In recent years, Yuhua has undergone many eco projects to transform into one of Singapore’s greenest neighbourhoods. From rooftops to vertical greenery, the estate brings about a glimpse into a sustainable future where eco-projects not only beautify the buildings, but also serve a practical purpose. For instance, the green roofs and vertical greenery installed throughout Yuhua reduces temperatures and humidity for its residents, improving the comfort of all.
Ensuring the completion of such sustainability projects is no easy feat, with many working tirelessly behind the scenes for a greener and more sustainable Singapore. One such unsung hero is Thomas Lim, PBM, the sustainability lead within the project department of Jurong-Clementi Town Council (JRTC). In this interview, Mr Lim offers deeper insights into the sustainability projects in store for the Jurong-Clementi community.
As the sustainability lead within the project department of JRTC, what are your responsibilities?
As the sustainability lead, I am responsible for the implementation of sustainable projects across all seven divisions within JRTC. For instance, I am working on educating the community on how to recycle responsibly and the proper way to dispose of e-waste and plastic waste. We want to make these processes easier and more convenient to encourage the community to dispose of waste in a more sustainable fashion. Furthermore, I also look after the building of community allotment gardens as well as new initiatives to be implemented within the different divisions to improve sustainability.
What is your favourite part of your job as the Town Council’s sustainability lead?
My desire to provide solutions to issues is the reason why I am in this job. In particular, I am passionate about transforming Jurong-Clementi town into a sustainable and green community to improve the quality of life for all, while ensuring that the projects we implement do not negatively impact the environment. I would say that my favourite part of being the sustainability lead is that I get the opportunity to work with stakeholders and the community to improve the sustainability of the neighbourhood. I get to interact with the community personally and bond with them, making me more aware of the issues to be solved and giving me the clarity of mind to come up with better solutions that would benefit the community.
What is the current project that you are working on?
We are planning to build an agritech solar living lab in Yuhua and convert a rooftop carpark into a testbed for experts to test out the agritech technology with the help of experts from the sector. This will help the industry to improve efficiency and hopefully, turn this project into a reality. Furthermore, this project will benefit the community as it will utilise solar energy rather than fossil fuels.
What are your hopes for Yuhua’s future as a sustainable and green neighbourhood?
While I have only recently started in this role, I have many hopes and dreams for the sustainability of Yuhua. I want to get the community more involved in sustainability efforts where residents can come together and work on projects as a team for a better and sustainable future for all. My wish is that the whole community, including and not limited to religious organisations, welfare organisations and grassroots organisations can work in harmony and continue the efforts to make Yuhua a neighbourhood with high liveability.
What drives your passion for sustainability?
I would say that my passion for sustainability started even before I joined the Town Council, when I was still working in the oil and gas industry. I worked on creating fuel-efficient lubricants for the automotive industry so that it no longer has to rely on fossil fuels. My passion started from there and has only grown since, leading me to take on the current position.
I treasure sustainability efforts a lot as Singapore is a small county with limited resources and I hope that with persistent efforts, our future generations will be protected from climate change and live their lives without having to worry about the environmental crisis. I believe that for sustainability efforts to be effective, it is important to start now. Living sustainably is a habitual practice, so we need to create more awareness in the community about inculcating sustainable habits in our everyday lives.
While achieving true sustainability requires putting in some effort, I feel that it is a necessity. With sustainable habits, we can work towards a better future as one unit.
Text: Rachel Goh