Challenging Singapore’s Youth to Reduce Food Waste

DBS Foundation, in partnership with the National Environment Agency (NEA), has announced the launch of DBS Foundation X NEA Hungry for Change Challenge. A nationwide zero food waste challenge to inspire and empower youth from Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL) to develop and pilot innovative solutions to reduce food waste.

Food waste is one of the biggest waste streams in Singapore, accounting for about 12 per cent of the total waste generated in Singapore. The total amount of food waste generated in 2021 was 817,000 tonnes, which was 23 per cent more than the 665,000 tonnes generated in 2020. In addition, though Singaporeans are commonly known for their love for food, households in Singapore are one of the largest generators of food waste, contributing about half of the food waste generated nationwide. At our current rate of waste generation, Semakau Landfill is expected to be full by 2035.

To leverage the creativity and energy of Singapore’s youth, the DBS Foundation X NEA Hungry for Change Challenge, in support of the NEA’s Youth for Environmental Sustainability (YES) movement, aims to engage students in a nationwide competition to ideate, develop and implement impactful solutions to reduce food waste while developing their environmental leadership capabilities. The challenge also forms part of broader efforts under the DBS Foundation new “Community Impact” chapter which focuses on preparing communities for the future through building future-ready skills and reducing food waste, by leveraging the power of the collective to be more impactful together.

Lim Yuin Chien, Group Director of Public Engagement Group at NEA, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with DBS in this meaningful partnership that offers opportunities for youth to innovate and pilot their ideas to tackle food waste challenges. This amplifies the national efforts in developing youth leaders for Singapore’s environmental sustainability and Singapore’s vision towards a Zero Waste Nation.”

Karen Ngui, Group Head of Strategic Marketing and Communications at DBS, and Board Member of DBS Foundation, said: “Empowering youth and providing opportunities to develop and implement innovative zero food waste solutions is a powerful way to promote sustainability in everyday living. We look forward to partnering NEA and creating greater impact together in this multi-year programme. It is a privilege to support the next generation in efforts to accelerate and help achieve Singapore’s ambition to be a Zero Waste Nation by 2030.”

DBS’ partnership with NEA aligns with the bank’s Towards Zero Food Waste efforts, which have generated more than 800,000 kg of food impact across Asia since 2020. In 2020, DBS was the first bank to join Singapore’s national ‘Say Yes to Waste Less’ campaign organised by the National Environment Agency as a collaborating partner.

Within the bank, DBS has also been actively engaging employees to reduce food waste in their daily lives and within the bank’s own operations, while working with like-minded ecosystem partners such as government bodies, corporates and charities to enhance efforts.

DBS Foundation X NEA Hungry for Change Challenge

Youth are invited to form teams to submit their entries for the Challenge. Up to five most innovative and impactful ideas will receive funding and support to pilot their solutions targeted at preventing and/or reducing food waste in food establishments and/or households in Singapore.

  • Winners of the challenge will benefit from:
    • Funding support of up to SGD 25,000 per pilot
    • Project consultations with NEA
    • Opportunity to network with like-minded youth
  • Eligibility – Each team must have at least four members from an IHL, with at least one member who is a current full-time or part time student or recent alumni (of less than five years)

Submissions are now open and will close on 21 October 2022. The winners will be announced by mid-December.

To find out more or to submit an entry to participate in the challenge, please visit

Images: Envato

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