Waste Not, Want Not

BY ANNETTE TAN / Article from dbs.com

To reduce waste, portions come in Petite or Standard so that employees can choose a size that fits their appetite. A self-service composting station located at the wash area allows employees to compost their food scraps, which are parlayed to the DBS Food Forest and other edible gardens in Singapore.

Takeaway packaging is made from home compostable materials like bagasse pulp from Sanz Pte Ltd. Suffice it to say, there is no trace of plastic in any single-use packaging at the cafe. Instead, all crockery comes from Husks Green International Pte Ltd, which uses rice husks and modified starch that are fully compostable at the end of life.

Naturally, sustainability extends to Better World Cafe’s Operations. In line with DBS’ commitment to using as little energy as possible for its operations, the cafe is brightened by LED lights with occupancy controls. In other words, sensors detect when the space is unoccupied and automatically turn off or dim the lights to conserve energy.

Among numerous other operational efficiencies are special air-to-water heat pumps and storage heaters which harness ambient heat to produce hot water. The discharged cold air is used to cool the pump room. A demand-controlled ventilation system enables flexible control of kitchen equipment to reduce power consumption, especially during equipment standby.

Pretty creative

Having been designed with circularity in mind, everything at the cafe is reused, recycled or repurposed where possible. Feature walls were created with ChopValue Singapore using disposable chopsticks collected from vendors around Singapore. Used coffee bean crates are repurposed as display shelves for the barista cafe area, while sustainable artworks made from recycled office waste materials like plastic bottles, coffee jute bags and beverage cartons beautify the space. Even the cafe’s screeds are made of fly-ash concrete certified eco concrete by Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority.

“I like how upcycled office waste is used creatively for the art pieces,” said an employee from Group Transaction Services at Instuitional Banking Group. – “It not only beautifies the place but serves as a way to raise awareness about using what we have instead of buying new.”

Erwin Chong, Group Head of Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Administration at DBS, would be glad to hear this sentiment. He said, “In conceptualising DBS Better World Cafe, we challenged ourselves to create a differentiated employee experience that goes beyond the functional. We hope that by incorporating sustainability elements in as many aspects of the cafe as possible, DBS Better World Cafe can serve as a beacon of inspiration for our employees and guests, and perhaps even encourage them to become sustainability advocates in their own lives.”

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