DBS unveils new café concept to entrench sustainability ethos among employees

Sustainability & Regulation
21/11/2022 News

DBS has opened the doors to DBS Better World Café, a new, 11,300 square foot employee café which aims to inspire Team DBS to do their part for a more sustainable world through food.

Erwin Chong, Group Head of Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Administration at DBS, said, “At DBS, we advance our sustainability agenda through multiple avenues, and this includes embedding sustainability in the fabric of our operations. In conceptualising DBS Better World Café, 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 café as possible, DBS Better World Café 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.”

Located in Singapore’s Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3, DBS has embedded a host of novel sustainability features into the café’s operations:

Sustainable Kitchen

• DBS worked with homegrown F&B company Chilli Padi Holding Pte Ltd to curate a menu using ingredients sourced from local farms and suppliers with responsible agricultural practices. Such produce includes chicken and cage-free eggs that are ‘Certified Humane’ by HFAC[1], fish from BAP-certified[2] aquaculture farms, and pesticide-free mushrooms.

• DBS partnered Chilli Padi to create job opportunities in the kitchen for disadvantaged individuals from local social enterprise The Social Kitchen. Discussions are also underway to offer internship opportunities for students studying at APSN[3].
Bettr Barista, a social enterprise supported by the DBS Foundation as well as Singapore’s first Certified B Corporation[4], has also opened a coffee bar offering beverages made from responsibly sourced coffee beans.

Minimising Carbon Footprint

• Leveraging its experience in developing DBS Newton Green, Singapore’s first net zero bank building, DBS deployed occupancy-based lighting and air-conditioning systems as well as low-energy appliances to minimise the café’s energy needs. Heat pumps were also installed in the kitchen to harness waste heat generated by refrigerators and freezers to produce hot water.

• Only eco-concrete certified by Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority was used for all café screeds. To avoid generating unnecessary embodied carbon, the furniture in the café was upcycled or repurposed from other parts of the bank where possible, while the café’s feature walls and art pieces were made from upcycled waste.

Giving New Life to Food Waste

• In line with the bank’s Towards Zero Food Waste initiative, DBS has deployed food composting stations for employees to dispose their food scraps in, thus diverting food waste from Singapore’s diminishing landfills. All dine-in tableware and takeaway packaging used at the café are fully compostable, making food composting even easier.

• DBS engaged Aperion Twin Gem Biofuel, a local company that specialises in recycling waste oil, to convert used cooking oil from the kitchen into biofuel to power the café’s backup generator.

Patricia Lee, Director at Chilli Padi Holding Pte Ltd, said, “Pledging sustainability is not just a commitment – the effort of collective like-minded partners is more important than ever as we seek better and innovative ways to move towards a more sustainable future for generations to come. We are happy to partner with DBS to push the boundaries and bring to their employees our first sustainable kitchen concept.”

Added Chong, “We are grateful to embark on this journey with an ecosystem of like-minded partners who share our vision for a better world. DBS Better World Café is a living experiment of how employee experience can be fused with sustainability, and we look forward to more collaborations as we continue to introduce new spaces and concepts within the café in the coming months.”

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