewable source for the production of industrial water
products for our customers. We also limit our
customers' negative impact on water resources through
our business of industrial wastewater treatment.
In addition, we monitor our consumption of potable
water for our utilities operations, operating a closed-loop
system in our Singapore operations for the most
efficient use and reuse of water.
||Sembcorp's Utilities operations in Singapore recycle 40,000 cubic metres of water per day
||This is roughly 13% of Singapore's total recycled water demand
||Sembcorp has grown the volume of water it recycles in Singapore by a significant 25% in the last two years alone
Sembcorp's Utilities arm provides a full range
of water-related utilities services to predominantly
industrial clients. In providing our clients with
industrial process waters, we reuse and recycle water
in order to reduce the total withdrawals made on
fresh water supplies and lessen discharges to sewerage
systems and waterways. Today, our demineralised
water supply is substantially derived from recycled
water, as is the output from our high grade industrial
water plant, which produces one million cubic metres
of water per month. The latter satisfies roughly 40%
of the industrial requirement on Jurong Island, and is
equivalent in volume to over 8% of Singapore's total
water needs. In 2007, we further increased our volume
of water reclaimed by our effluent recovery plant
to produce demineralised water. This was achieved
through improvements to the plant resulting in it
achieving 105% of the design nameplate capacity,
or production of 5,233 cubic metres of demineralised
water per day.
In January 2008, we announced that we had
been awarded a S$180 million contract by Singapore's
Public Utilities Board to build, design, own and
operate Singapore's largest NEWater recycled water
plant, with a capacity of 50 million gallons, or 228,000
cubic metres per day. When operational, the plant
will add NEWater to Sembcorp's range of products
derived from recycled water, while significantly
increasing the volume of water recycled by Sembcorp
In addition to providing water products derived
from recycled water, Sembcorp's wastewater
treatment activities also reduce our customers' water-related
environmental impact. Industrial wastewater
is traditionally considered difficult to treat due to
its dynamic complexity. Sembcorp, with its industrial
wastewater treatment plants in Singapore's Jurong
Island, as well as Nanjing, Tianjin and Zhangjiagang
in China, has the specialised expertise needed to treat
such effluents to meet environmental limits. These solutions have reduced the impact of
effluent discharge into the sea, thereby benefiting
In addition, Sembcorp is one of the pioneers
in the industry to use high efficiency anaerobic
biogranulation technology to treat high concentration
chemical wastewater. Anaerobic biodegradation has
many environmental advantages in that it offers
a high degree of removal of organic material, low
biosludge production and low energy consumption
along with energy production in the form of biogas.
In Singapore, we opened a new 1,300 cubic metres
per day high concentration wastewater treatment
plant in 2007. The treatment process of this new
wastewater treatment plant is unique in the world.
It also enabled our customer to operate in Singapore
despite its stringent effluent discharge requirements
and was a critical factor in our customer's decision to
locate its operations in Singapore.
In China we began construction of a 30,000 cubic
metres per day expansion to our existing wastewater
facility in Nanjing. In addition, we also commenced
construction of a 15,000 cubic metres per day expansion
of our wastewater treatment plant in Zhangjiagang,
China, which will be the first facility in China allowed
to treat high concentration wastewater directly
from customers without initial pre-treatment by the customers in-house. Both facilities are expected to be
completed in 2008.
In addition to recycling wastewater, Sembcorp has
strong capabilities in the desalination of water. In the
UAE, Sembcorp's Utilities business co-owns a combined
water and power plant in Fujairah. This encompasses a
desalination plant, which at 450,000 cubic metres per day
is one of the largest in the world. In arid regions such
as the Middle East, desalination provides a renewable
source for both industrial and potable water. In Fujairah,
our desalination activities also mean that the water
necessary for our on-site power generation facilities is
obtained from renewable sources.
Sembcorp is mindful of the impact of our potable
water consumption for business use and of the need to
monitor and limit this. Our Utilities business in Singapore
operates a closed-loop cycle model, which enables us
to reuse and recycle water. Our continued efforts to
reuse and recycle water have resulted in reduction
of our potable water usage in the past two years.
We reduced our potable water usage by 22% in 2006
and 50% in 2007, despite an increase in the volume of
industrial process water supplied to our customers.
At Sembcorp, we endeavour to reduce waste
disposed at the incineration plant and landfill through
the active promotion and practice of recycling and
reducing waste, as well as by implementing measures
to reduce waste produced in the course of our
Our Environmental Management arm, which
is Singapore's largest environmental management
player, supports national recycling goals. Since 2001,
Sembcorp has played an instrumental role in the
National Recycling Progamme spearheaded by the
National Environment Agency (NEA), serving four out
of nine municipal sectors in Singapore. Aside from
providing regular door-to-door recyclables collection for these sectors, we also operate a materials recovery
facility where recyclable items are sorted, baled and
traded for reuse into new products. In addition, we
also operate a plant for the recovery of construction
and demolition waste, thereby diverting more than
100,000 tonnes of debris from landfilling.
Besides this, Sembcorp is actively involved in
initiatives to further encourage Singaporeans to
recycle. In February 2007 we began deploying
centralised recycling depository bins to cater to
residents in Housing & Development Board (HDB)
estates who have additional or bulky items to recycle
in between the regular fortnightly door-to-door
collection of recyclables. The bins, located at void
decks and other central and accessible locations in
HDB estates, are cleared weekly. By November 2007,
we had deployed about 800 centralised recycling
depository bins around the island.
In December 2007 we completed a 12-month pilot
trial for the first-of-its-kind Recyclables Intermediate
Chute Storage System (RICH), a dedicated chute system
for co-mingled recyclables which may be retrofitted
to existing HDB flats, condominiums, offices and other
high-rise buildings. We received very positive response
from residents, with RICH collecting an average of
over 520 kilogrammes of recyclable items per month,
more than five times higher than the national
average of 100 kilogrammes per month. In addition,
Sembcorp has been appointed by HDB to install the
RICH system at four blocks of flats in the Sengkang
N4C7 development, which is expected to be completed
Sembcorp also actively promotes the benefits of
recycling through community engagement programmes
throughout the year. These included rewards exchange
programmes during community and school events, as
well as support for seven secondary schools and tertiary
institutions in their student environmental promotion
projects under the NEA's Adopt-a-school Programme.
Under the banner of the NEA's Clean & Green Singapore,
a month-long festival of events and activities to raise
public awareness of key green issues, Sembcorp also
contributed in cash and in kind, towards the Schools' Carnival event which was held in November. The
campaign culminated in Singapore's National Recycling
Day on November 27, when our Environmental
Management business organised a carnival at Punggol
Community Centre. Graced by Mr George Yeo, Minister
for Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament for
Aljunied GRC, the carnival attracted some 500 residents
and collected in excess of 1.5 tonnes of recyclables.
In addition, to reduce the waste generated from
our business operations, Sembcorp practices recycling
both in our offices as well as at our operations sites.
For instance, at Sembcorp's offices in Singapore,
paper recycling bins are placed in convenient locations
such as common areas between workstations and
near printers and paper shredders to raise employee
awareness and encourage paper recycling. Meanwhile,
our Utilities operations in the UK recycles items from
its sites such as commercial and industrial waste,
fluorescent tubes, heavy fuel oil and waste electrical
and electronic equipment items.
Sembcorp has continued efforts to reduce the
generation of waste from our industrial operations that
would go to landfill or incineration.
In 2007, our Utilities operations in Singapore
developed a membrane cleaning and test skid for the
reverse osmosis system in its high grade industrial water
plant. The regular industrial practice is for reverse
osmosis membranes to be replaced progressively at fixed
intervals. However this approach cannot identify
problematic elements in the vessel and is unable to
differentiate reusable membranes from those damaged
or reaching the end of their life span. Sembcorp's
membrane cleaning and test skid is able to test the
membranes to determine their suitability of usage,
ensuring that the right membranes are replaced. It also
allows for better offline cleaning. As a result, the
business has been able to significantly reduce the
wastage of membranes. The skid also led to lower
energy consumption by the reverse osmosis system.
Meanwhile, in the UK, our operations installed a
common recovery system for hydrochloric acid and
caustic soda for its water treatment plant. Commissioning
trials were first carried out in December 2005. Once
proven successful, the process was rolled out in the
first half of 2006 to a second plant, utilising lessons
obtained from the first trial. The system started reaping
benefits in 2007, demonstrating a reduction of 25%
of acid and caustic soda to be disposed. Cost savings in
2007 from the system amounted to GBP170,000.
In December 2007, Sembcorp's Environmental
Management arm began commercial operations of
an innovative solid waste pre-treatment and recycling
facility in Singapore to increase the recyclable yield
from waste collected from our customers. A first
in Singapore, the facility is capable of recovering
recyclable materials, such as plastics, ferrous and nonferrous
metals, and other resources from solid waste.
The increased rate of resource recovery results in less
waste being disposed at the incineration plant.
At Sembcorp, we recognise that promoting health
and safety is part of our responsibility to our employees
and to the community. Key concerns are on-site safety
for our Utilities operations and on-site safety and road
safety for our Environmental Management operations.
Efforts continued to improve the on-site safety
for Sembcorp's operations. In 2007, the SCU 5/0
campaign, encompassing the five goals of zero injury,
zero spill, zero non-compliance, zero hazardous
release and zero unplanned shutdown as well as a
tracking and accountability mechanism for these
indicators, continued to see results after a year of
implementation across our Utilities operating sites
in Singapore. The total incident count for the five
indicators dropped from 44 in 2006 to 38 in 2007.
The "price of non-conformance", our internal measure
for the imputed monetary cost of lapses relating to the five indicators, also saw an improvement. These
improvements are attributable to the high awareness
amongst employees of the 5/0 campaign, which
requires them to identify hazards and gaps in activities
carried out at their workplaces and eliminate them.
We have also captured our Environmental
Management operations' safety performance in our
reporting this year. The following two charts show
the number of total recordable cases and the severity
rate in terms of days away from work per million
man hours' work for our Utilities and Environmental
Management operations in 2007.
Figures reported against both safety performance indicators were slightly higher in 2007 due to two
reportable incidents which occurred on Jurong Island
that resulted in a total of 120 days away from work.
Thorough investigations were carried out for both
incidents to establish their root causes, and measures
were implemented to prevent recurrence. Lessons
learnt from these incidents were also shared among
operations staff globally.
With our Environmental Management vehicles
travelling more than 15.4 million kilometres in 2007,
road safety is a key concern for the business. To reduce the unit's accident rate, we have conducted
safety awareness exercises and training sessions for our
workers. Our continued efforts with regard to road
safety saw our vehicle accidents reduced by a further
13.4% in 2007, bringing the vehicular accident rate
per 100,000 kilometres to 0.7. We continue to work
with the Singapore Traffic Police on yearly educational
programmes for our drivers, supplementing our in-company
continuous improvement programmes, to
further improve our vehicular safety.
Sembcorp believes that with regular health
screening and proper medical advice, employees will
be able to avert diseases and illnesses; and lead a
healthy lifestyle. We ensure flexibility in our medical
benefits to allow staff to choose from a variety
of healthcare professionals. Health checks are
made available to all employees on a regular basis.
In addition to health checks, the company also
provides additional medical benefits such as influenza
jabs and organised health talks to keep staff informed
of various common health concerns.
Emergency readiness is an important component
of protecting our employees' health and safety,
as well as health and safety within the community.
All of Sembcorp's businesses carry out annual fire and
With the ongoing concern relating to avian influenza
outbreaks in recent years, our Environmental
Management business is retained by the Agri-Food &
Veterinary Authority of Singapore to provide manpower
and logistical support for culling exercises in the event
of an outbreak. In relation to this, we carried out a
desktop exercise in November 2007 to prepare our
Environmental Management staff who would be on
the "front line" in the event of such an outbreak.
This exercise enabled us to assess the comprehensiveness
of our existing business continuity plan as well as our
operational readiness in response an orange alert
issued by the Ministry of Health. The exercise covered
scenarios of handling dead birds found in refuse bins,
as well as dealing with queries on compensation for
workers deployed to perform avian culling, vehicle
breakdowns and managing media queries.
At Sembcorp, we recognise that sustainability is
primarily about carrying out our business operations
responsibly and managing our HSE impacts. However,
aside from this, we also recognise that companies can
make a positive impact in the community by giving
financial and other resources towards meaningful
causes. In 2007, the Sembcorp Group contributed a
total of over S$2.1 million to causes including children,
education, sports & fitness and the arts.
The Trailblazer-Wong Kok Siew Fund, the charitable
fund we administer in aid of children, education,
medical research and stroke assistance, continued to
be central to our community efforts. Started in 2005
with an initial S$1.2 million, the fund is supplemented
by ongoing donations from Sembcorp companies.
On the education front, the Trailblazer-Wong
Kok Siew Fund disbursed a total of S$335,150 in
2007. This included its continued support for ongoing
programmes such as Sembcorp Marine's School Book
Assistance Grant (SchoolBAG) scheme and St Joseph's
Institution's Wong Kok Siew-St Vincent de Paul Fund in
2007, both initiatives in aid of needy students. Other
significant initiatives supported in aid of education in
2007 included the launch of the Trailblazer-Wong Kok
Siew Scholarship for Sports in partnership with the
Football Association of Singapore and the Singapore
Badminton Association, to fund tertiary education for
young aspiring sportspersons in Singapore.
In area of stroke assistance medical research, in 2007
the Fund made a three-year commitment of S$150,000
to launch the Wong Kok Siew Fund for Stroke Research
and Rehabilitation with the Singhealth Foundation.
The Fund also supported the Home Nursing Foundation's
work with home-bound stroke patients and contributed
towards a clinical database analysis system for the
National University of Singapore Endowment Fund for
Neurosurgery & Medical Studies' Medical Centre.
Aside from our efforts through the Trailblazer-
Wong Kok Siew Fund, Sembcorp also supported
a range of community contributions at the group
level, the individual business unit level, and the local
Contributions at the group level included a
S$250,000 commitment as Season Presenter of Singapore
Season in China 2007, a month-long arts festival in
Beijing and Shanghai from October to November,
organised by the National Arts Council to showcase
Singaporean talent overseas. Other worthy causes
supported included the Singapore Cancer Society's
Hope for Tomorrow Fund and the Inaugural
Corporate Environmental Outreach run. Group-wide
contributions to education included support for the
new S Rajaratnam School of International Studies
at the Nanyang Technological University as well as
donations to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
In addition, in 2007, Sembcorp sponsored two
of its employees to take part in the Sahara Race,
a seven-day, 250 kilometre race across the Sahara
Desert with participants from all over the world, in
line with the company's belief in work-life balance. Sembcorp then launched a group-wide effort in
conjunction with this participation in the race, to raise
funds for the WINGS Counselling Centre. WINGS is a
non-profit organisation that pioneered the concept
of school-based counselling in Singapore, and is
one of the very few centres to offer medical and
psychiatric consultation for children locally. Our two
representatives successfully completed the Sahara Race
in November 2007, and through pledgecards issued to
staff, direct donations from customers and partners as
well as funds-matching by Sembcorp companies,
a total of S$250,000 was raised.
At the business unit level, our Utilities business
continued its sponsorship of the Woodlands Wellington
Football Club, while our Environmental Management
arm renewed its adoption of the Tree Frog exhibition
at the Singapore Zoological Gardens.
In line with Sembcorp's commitment to contribute
to local communities where we operate, during the
year our units overseas actively participated in initiatives
in aid of their local communities. For instance, our
Utilities operations in the UK saw four employees
completing the "Race the Sun Challenge", an annual
triathlon event which includes scaling England's second-highest
mountain, to raise more than GBP2,000 for
Action Medical Research. Also in the UK, Sembcorp's
Wilton International-based call centre supported British
charity Comic Relief's Red Nose Day for a third year by
taking public pledges from the public and helping to
raise millions of pounds to alleviate poverty in the UK
and Africa. Other efforts in the UK during the year
included the donation of a specially tailored fire safety
vehicle to the Cleveland Fire Brigade and the sponsorship
of the Sustainable School Award, a regional award
recognising achievements by schools in Northeast
England to be more environmentally friendly.
Responding to the devastating floods in Jakarta
and the surrounding areas in February 2007, Sembcorp's
Industrial Parks business, which holds indirect stakes
in industrial parks in Indonesia, provided medical aid
and other essential supplies to Islamic organisation
Muhammadiyah to support their relief efforts.
Sembcorp's Industrial Parks business also continued its
support of the Autism Resource Centre through direct
donation and staff contributions through pledge cards.
In Vietnam, the operating companies for Sembcorp's
Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) and Phu My
3 power plant were recognised for their contributions
to the Vietnamese community through their inclusion in
the Saigon Times Top 40 FDI Awards for 2007. Organised
by the two English-language publications of Saigon
Times Group in coordination with the Departments of
Planning and Investment in Ho Chi Minh City, Dong
Nai, Binh Duong and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces, the
awards honour foreign direct investment enterprises
making significant contributions to community
development. In addition, VSIP was conferred the Golden
Dragon Awards which honour the achievements of
foreign enterprises in Vietnam and their contribution
to economic development as well as to the local
community. VSIP also organised a fifth VSIP Charity
Day in 2007, an annual charity event benefiting the
local community. With the generous support of
its customers, VSIP raised US$100,000 towards the
refurbishment of a primary school in one of the poorest
local communities in Binh Duong province, where VSIP
I and II are located.