Press Release - ITE and NYAA Collaborate in SME Sustainability Drive

News details
  • Publish date:30 Nov 2021

NYAA ropes in ITE students to show companies how going green makes better business sense.

         It was a simple solution but the result was an almost 14 per cent reduction in electricity consumption and 20.5 per cent reduction in water consumption. A team of three students (Budi Kurniawan Bin Ismail, Nurul Ernisah Lydiawati, and Amber Chong Huey Huey) from ITE College East’s Nitec in Chemical Process Technology course helped a drinks stall achieve this by cutting the amount of ice given for chilled drinks by 50 per cent. This amount was derived from a survey they did to identify how much ice was needed to satisfy the majority of customers. The simplicity of this solution means that drinks stalls across Singapore can quickly and easily replicate and implement this to enjoy the savings.


Everyone’s a Winner in Sustainability Drive

         This project is part of a Climate Change Mitigation Project that was mooted by National Youth Achievement Award Council’s (NYAA) Executive Director, Mr James Soh, in early 2020, and is sponsored by HSBC Singapore. “Carbon emissions, which are caused by industrial and economic activities, lead to climate change. The challenge for countries, Singapore included, is how we can stem climate change and lower carbon emissions without affecting economic activities. That’s where this project comes in,” explained Mr Soh. [See attached Fact Sheet for Project Synopsis for most innovative and impactful projects]


          In line with its mission to nurture and develop youths, NYAA decided to train ITE students to help conduct environmental reviews for businesses in a bid to reduce carbon emissions. In this pilot project, a total of 15 teams of ITE students were paired with 15 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) across various industries. Over the next one-and-a-half years, the students worked with the companies to come up with eco-solutions that improved sustainability without affecting profit margins.


          Under the guidance of NYAA’s Climate Change Advisor, Professor Jeff Obbard, the 15 teams conducted environmental reviews for the 15 SMEs with the aim of reducing carbon emissions and enhancing sustainability. They found that many companies were consuming more electricity and water than necessary. The teams then brainstormed for ideas and came up with small, but innovative, interventions, to solve this. And the outcome was encouraging.


          Overall, the ITE teams helped identify a total reduction of 144 tonnes in carbon emissions per year, with an associated business cost savings of $76,000. When extrapolated to all 219,000 SMEs in Singapore, this represents a total potential reduction of over 2 million tons of carbon emissions per year, and a business cost saving of over $1.1 billion. Said Professor Obbard of this outcome, “What has been made very clear from the project is that reducing carbon emissions at SMEs in Singapore does not come at a cost to business. In fact, the opposite is true! In every case, we significantly improved environmental performance and reduced business costs – a true win-win situation for the environment and Singapore’s growing green economy.”


Towards a Better Tomorrow

          The success of this project highlighted how running a greener business makes good environmental and business sense. In addition, it was an enriching experience for the ITE students. They not only picked up new skills, they also experienced first-hand how they can play a part in mitigating climate change in the workplace.


          The ITE College Central team summed this up best. “[This project] provided an authentic learning opportunity to bridge what we have learned in school to industry needs. It has helped us understand that small ideas can amount to big contributions to environmental protection. We never thought that our simple ideas could reduce carbon emissions and at the same time, save costs for the company, thereby improving profitability.” The team members are Technical Engineer Diploma in Machine Technology students, Maria Ulfah Bte Mohd Jamil, Ahmad Ghazi Nasiruddin Bin Jamiat, and Raden Zulfiqkar Bin Zulkifri.


Fact Sheet




Company Team
iTEA Pte Ltd ITE College East
Nitec in Chemical Process Technology
  • Budi Kurniawan Bin Ismail
  • Nurul Ernisah Lydiawati
  • Chong Huey, Amber
Project Synopsis (Top 3)
iTEA Café is a privately owned food & beverage company, and its primary business model is operating cafes, coffee houses, and the retail of beverages.
In the company’s daily operations, the Environmental Sustainability Team from ITE College East recommended the café to reduce the amount of ice per glass to be given to customers who purchased chilled drinks. Experiments and surveys conducted showed that filling 50 per cent of a cup with ice is sufficient to provide a ‘just-nice’ taste. This eco-solution will help reduce water and electricity consumption, and the savings will be substantial if implemented across other cafes in Singapore.
For coming up with an innovative and impactful solution, the trio earned a fully-sponsored study trip to Switzerland to understudy the Swiss Sustainability Programme in 2022.

Company Team
Champion Precision Engineering ITE College Central
Technical Engineer Diploma in Machine Technology
  • Maria Ulfah Binte Mohammed Jamil
  • Raden Zulfiqkar Bin Zulkifri
  • Ahmad Ghazi Nashiruddin Bin Jamiat

Project Synopsis (Top 3)
Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machines are used extensively in Champion Precision Engineering’s business operations.
From the environmental studies, it was observed that the company recycles and reuses the coolant used for CNC Milling. However, the recycling process uses electricity to remove the metal chips and oil from the coolant. An air compressor is used for this process, and it is switched on continuously. This results in higher power consumption. The Environmental Sustainability Team from ITE College Central proposed an eco-solution system that filters the coolant, removing both the oil and metal chips simultaneously. This eco-solution design achieves a 25 per cent savings in both the coolant and water consumption. By switching to a more efficient air compressor, they are able to achieve 65 per cent reduction in carbon emissions.


Company Team
Song Fish Dealer ITE College Central
Higher Nitec in Electronics Engineering
  • John Daniel Kurien
  • Chua Zhi Jia, Joseph
  • Jarel Koh Jia Le
Project Synopsis (Top 3)
Song Fish Dealer is a leading supplier of frozen seafood and poultry in Singapore. The factory is equipped with a modern blast freezing facility and a fully automated packing line. The processing and packaging operations comply with world health standards.
The Environmental Sustainability Team from ITE College Central assisted the SME by installing power surge sensors to monitor temperature fluctuations and power outages in freezer units. The sensors send alerts pinpointing specific freezers operating at non-optimal temperatures to trigger a response from maintenance teams. Maintaining optimal freezers temperature has achieved a monthly power saving of 4,098kWh, which translates to about $870 savings in utility bills. The implementation of IoT temperature monitoring sensors also help to reduce potential food wastage of around $40,000 per power outage incident.

Company Team
Bettr Barista ITE College West
Higher Nitec in Mechatronics Engineering
  • Iszreen Nerina
  • Zhou Yiling
  • Nazirah Binte Sa'awi
Project Synopsis (Merit)
Bettr Group was Singapore's first certified B-Corporation – businesses that meet very high standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
The Environmental Sustainability Team from ITE College West worked on reducing the amount of coffee ground waste, and its associated carbon emissions, from the Bettr Group. The coffee-soap eco-solution supports the 4R goals of reuse, reduce, recycle, and recreate by reducing the waste produced, reusing and recycling the coffee grounds to create a new sustainable product. This, in turn, reduced operating costs for the company because it did not have to pay a third-party company to get rid of the waste.

Company Team
GymKidz ITE College West
Nitec in Business Administration
  • Quek Li Xuan
  • Dilynn Loh Hui Ying
  • Lew Wan Jing

Project Synopsis (Merit)
GymKidz, an early educational provider, emphasises on providing physical, social and character development programmes for young children in Singapore.

The Environmental Sustainability Team from ITE College West worked with the company in the refurbishment of gym training equipment to reduce carbon footprints and reduce operation costs. At the same time, the team also worked with Gymkidz on the development and implementation of environmental education in their curriculum.

Company Team
Prince Landscape ITE College East
Nitec in Urban Greenery & Landscape
  • Ang Yu Jun
  • Lim Hong Wei
  • Muhd Irfan Bin Muner
  • Nur Shazwani Bte Mohamed S
Project Synopsis (Merit)
Prince Landscape is a full-fledged landscape design and installation specialist. They have completed numerous public parks development, landscape projects for residential and commercial setups.
From the environmental review, several eco-solutions were identified and recommended by the Environmental Sustainability Team from ITE College East. One of them was the use of a drip-irrigation system with an automated timer and hose nozzles for watering the plants. A scaled-down version of the drip-irrigation system was installed at the retail area of the nursery. This eco-solution not only provides savings in terms of water usage but also in productivity and environmental sustainability. A definite win-win for both the company and the environment.