The University community engages in sustainability culture by participating in various green campaigns held on and off campus. In the biannual e-Waste Disposal Campaign initiative, unwanted large electronics can be placed in a designated waste bin that will be collected for disposal by a certified e-Waste disposal vendor. For smaller electronics such as mobile phones and batteries, e-Waste collection bins are available all year long in strategic locations around campus. Sunway University has also collaborated with NGOs in eco-friendly projects such as the Earth Warriors, in which volunteers join a mass street clean-up to improve and maintain cleanliness of public spaces.
“50 Acts of Sustainability started out as a simple initiative, hoping to influence Sunway students to start making small changes in their daily lives for the benefit of the environment,” comments Vivian Beh Wei Ean, Secretary of Sunway College Student Council. This social media campaign was carried out to raise awareness on the myriad of individual, daily, easily attainable actions for a sustainable future. Championed by the Sunway College Student Council, the campaign was entitled 50 Acts of Sustainability and encourages all students to be more mindful of their choices and to start playing a part in making the world a better place.
Sunway University Celebrates the 5th Anniversary of the SDGs with a Flag display at the College Foyer
Making Sustainability Accessible
The aim of this project is to encourage students to incorporate sustainability into their daily lives. This initiative included 50 acts across a wide range of categories. The categories included food and drinks, clothes, daily life, and conserving resources. These acts clearly proved that sustainability can be easily embedded into everyday choices. Sunway strongly advocates and supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and this campaign encouraged students to walk the talk.
Sunway Specific Sustainability Acts
To create more avenues for participation, Sunway-specific acts were framed. The Student Council brainstormed acts targeted for the Sunway community to spur greater collective action in creating a culture of green living. Some of these acts included using the elevated canopy walk to the neighbouring Sunway Pyramid Mall instead of driving as well as using Sunway Pals cards instead of taking a parking ticket.
The student council developed acts aligned with SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. “Simple and straightforward, the 50 AOS champions small acts that would eventually accumulate and contribute to a better future,” mentioned Hannah binti Muhammad Nasir, an A-Levels student.
Minimalist Campaign Design
The campaign used a combination of pastel colours to reflect the simplicity of the project as well as minimalistic messages to make it easily understandable to students. As Jacqueline Lye Chen Chen, Vice-President of the Sunway College Student Council mentioned, “Our vision for the aesthetic of this campaign was to keep things minimalistic since the theme was about sustainability. We wanted the layout to be simple by using more neutral colours that were more pleasing to the eye and resembled nature. We also went for softer illustrations that resembled hand-drawn art to emulate the feeling of naturalness.”
Small Acts Count
Across the 38 weeks of the campaign, students were constantly interfaced with behaviours that positively impacted the environment. The acts were intentionally designed as easily attainable to encourage behavioural change. Nasir commented, “‘Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world’, the 50 Acts of Sustainability initiative reflects this idea perfectly. Many don’t realise the impact of picking up sustainable habits, and that’s exactly what the initiative highlights.”
You may have already heard about the recent establishment of Ecole 42 Kuala Lumpur at Sunway Education Group which was launched in July 2020. If you haven’t…in a nutshell, 42KL is a tuition-free computer programming school with a peer-to-peer learning environment that doesn’t involve teachers and lecturers. 42KL is an innovate education model that is designed to develop the skills needed to jumpstart a career as a software engineer using project-based learning approach.
To understand more about this revolutionary coding school which is the first of its kind in Malaysia, we got in touch with Mr Jeff Sandhu, Head, FutureX Talent who answered some of the most frequently asked questions in relation to 42KL at Sunway Education Group, its greater impact on the community and its role towards closing the gap on attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ecole 42 2019
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) Ecole 42, what is in the name? what is the significance of the number 42?
We get this question quite a lot.
Well, ‘Ecole’ translates to the word ‘School’ in French as this coding school was founded in France. ‘42’, fans of the science fiction novel will recognize the significance of 42 from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, where it is the ‘Answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything.’ Wanting to give students the ability to navigate their own ultimate questions through learning how to code was the inspiration behind the origins of this name.
2) If you had to describe 42KL to a 10-year-old child, how would you?
It’s like playing Minecraft. You start at Level 1 and complete various building projects that will give you Experience Points. When you reach Level 7, you have all the important skills to build your entire structure. There are no limits to what you can build and there are no rules on how they should be build.
3) No teachers, peer-to-peer learning, how does this work?
First you ask your peers on your right. If that fails, ask your peers on the left. If that fails, there’s always Google. By not having teachers, we believe this is an important step to discovering your own ability on how you learn. Our curriculum modules are ever-changing with constant updates from the 42 network across 24 different cities and 42KL educational staff will be there for guidance on a basic level.
4) Who will grade the students work?
Students tasks will be assessed and graded using our system within the 42 network. They will also be subjected to a peer-to-peer assessment period where several other students will assess each other’s project and engage in an open dialogue.
5) Are the courses fully online?
No, 42KL is a physical coding/programming school and we believe that the best way of learning is in our campus. Considering the current pandemic, we will be ensuring a safe environment with all physical distancing measures in effect.
6) How many students have registered for this program? When will the course start?
We currently have more than 1,500 sign ups for the program and more than 300 of them have passed the first round of assessment. We are preparing for the second round of assessment in our campus in mid-November before the first cohort begins in February 2021.
7) Inequality is a major driver for societal problems, how does the establishment of 42KL address social and economic inequality?
42KL’s low entry requirements enable access to educational resources by underserved communities who may face barriers to enter into educational opportunities due to financial and academic constraints of traditional educational pathways. Those students who may not meet traditional academic requirements are offered an option to pursue an inquiry-based, peer-to-peer education approach.
Because entry requirements do not discriminate against an absence of formal educational qualifications, those who were unable to attain formal educational qualifications are included in the 42KL opportunity and afforded a place in the applicant pool. We also recognise inequality as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, namely SDG10.
It is our hope that bringing 42KL to Sunway City, we are able to play a part in addressing socioeconomic inequality. This is especially important now given the economic pressure faced under COVID-19.
8) How does 42KL provide economic opportunities for students?
Access to education regardless of background provides economic opportunities for 42KL graduates. For students in lower income groups seeking to equip themselves with industry-required skills, the 42KL opportunity provides a low-cost alternative to pursuing tertiary education. Those who pick up sufficient skills become sought after by companies requiring graduates who are able to innovate using data systems, data analytics and navigate software solutions.
9) An important question: How will the establishment of 42KL contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals?
There are many interlinks between 42KL and the SDG’s.
First and foremost, 42KL opportunity addresses SDG 10 by opening up entry to individuals above the age of 18 regardless of educational background.
The attainment of SDG 10 enables crosscutting benefits with other SDGs. SDGs are complex and intersecting. Upskilling through 42KL provides a route out of SDG 1 – No Poverty, and it is our hope that the graduates of 42KL will contribute towards the achievement of other SDGs such as SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth as well as SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure which is embedded with what 42KL stands for.
10) What is project-based learning and how does it address SDG4 – Quality Education?
As a project-based educational platform, 42KL addresses SDG 4 – Quality Education in depth. Particularly one of the SDG 4 Targets on instilling global citizenship. The UN has called for education systems to instil in learners the ability to address societal issues. 42KL does just that: it has, embedded into its mode of delivery, the pairing of students with real-world issues faced by companies and enterprises. Students develop solutions necessary for these issues. This is the type of thinking skills required for graduates in the job market. At 42KL they are having to take up such critical and analytical approaches to solving problems from the onset.
11) Is there anything else you would like to highlight?
Lastly, I’d like to highlight 42KL’s contribution to SDG 17- Partnerships for the Goals. The establishment of 42KL is a reference to this goal. A school which started in France and now spread across 24 countries worldwide and embarking its journey in Malaysia. One of the reason we are able to offer this for free is because of the partnerships. It’s made possible, thanks to the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, Sunway Education Group, Sunway iLabs, MDEC together with our anchor partners.
Sunway’s FutureX Farm has successfully delivered its first full harvest.
On 29th September 2020, Sunway University students and staff were able to conveniently purchase same-day harvest vegetables at a mini-booth set up at Makerspace in the university foyer.
At the same time, the Campus with a Conscience Team at Sunway University took this opportunity to interview Koo Tse Chien, the Community Manager at FutureX Farm.
“The vegetables are very fresh and taste so good! I really enjoyed them a lot!”- FutureX Farm produce survey participant.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) What is grown at FutureX Farm and how is it grown?
At FutureX, we grow a variety of vegetables and herbs.
Our vegetables are hydroponically-grown in nutrient-rich solutions, without soil. No pesticides are applied. Also, because of the integrated piping and controlled environment, minimal maintenance is required.
Bags of harvested vegetables, each bag contains 0.8 – 1.2 kg of fresh produce
2) Why an urban farm?
As urban populations grow to nearly 80% of the earth’s population by 2050, more food is required. Right now, most of our food is grown off-site, meaning we don’t grow our own vegetables or rear our own fish. This model of food production, if continued into the future, will pose a huge resource strain on our transportation systems, land fertility and fresh water.
An urban farm brings the farm into the city. This reduces the need for long-distance transport, packaging food in layers of protective material whether paper or plastic, and has numerous wellbeing effects for city dwellers.
FutureX Farm has vertical farming which allows for efficient use of space
3) Why does FutureX Farm use vertical hydroponic farming instead of traditional farming?
At FutureX Farm, we use vertical farming because it allows for the production of healthy vegetables with 90% less water and no soil, not to mention the efficient use of space.
Industrial agriculture typically uses up a lot of resources in terms of irrigation infrastructure, soil, water, fertiliser and pesticides which would cause environmental and health impacts. Our approach is not meant to replace traditional farms, which are usually located in the outskirts, but to complement our nation’s food security by growing more safe and clean produce in urban environments.
Historically, since the start of large-scale industrial agriculture in the early 1900s, humans have degraded arable land in the name of food production, and it takes a long time to restore the fertility of soil once degraded. By using no soil, FutureX Farm avoids further degradation of land.
Sunway Education Group CEO Dr Elizabeth Lee pays a visit to FutureX Farm
4) Lastly and most importantly, how does FutureX Farm address the issue of climate change?
One of the main ways to address climate change is to figure out how to reduce our carbon footprint from food production. The use of no soil and low water resources at FutureX Farm reduces the carbon footprint of our vegetables.
Did you know: the process of growing, harvesting, processing, packing and transporting food is responsible for 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions? Of this 25%, over one third is from crop production. So, getting fruits and vegetables from farm to plate is a costly affair.
Because human agricultural activity is a main driver of climate change from its greenhouse gas emissions, we initiated FutureX Farm with the aim to develop young talents in this area. FutureX Farm serves as an innovation hub for urban farming professionals, young talents, startups and industry players to come together to create transformative solutions for food and agritech.
Greenhouse gases have negative effects on both the natural environment and to human health. More greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere leads to greater imbalance in the Earth’s climate system. With this in mind, we work with urban farming enthusiasts to develop localised low-carbon approaches to urban farming with the aim of addressing the resource drain on food systems in light of a growing urban population.
Sunway University is a case study featured in an internationally released guide on Accelerating Education for the SDGs launched on 21st September 2020 by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which operates under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary-General.
“It is very easy to say what universities should do about education for sustainable development, but the actual reality of what this looks like is a lot more complex,” says Tahl Kestin, one of the guide’s authors during the launch. This guide is organised in a user-friendly manner to inspire, empower and mobilise universities and higher education intuitions across the globe to provide students with the necessary knowledge, training, and skills to contribute solutions to the world’s pressing issues in light of the 2030 Agenda deadline.
Sampling of ten smart and sustainable initiatives as a means of embracing and embedding culture of sustainability in the campus community
As part of an organising strategy to achieve cross-cutting outcomes as an entire campus, Sunway University has set up a “second-operating system” in its governance structure. The Smart Sustainable Campus Committee (SSCC) was set up in 2017 to brainstorm and innovate together in order to creatively advance sustainability in campus-wide initiatives. The committee consists of academics, administrators, students and top management. The deliberate diversity of members from multiple departments, schools and student organisations strengthens its ability to champion campus-wide initiatives. The goal was to implement clean energy, reduce waste, and instill behaviour change towards green living within the Sunway education complex. Examples of the committee’s efforts can be found in the case study with the mention of solar panel installation, and a plastic awareness campaign which has effectively removed single-use plastic bottles, straws and polystyrene from campus eateries.
Several features of Sunway University’s sustainability initiatives were mentioned. The case study further highlights Sunway University’s multipronged approach to infusing sustainability in research, curriculum, operations and campus life. Further ongoing sustainability efforts can be found on the Sunway University sustainability website: https://university.sunway.edu.my/sustainability
To commemorate the 5th Anniversary of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Sunway University released a board game “Are You the Master of Sustainability?”
This multiplayer board game aims to become a vehicle to mainstream education for sustainable development as mandated by SDG 4: Quality Education Target 7 “to ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development.” The game highlights key societal issues – water security, land degradation, plastic pollution, greenhouse gases, gender inequality. Players are exposed to a range of issues through a simple gameplay mechanism which encourages learners to transition from local to global perspectives.
The game was received by a range of local NGOs, corporate members, schools, and government ministries all of whom are recognised for efforts in championing the SDGs. These include YBhg Tan Sri Dato' Seri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, Director-General of Health Malaysia; Julian Neo, Managing Director, DHL; Stefan Priesner & Juanita Joseph, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Malaysia.
Many recipients provided feedback on Sunway University’s efforts in forwarding a national and global awareness on the importance of SDG 4: Quality Education, which has been mentioned by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, who is the SDG Advocate under United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, as the most important SDG.
Sunway University’s staff from JSC and students of the Master in Sustainable Development Management programme played a role in the game’s design, development, and the crafting of questions to educate players on the need to find solutions to some of the most pressing social and environmental issues in Malaysia and the world today.
Sunway University is home to the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development and will host the new Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Asia office, working with SDSN-NYC and SDSN-Paris to coordinate the global reach of SDSN. SDSN was set up in 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General to mobilise global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the SDGs.
Featured above: some of the recipients of the Are You a Master of Sustainability? United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Board game.
Center for Sustainable Development, E. I., Columbia University (Producer). (2020). Charting an SDG 4.7 roadmap for radical, transformative change in the midst of climate breakdown. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwc-GOfdKJQ&t=2493s
In a massive effort to gather leaders and the community to create awareness and drive the nation towards the achievement of the 17 United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), Sunway Education Group partnered UN Malaysia to stage ‘Shine a Light on Sustainability: Rock the Goals 2019’ in conjunction with the Global Week to #Act4SDGs (September 20-30) and to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the UN SDGs.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, and provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At the core are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership, acknowledging that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.
Speakers of each of the 17 SDGs take the stage
“The successful sustainable development agenda can only be achieved with continuous and coordinated partnerships involving governments, private sectors, civil service and individuals. I urge everyone to play a more active role for delivering sustainable change within the community. Together, we can create impact,” said His Royal Highness Tengku Amir Shah ibni Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Al-Haj, Crown Prince of Selangor.
Dr Elizabeth Lee, Chief Executive Officer of the Sunway Education Group hoped the ‘Shine a Light on Sustainability: Rock the Goals 2019’ will further inspire the Sunway community and their guests to work together towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “The vision for that we are interdependent on each other, and with all life on earth, it is a symbiotic relationship. Only by understanding this, will we be able to work towards sustainable solutions for many of the issues in the world today,” she said.
Students and community groups come together to shine a light on sustainability
The Sunway Education Group is dedicated to championing sustainability within and around its campus. In its continuous effort to make the world a better and greener place, the Group strives to instill sustainable practices into various aspects of students’ education experience, and to nurture a community of socially and ecologically responsible global citizens of the future.
Paper production has a direct correlation with deforestation. Despite availability of recycled paper, paper manufacturing uses mainly virgin materials (State of the Global Paper Industry 2018). The world’s forests are on the decline. Over the years 2010 – 2015, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) there was an annual forest cover nett change of negative 3.2 million hectares (FAO 2016). This includes trees cut down for paper production as the FAO definition of forests includes timber plantations.
A reduction in the amount of paper used by Sunway Education Group demonstrates its alignment with global issues concerning climate change. The private sector can align its business activities with responsible consumption because deforestation is the second-leading cause of climate change after fossil fuel burning (FAO 2018).
The ThinkB4Print campaign encouraged the reduction of paper consumption. This move further strengthened SEG’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), particularly SDG number 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production.
"We have very good printing facilities on campus, and we have made it easy for our users to print. At the same time, we are also very conscious of the huge cost to our planet. I would like to think that as our campus workplace becomes more mature, our colleagues and students will make conscious choices to print less and chose various digital alternatives instead,” said Tony Lee, Chief Information Officer, SEG.
The ThinkB4Print campaign was designed to enable a variety of paper-saving practices to reach targeted audiences using multimodal approaches. The campaign was the outcome of six months of preparation by both the IT Services of Sunway Education Group (SEG) and the School of Arts-Centre for Research Creation in Digital Media (SOA-CRCDM).
Making use of original video content and augmented reality (AR), the campaign started off in June 2019 with both a roadmap and ecofriendly printing guides interspersed together with a series of alternative solutions. Content was delivered over the course of five months to ease users into new printing and paper-saving habits. The series includes a video awareness campaign featuring printing tips and effective printer usage; transitioning towards cloud storage and adopting e-Campus solutions to event and administrative tasks. All campus staff were encouraged to participate in the campaign to reduce paper consumption with the long term goal of reduced paper found in the office.
The campaign strategically placed information tents at all University printer terminals (see photo below) to remind users to practice diligent paper usage. Integrating the campaign messages into existing IT assets in each department enhanced the campaign’s presence across campus. Each of these tents blended IT technical help with user education on reduced-paper printing practices and sustainability awareness. Operating within the nexus of the physical and the virtual space, the campaign went one step further to encourage uptake of AR technology as the primary means of accessing the technical and user education material.
SEG Printer Terminals were refitted with campaign information to encourage sustainable paper consumption
Staff and Students accessed additional information on deforestation and reduced printing practices
Supporting the campaign was Dr Elizabeth Lee, Chief Executive Officer of SEG. “At any organisation or institution such as ours, the consumption of paper for printing is extremely high. In this digital age, let us all strive to reduce paper consumption and move towards a paperless community, to reduce our carbon footprint.”
Despite improvements in energy optimization for reduced GHG emissions, the paper and pulp industry remains a high energy consuming and polluting sector. Particularly polluting is the pulping process, a core component of paper making, which requires chemicals (such as chlorine for bleaching) to process timber into pulp for final processing into paper. Wastewater and gaseous pollutants from these processes left untreated enter waterways and the atmosphere. In other words, paper production results in air, land and water pollutants while reducing forest cover. With these environmental impacts in mind, the outcomes of this campaign are in line with efforts to prevent environmental damage and to reduce global carbon footprint.
In her ThinkB4Print Campaign Video Message Dr Lee urged all SEG users “to reduce paper consumption and move towards a paperless community by practicing ‘Thinkb4Print-ing and adopting the e-Campus solutions that are being introduced by our IT Services.”
The ThinkB4Print campaign is a joint effort between IT Services and the School of Arts-Centre for Research Creation in Digital Media (SOA-CRCDM). It was supported by Branding and Corporate Communication, the Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) Programme at Sunway College and the Centre for English Language Studies (CELS). Key members of the ThinkB4Print campaign include Loo Ooi Meng, Manager; Ong Kiat Ming, Section Head, and Wong Jian Xiang, IT Executive from IT Services, and Delas Santano, Audiovisual Producer, Centre for Research-Creation in Digital Media, School of Arts, Sunway University.
The campaigns ended in October 2019 with the continued hope that all on the Sunway campus continue efforts to reduce paper consumption.
The pilot initiative introduces the refilling stations on campus to eliminate the use or purchase of plastic water bottles on campus. an initiative that eliminates single-use plastic on campus and encourages a no single-use plastic lifestyle.
In April 2019, this is two additional sets of water dispensers have been installed on campus grounds at the following locations with a third proposed at the field:
Last Straw Campaign Water Dispensers at Level 1, University Building
With each member of the community playing a role in reducing the use of plastics and adopting more effective re-cycling, the Sunway Education Group Smart Sustainable Campus Committee hopes to assist the world in achieving its target of preventing and significantly reducing marine pollution by year 2025 whilst championing sustainability for future generations.
1st March 2019 marked the further reduction of single-use plastic on campus when the Sunway Education Group Management decided no straws will be given out on campus.
The campus has further encouraged reuse of materials rather than single use by conducting a metal straw giveaway. Students were seen lining up across the university foyer during the collection period, 12 – 14th November 2019, to redeem their metal straws.
Students during the Last Straw Campaign Metal Straw Giveaway
Formerly known as the Start It Challenge, the Make It Challenge is an annual hackathon organised by Sunway iLabs. Students are tasked to come up with solutions to address one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). Students were selected based on video submissions, where they mentioned their motive to participate in the Make It Challenge 2019.
The participants from Lancaster and Sunway University, on their ride along the beautiful paddy fields in Pendang, Kedah.
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production was the theme for this year. Students started their programme with a trip to Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa to view food management in the hotel industry. As an experiential learning programme, all 17 students (5 from Lancaster University and 12 from Sunway University), together with the the Sunway iLabs team, visited multiple industries to better understand sustainable food, farming, fishing, waste and manufacturing processes.
This was followed by a longer trip up north to view sustainable fishing and manufacturing practices in Taiping, Perak where students visited a fishing village and charcoal factory. The next day, students visited Pendang and Gurun, Kedah visiting paddy fields and the Free The Seed factory. The Free The Seed factory produces biodegradable packaging using paddy straws.
The Sunway iLabs team on the 4 wheel drive and the students at the back, getting onto the lorry before taking a ride along the paddy fields
All 5 student teams came up with business ideas to address SDG12. Business solutions included gamified retailing solutions to encourage customers to bring their own reusable food containers and shopping bags; a restaurant food waste diversion application; and an ugly produce shopping application.
On the 26th night, all the teams stayed up, working on their ideas and practising their pitch as the final round was on the 27th afternoon. The judging panel consisted of innovation and sustainability leaders from PETROSAINS, Sunway Sustainability Solutions and BioBiz, UK.
The participants of Make It Challenge 2019 with the Sunway iLabs team and the panel of judges right after the announcement of winners at Sunway iLabs, Menara Sunway on 27 September 2019.
Global plastic recycling rates are 14% with effective recucling only constituting 2%. To encourage uptake of recycling behaviour, the Center for Research-Creation in Digital Media (CRCDM) at Sunway University has rolled out Malaysia’s First Fully Immersive Recycling VR Game.
Virtual reality gameplay: A player controls a plastic bottle to direct it into a recycling bin
The game was presented/experienced for the first time during the Malaysia’s biggest United Nations Concert/Event ‘Rock the Goals’ held on 25th September 2019 in Sunway University.The player’s task is to use the Virtual RC to control the character and force him to jump into the recycling container.
Crowd at the Rock the Goals United Nations SDG event in 2019 participating in Malaysia’s first fully immersive virtual reality recycling challenge
The experience includes multiple Unity Scenes guiding the users from start to finish in a win or lose outcome. The game was developed using SteamVR interaction system mainly for HTC Vive and WMR HMDs. The developer, Dr. Human Esmaeili, from the Centre for Research-Creation in Digital Media, School of Arts, Sunway University, who developed this game out as part of efforts form the Sunway Smart Sustainable Campus Committee to offer multiple approaches to education on sustainable development.
Malaysia’s first recycling virtual reality challenge gamifies recycling behaviour
VR games are known for their immersive experience. In this game, the player is tasked with controlling a plastic bottle. The player figures out the right pathway to complete the challenge. In this case, the player needs to figure out that the best option for the bottle is to be recycled. Using VR to inculcate recycling behaviour is an underutilized but powerful medium. Uptake of environmentally-friendly behaviours requires a change from existing behaviour. Using virtual reality as a platform to provide participants a recycling challenge is apt because it simulates the initial barriers faced when implementing recycling as a norm.
A player at the starting process of the game
The game’s choice of plastic has important environmental considerations. 55% of plastic waste in Malaysia ends up being littered in unregulated dumpsites and in waterways (Jambeck et al., 2015). Far less of the remaining amount is recycled, with landfills being the main destination for plastic waste rather than material recovery. The VR platform enables education on sustainable development to inculcate recycling behaviour through a task of managing trash effectively.
The VR recycling challenge simulates a recycling scenario to stimulate players to overcome the behaviour change required to recycle in their own lives
Virtual reality has been used in multiple fields as education tools in healthcare, environmental studies, astronomy and history. Environmentally-friendly behaviours have been communicated using the medium of augmented or virtual reality. These experiences are capable of providing an experiential participation in executing and learning about the ways to reduce human impact on the environment.
The immersiveness of virtual reality enables dedicated inculcation of a specific environmentally-friendly behaviour. Users are fully immersed in the completion of a recycling task. Motor coordination to effectively control the movement of a virtual element requires focused hand-eye-coordination between visual playing field and handheld controllers.
The experience of completion in this game is associated with successful recycling. As a game, the difficulty was high. Most users were unable to complete the task within the time stipulated.
For more information on the game and collaboration efforts please contact Dr Human Esmaeili (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jambeck, J. R., Geyer, R., Wilcox, C., Siegler, T. R., Perryman, M., Andrady, A., . . . Law, K. L. (2015). Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean. Science, 347(6223), 768-771.
The campaign was featured in multiple local news outlets and received an award at the 2017 Sunway Leadership Conference.
Typically in Malaysian households, e-Waste ends up with the rest of domestic waste. Household e-Waste is not collected as part of municipal solid waste collection. The Department of Environment instructs Malaysians to send household e-Waste to authorized community collection points listed on the Department of Environment website. These collectors will transfer the items to DOE-licensed e-Waste recovery facilities.
DOE –licensed e-Waste facilities are equipped with appropriate environmental protections to prevent impacts to human and environmental health.
Back in 2012, public awareness of e-Waste disposal was limited. This is evidenced by the existence of few e-Waste collectors were operational. Users of electronic and electrical equipment did not know the need to separate these items from general waste disposal. Nevertheless, proper management of Sunway Education Group’s electronics was a priority. Tony Lee, the director of Sunway Education Group IT Services, was conscious of the future impact of IT equipment on the environment.
SEG’s Green IT journey could be seen in 2009 where IT Services transitioned from CRT to LCD monitors to save electricity. Its e-Waste campaign began internally, where the IT Services department sought to practice environmentally-friendly disposal methods and policies. Early work on this front involved a collaboration with the Health, Safety and Environment department to assess potential licensed, legitimate vendors for their green disposal practices. Other departments’ e-Waste was also included in this process to ensure proper disposal of all SEG hazardous waste. The initial e-Waste campaign was named “GreenThink! eWaste Disposal”, and enabled staff to dispose of their home e-Waste at the workplace.
Fluorescent tube lights were one of the items which required special handling and crushing methods under controlled environments. IT Services initiated interdepartmental coordination with the SEG Facilities Service Department to ensure SEG all lighting fixtures are sent for proper end-of-life treatment.
The first few years of the e-Waste campaign the response remained low with few members of students and staff bringing domestic e-Waste for disposal. This was due to the low awareness of the toxic properties of chemicals and materials found in electrical and electronic items.
To improve the practice of proper disposal of e-Waste, in 2016, the campaign organised an official launch to raise awareness on the dangers of the materials in electrical and electronic items ending up in direct contact with the natural environment.
The presence of an e-Waste licensed collector and recovery facility, Meriahtek, and the endorsement of SEG Senior Executive Director at the time, Dr Elizabeth Lee, marked a milestone in the campaign.
A booth was set up by Meriahtek in the University foyer with sample e-Waste items, demonstrations of environmentally friendly e-Waste handling and disposal methods and an educational campaign that involved Student Council members. This launch was a collaboration between multiple departments within Sunway Education Group, namely: IT Services, Health, Safety and Environment Department, Facilities Service Department and both Sunway College and University Student Council.
The prevention of environmental contamination from poor end-of-life disposal of electrical and electronic items was the main impetus to start the campaign. An increasing proliferation of personal and domestic devices and gadgets calls for responsible consumer behaviour. The e-Waste collection campaign at SEG enables consumers to partake in environmentally conscious disposal of electrical and electronic equipment at the end of their use-life.
“Getting the bin design right was difficult as we went through many versions before we saw the right items being put in the bin,” remarked Ong Kiat Ming, one of the campaign managers, who spent the early days of the campaign experimenting with a variety of bin designs to encourage accurate user behaviour.
At first, a round bin, similar to other waste disposal bins, was implemented. A cage was placed on the opening to deter disposal of general waste. For better results, IT Services consulted with the e-Waste facility Meriahtek to set up a specialised bin design to inform users of acceptable waste types. Following an existing design for e-Waste bins, the round opening was converted into a rectangular slot and the bin was made from transparent material. To address visibility and serve as public awareness, backdrops were created to draw attention from passersby.
Currently, there are five permanent e-Waste bins on campus.
An e-Waste bin is located at the following locations:
At the heart of this campaign was to make Sunway Education Group campus a Green IT campus. “We all have the responsibility to take care of the mother nature,” says Ong. The potentially damaging effects of e-Waste to nature and human health can be mitigated through proper disposal practices. “One of the key drivers of this campaign was how do we stir up desire in people to start thinking about the importance of mother nature through their living.”
As Malaysia transitions to a high-income nation, consumption of personal electronics is likely to increase. By default, domestic e-Waste is typically discarded into municipal solid waste. This waste is subject to further sorting by informal recyclers. While informal recycling has been an avenue for socioeconomic opportunities. Yet, informal recycling practices such as the burning of cables to retain copper value have potentially detrimental effects on human health. Informal e-Waste recyclers are at risk of having direct contact with toxic substances and fumes. These considerations informed SEG’s review of potential e-Waste collectors and recovery facilities for environmental and human health protective measures early on.
E-Waste is part of a larger category of hazardous waste. Under Malaysian regulations, hazardous waste is termed Scheduled Waste. This includes any waste, solid, semi-solid, liquid, or gaseous, is classified as hazardous as long as it poses threat to the environment and to human health. 77 types of waste is have been classified as Scheduled Waste. Metal or metal bearing waste, and principally inorganic or organic material with trace metals, are some primary forms of Scheduled Waste. E-Waste easily falls under this category as it contains metals and other forms of harmful substances.
Apart from the manufacturing industry, households are Malaysia’s main source of e-Waste. Sunway Education Group’s initiative enables household e-Waste to enter waste streams for material recovery. With some user-awareness of the harm inappropriate disposal of these devices can have, users can be empowered to change personal consumption behaviour to ensure that consumption is accompanied with responsible disposal. “With a little effort, everyone at Sunway Education Group can take responsibility to protect our environment,” remarks Tony Lee, Head of IT Services.
e-Waste Collection at Sunway Education Group
5 Collection Points are Available on the Sunway Education Group Campus for the following Items:
Accepted Items: All items with electrical and electronic parts
- Personal electronics: mobile phones, chargers, earphones, speakers, USBs, batteries
- Electrical and electronic appliances: TVs, printers, monitors, toys, e-gaming consoles, laptops
Medium items can be brought during the bi-annual e-Waste collection campaign and dropped of at the larger bin set up for the occasion.
Large-sized household electronics can be dropped off during the bi-annual e-Waste collection campaign at designated drive through areas.
Examples of Medium and Large Sized Appliances:
Refrigerators, Monitors, Television Sets, Air Conditioning Units: Washing Machines, Dryers, Kettles, Microwaves, Non-Pathogenic Medical Devices, Water Dispensers, Sports Equipment, Fluorescent light bulbs and tubes
Department of Environment e-Waste Portal: https://www.doe.gov.my/hhew/
Review of Hazardous Waste Management in Malaysia: Noor Artika, H., Yusof, M. Z., & Nor Faiza, M. T. (2019). An Overview of Scheduled Wastes Management in Malaysia. Journal of Wastes and Biomass Management (JWBM), 1(2), 01-04. http://doi.org/10.26480/jwbm.02.2019.01.04
On 19 May 2020, students of Sunway University Business School Bachelor of Marketing and Business Science had a guest lecture from the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development.
This lecture was part of ongoing outreach efforts by the Jeffrey Sachs Center to non-specialist audiences on sustainability issues.
The primary objective of the lecture was to present a case study of a sustainable brand using the Sunway Education Group e-Waste campaign. The use of a particular example was important to understand sustainable branding requires consideration on the environmental and social impact of operations as it is about projecting a sustainable brand image.
“The lecture was eye-opening on the efforts that go into making a business sustainable. There are many things to consider, not just marketing,” mentioned Angie Teh Yin Yi, a Business Studies student from the Product Development, Innovation and Commercialisation Course. At the start of the lecture, the course lecturer, Dr Mageswari Ranjanthran, mentioned the students being curious about the future job market and sustainability’s role in it. “Sustainability is a future demand in the market,” commented another student in the post-lecture feedback sheet.
Using the Jeffrey Sachs Center’s ongoing projects as examples, Outreach and Education Executive Kong Phui Yi further emphasised the need for students to consider the transferability of marketing skills to advance sustainable development.
Advancing sustainability as a university requires directing students to apply classroom skills to real-world issues. To highlight the transferability of skills to non-discipline areas for the betterment of societal wellbeing enables graduates to embark on careers with a sense of civic responsibility. “This sharing has awakened my responsibility whether as a student, a citizen or as a future marketer. Responsibility is not about self-serving but increasing our capacity to help others by adopting innovative ideas,” reflected Low Kai Xin, a student participant.
One of the features of the Sunway Education Group e-Waste Campaign is a Bin Design to Encourage Disposal Behaviour.
Students were encouraged to think about product delivery in the form of creating awareness on societal issues in addition to consumer-oriented product marketing. Yap Jian Hong, a business studies student, remarked, “It was an eye-opener for me, innovation is very crucial, especially aligning innovation of the right thing with the right method. Just as the e-Waste bin example.”
Following an introduction to the Jeffrey Sachs Center, the Sustainable Development Goals and Sunway Group’s sustainable development policy, a case study on Sunway Education Group’s e-Waste Campaign was delivered. The session provided an overview of the campaign’s development from responsible internal disposal of electric and electronic equipment waste to extending responsible disposal options for staff and students on the Sunway Campus.
Through the case study, students were exposed to the non-marketing areas of collaboration required to improve operational sustainability. The e-Waste campaign required collaboration between multiple departments to ensure sustainable e-Waste management is practices across the organisation. Health, Safety and Environment, IT Services and Facilities Management Department coordinated to channel Sunway Education Group’s e-Waste to disposal facilities with environmental safeguards to prevent leakage into the soil or atmosphere.
A sustainable brand is not primarily driven by profit-making but encompasses economic sustainability alongside two other pillars: social welfare of its employees and customers as well as the environmental safeguarding of business on the natural world. These three pillars: economic, social and environmental are incorporated into all business operations and future planning.
If you or your organisation would like to engage the Jeffrey Sachs Center on education for sustainable development, kindly send an email to email@example.com.
Adhering to the Ministry of Health’s regulations, the International Office and Sunway Monash Residence staff jointly administered a quarantine self-assessment form for risk of COVID-19. This form, required by the Ministry of Health, had students under self-quarantine record temperature and any symptoms on a daily basis in the morning, afternoon and evening.
The Quarantine Kits included a variety of dry provisions to tide students over the 14 days, including hot beverage sachet packets and oats biscuits. These bags were delivered to students from Vietnam, China and Japan.
The discussion with the panel of five experts can be found here. Recordings of all sessions from can be found on the SDSN YouTube Channel.
Established in 2013, the SDSN Malaysia Leadership Council was previously under the leadership of Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid with the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) as Secretariat. As of January 2019, YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah, Founder and Chairman of Sunway Group was appointed Chair of the Leadership Council along with the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development (JSC), housed at Sunway University, as Secretariat. The SDSN Malaysia network aims to support the localization of SDGs and their implementation, develop long-term transformation pathways for sustainable development, promote education around Agenda 2030, and launch solution initiatives.
Facebook: SDSN Malaysia
The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) was set up in 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. SDSN works closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society.
These seeds are expected to healthily sprout into wildflowers and are located at the campus urban garden initiative, also run by the Sunway Environmental Society.
More information about environmental consciousness on the Sunway University Campus can be found here.
Environmental Factors of Paper and Pulp Industry: Sun, M., Wang, Y., Shi, L., & Klemeš, J. J. (2018). Uncovering energy use, carbon emissions and environmental burdens of pulp and paper industry: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 92, 823-833. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2018.04.036
The Sunway iLabs team with Dr. Elizabeth Lee, CEO of Sunway Education Group, YB Syed Saddiq, Minister of Youth and Sport, and Evan Cheah, Vice President of Sunway Group, after the opening ceremony.
This hackathon was open to members of the public above the age of 18 with interest in innovation, technology and climate change. Participants were of different ages ranging from 18 to 30 years. The hackathon attracted a mix of college and university students, fresh graduates and working adults. 20-30 teams competed with team sizes varying from solo to four members.
Students formed groups, utilizing the open workspace at iLabs, Menara Sunway, and worked till wee hours of the morning.
Through a series of Tech Challenges by UNTIL held consecutively in four continents, Reboot the Earth provided young people, mainly tertiary students of different backgrounds such as tech, computer science, business and sustainability, with a platform to showcase their expertise in developing solutions based on climate change data. Participants were encouraged to localise solutions. Data points considered included: increase of temperature, changes in weather patterns, as a general overview over set geographic locations. Participants were given freedom of choice regarding technology, development tools and platform selection. Scoring emphasised the impact of the solution rather than technical expertise.
Present: YB Syed Saddiq, Minister of Youth and Sports, Evan Cheah, Vice President of Sunway Group, Dr. Elizabeth Lee, CEO of Sunway Education Group, Matthijs Van Leeuwen, Director of Sunway iLabs, and UNTIL team alongside the participants of Rebooth the Earth at the opening ceremony, gathering for a group photo..
Mentors coached participants to better understand the problem at hand and helping them to better gauge the feasibility of their solutions; no technical mentorship was provided. Some of the local issues students looked at were illegal deforestation, illegal poaching, and global warming. The variety of solutions from the participants included utilising used mobile phones to detect illegal poaching/logging and using drones to monitor natural resources.
The winner of Reboot The Earth Hackhathon 2019, Eshaan Menon (R) with Prem Nair (L), the UNTIL Officer of Information and Communications Technology at the prize giving ceremony.
The winner of Reboot the Earth Malaysia was a solo entrant, Eshaan Menon, who was given the opportunity of a lifetime to pitch his solution at the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York City. His solution, entitled SawIt, uses blockchain technology and satellite data to identify palm oil plantation locations intended to monitor illegal activities, deforestation and burning of forests.
Another Jeffrey Sachs Center Outreach Programme
Contributing Authors: Zahara Nordin and Sofea Ahmad Faiz (Interact Club of SMK Seri Hartamas), Kong Phui Yi (Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development)
Primary rainforests are important for biodiversity and store more carbon than other forest types. These forests have been around for decades and are located in tropical regions such as Malaysia. Loss of such forest equates to a permanent loss of biodiversity and a release of previously captured carbon into the atmosphere.
Remnant of a Mighty Chengal
Credit: SANJITPAAL SINGH / JITSPICS.COM©.
In 2001 Malaysia’s primary rainforest covered an area of 15.9 million hectares, equivalent to 54% of tree cover.
Between 2001 and 2018, Malaysia has lost 2.63 million hectares of primary rainforest.
This makes up a 16% decrease in primary rainforest treecover.
In 2018 alone, Malaysia lost over 144,000 hectares of primary rainforest, the 6th largest area loss in the world by country.
Agriculture, mining and energy infrastructure make up the main drivers of Malaysia’s tree cover loss from 2001 – 2018.
Source: Global Forest Watch
What can we do?
WE CAN: Reduce paper usage & purchase paper products from sustainably sourced providers
A common yet effective way to contribute to the safeguarding of Malaysian forests is by reducing paper usage and purchasing paper products from sustainably sourced providers.
Apart from considering wood as its material output, the paper and pulp industry is the fourth most energy intensive industrial sector globally.
According to the Environmental Paper Network’s Paper Calculator, producing 1 ton of virgin paper fibre takes about 9,378 kWh of energy.
That being said, using paper is at times, unavoidable. So, when purchasing paper products, you should always check your product for timber certification schemes that ensure sustainable practices. The most notable and globally recognized certification schemes are the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
Ensuring paper products are from certified sources projects a brand’s environmental consciousness. On the left is a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Label, and on the right a Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Label. Look for these labels on your paper products.
Nationally, the most recognized and accredited Malaysian certification scheme is the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), as it is endorsed by PEFC, hence accepted under the national timber procurement policies of France, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, the UK, etc. and recognised by green building systems in Abu Dhabi, Australia, Japan, Singapore, UK, and USA.
Both FSC and PEFC meet international standards for sustainable forest management with FSC being endorsed by major environmental organisations WWF and Greenpeace. In terms of pricing, brands with and without these certifications tend to stay within the same price range, making sustainable products more and more accessible and at times going virtually unnoticed by the consumer. Therefore, the effort to switch to sustainably sourced paper, when going digital isn’t an option, is a small jump that we should all be making as consumers.
Between 2017 and 2018, Malaysia saw an increase in oil palm plantation area of 38,185 hectares to a total of 5,849,330 hectares. The landmass covered by oil palm plantations in Malaysia is significant – equivalent to over one third of the area of primary forest in Malaysia.
WE CAN: Use products which have sustainable palm oil certification
Many everyday products contain palm oil, ranging from lipstick to margarine. As most of us are aware of, some palm oil companies have devastating effects on our as they partake in deforestation which leads to habitat loss, greenhouse gas emissions, and other environmental issues for the sake of profit. In order to avoid contributing to this problem, we should ensure that the products containing palm oil that we purchase are certified by organisations such as Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) which ensures that the palm oil we purchase is produced sustainably and responsibly.
Switching to sustainably sourced products may apply consumer pressure on manufacturers, however, there are reports that sustainable labels have done little to slow down deforestation. Instead of labels, an approach using legislation to protect existing forests and applying public pressure on proposed development projects on forested land directly addresses the need to protect intact forest.
WE CAN: Participate in Public Hearings on Change in Forest Land-use
One way to protect forests is to use your voice as a citizen to advocate for their protection. Forests are important to maintain the regularity of our climate. Ensuring forests remain intact will in turn contribute to human and animal wellbeing. Recent public participation in the Selangor Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve de-gazettement spurred media attention and subsequent inquiry into the biodiversity and forest ecosystems services value of the area.
Since land is a state matter in Malaysia, it is important for the public to channel concerns about forest land usage to State Governments. Federal governments can only advise state governments on land management. See below for other channels to make your voice heard.
WE CAN: Take Steps to Offset your Carbon Emissions by Investing in Forest Carbon Projects
Malaysian companies investing in Forest Carbon Projects create value for forest ecosystems while contributing to the common good by offsetting emissions which cannot be directly reduced.
Daily activities such as transport and electricity consumption involve burning fossil fuels. Most people do not own electric cars and most countries’ electricity generation depend heavily on fossil fuels burning.
An organisation that wants to offset emissions and add value to forests can invest in a Forest Carbon Project. To ensure the legitimacy and constant improvement of the Forest Carbon Projects offset potential, ensure that projects have forest management, monitoring and conservation expertise. Reforestation projects such as Infrapro in Eastern Sabah restore once-logged over forests. Preferable to this are projects which preserve intact forests. One such example is Rimba Raya in the Indonseian side of Borneo, which encompasses multi-dimentional strategies to preserve existing forest stock. The Rimba Raya project advances sustainable development in the forest and its surrounding communities. Read about how biodiversity initiatives by Rimba Raya result in cross-cutting benefits aligning to all 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
As with any environmental certification, evaluate the legitimacy of its claims. Ensure projects are verified by international carbon schemes and that these are supplemented with documentation to prove local impact.
WE CAN: Support NGOs Who Are Working with State Governments to Legally Protect Intact Forests
One way to ensure forests remain intact is to work with State Governments to legally protect forests using existing legislation.
In Peninsular Malaysia, forests can be designated by state governments under law as Permanent Reserved Forest (PRF). Any land which has PRF status is governed under the National Forestry Act 1984. However, this does not mean the areas are protected from logging. To ensure full protection from timber extraction, forests need additional legal protection in the form of Totally Protected Areas (TPA). See map below for TPA area in Peninsular Malaysia.
Peninsular Malaysia Areas Designated as Totally Protected Areas
Source: Hutan Watch
As it may not be feasible to work as an individual to lobby state governments to designate more Totally Protected Areas, consider supporting NGOs who are already doing work in this area.
Two such NGOs are Rimba in Terengganu and WWF in Kedah
What about Tree Planting?
Tree planting is a good way to get people involved in the process of drawing carbon back down from the atmosphere. Tree planting initiatives can help improve local scale wellbeing from increased shade and water quality.
Tree planting initiatives require on-going monitoring to ensure effectiveness of trees planted. Planting trees does not ensure their survival.
Tree planting initiatives need to be carried out in consideration of the native ecosystem. Selection of species is important to avoid harm to native species.
For effective tree planting, ensure trees planted enhance existing ecosystems as new trees can reduce water supply. Tree planting is only one approach to environmental protection. Enhanced tree cover represent only a small portion of the carbon reductions the world needs.
References and Resources:
Global Forest Watch 2018 Primary Rainforest Status: Weisse, M., Goldman, L. (2019), The World Lost a Belgium-sized Area of Primary Rainforests Last Year. Global Forest Watch Blog. https://blog.globalforestwatch.org/data-and-research/world-lost-belgium-...
Global Forest Watch Malaysia Tree Cover Loss by Dominant Driver: The Sustainability Consortium, World Resources Institute, and University of Maryland. “Tree Cover Loss by Driver.” Accessed through Global Forest Watch on 27/05/2020. www.globalforestwatch.org.
Infrapro Forest Restoration Project in Sabah, Malaysia: https://facethefuture.com/projects/sabah-maleisie-bosherstel-en-bescherming
Malaysia Oil Palm Plantation Area by Year: Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) Official Website. http://bepi.mpob.gov.my/index.php/en/?option=com_content&view=category&i...
Malaysian Nature and Wildlife Photography: SANJITPAAL SINGH / JITSPICS.COM©. http://www.jitspics.com/
Paper and Pulp Energy Efficiency and Sustainability: Corcelli, F., Ripa, M., & Ulgiati, S. (2018). Efficiency and sustainability indicators for papermaking from virgin pulp—An energy-based case study. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 131, 313-328. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2017.11.028
Primary Rainforest Satellite Imaging Data Methodology and Verification: Turubanova, S., Potapov, P. V., Tyukavina, A., & Hansen, M. C. (2018). Ongoing primary forest loss in Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Indonesia. Environmental Research Letters, 13(7), 074028.. Retrieved from https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aacd1c/meta
Tree Planting and Climate Change: University of California Santa Cruz Article. https://phys.org/news/2020-05-trees-panacea-climate-ecologist-science.ht...
Tropical Primary Forest Carbon Stock: Berenguer, E., Ferreira, J., Gardner, T.A., Aragão, L.E.O.C., De Camargo, P.B., Cerri, C.E., Durigan, M., Oliveira, R.C.D., Junior, Vieira, I.C.G. and Barlow, J. (2014), A large‐scale field assessment of carbon stocks in human‐modified tropical forests. Glob Change Biol, 20: 3713-3726. doi:10.1111/gcb.12627
In Collaboration with Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise, and the Interact Club of SMK Seri Hartamas.
The Jeffrey Sachs Center has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise as of November 2019. This MOU facilitates knowledge transfer from the Jeffrey Sachs Center to the Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise, via joint projects on sustainable development and co-development of initiatives to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
This article is written in conjunction with JSC Research Fellow, Associate Professor Reuben Gopalasamy Clements’s talk on Sustainable Forestry to the Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise on 9th May 2020. A link to the talk can be found on the Jeffrey Sachs Center YouTube Channel here.
This article is part of the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development’s ongoing public engagement on education for sustainable development. If you or your organisation would like to collaborate or partner with the Jeffrey Sachs Center, kindly send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The joint effort CSR program video between IT Services Sunway College and Rent Wise Malaysia.
This TV digital signage works with Magic Info software which interface quite user friendly and easy to use. Training was provided to our users to learn how to design content into Magic Info Author and upload to digital signage server to be published out to the TV display. This enable our customers can experience to get more interactive information publicity in one screen with videos, advertising poster awareness and latest campus news.
Digital signage will reduce printing and usage of papers which IT Services aiming to uphold green practices for a sustainable future.
c. Zero waiting time
- Smart welcome eyes
FX have been several awarded for GreenTAG Award 2014 for ApeosPort – V & DocuCentre by Malaysian Green Technology Corporation under MyHijau Programme & 11 others awards including “ISO9001/ISO14001 BUREAU VERITAS Certification”
It includes an animated navigation to guide users to find their way around the campus. The app also comes with a staff directory and hotline contacts which is handy.
With the app, we will see a reduction in the need to provide physical handouts of news and events, campus location and staff directory listing.
Sunway University aspires to become an environmentally conscious campus aligning ourselves with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. With that, the Last Straw Campaign was launched on 13 July 2018.
Leading Marine Life conservationist in the country, Dato’ Simon Foong, CEO of Aquaria KLCC agreed to support our efforts and graced the launch alongside our Smart Sustainable Campus Ambassador Dr Elizabeth Lee.
#The Last Straw is the overarching theme of the campaign which will see the removal of plastic bottles, plastic containers, plastic bags, plastic utensils as well as plastic straws and any other single use plastic items like Chilli or Ketchup sauce sachets etc. All these will be done in stages to achieve a plastic-free campus by 2020.
The first phase of the campaign was to stop water bottles from being sold on campus and through the vending machines. The University then provided additional water stations so students can fill up their water containers. Staff and students were reminded to bring their own mugs and water containers through the “Living Green” poster reminders placed strategically around the campus.
The next phase will be to discourage the usage of plastic straw in drinks. From October 2018 onwards, anyone who requests for a straw on campus will have to purchase it.
The Last Straw Campaign organised a marketplace during the week of 2nd to 6th March 2020 at the Sunway College Boulevard. The marketplace hosted vendors and organisations with ideas, items and innovations for plastic reduction in daily life. The impetus for the marketplace was to reduce plastic usage by encouraging uptake of reusable containers by providing viable alternatives to the Sunway Education Group staff and students. The objective was to create a 3R culture of reduce, reuse and recycle.
Vendors displayed wares of different reusable containers and bottles during the Last Straw Marketplace.
As part of the ongoing Last Straw Campaign to reduce plastic usage on campus, the Last Straw Marketplace featured a plastics awareness and education campaign. Students from the Environmental Club, CIMP and ATDP organised a public awareness campaign to inform the campus community on the environmental consequences of plastic to natural settings. The specific category of plastics targeted in this outreach was single-use plastics.
A bin was placed in the centre of the marketplace to drop off plastic waste collected from household item packaging and other “unavoidable” sources.
Student volunteers engaged passers-by to speak with them on the effects of plastic on the environment. Volunteers made an additional effort to speak with individuals with single-use plastic items in their possession. Members of the Sunway community were invited to drop off their plastic items as a pledge to reduce single-use plastic consumption.
The residence time of plastic used for packaging is far shorter than plastics used in other industries. Packaging plastic typically leaves the same year it is produced. With over 40% of plastic being used to make packaging and plastic production growing at a rate of 8.4% each year since mass production began in 1950 to reach 380 million tonnes in 2015, plastic waste is a accumulating at an alarming rate. Given that a large majority of Malaysian waste is sent to landfills (an estimated 93%) and only 8 of 165 Malaysian landfills have adequate environmental controls for landfill gas and leachate, public participation in reducing single-use plastics enables reduction of its impacts on the environment.
Single-use plastics can be largely avoided by adopting a culture of carrying reusable cups and containers. Such Green Living practices have been advocated at Sunway Education Group. Staff and students are encouraged to carry reusable containers, bottles and mugs.
Sunway Education Group took steps to inculcate a shift towards a more sustainable lifestyle within the campus community by presenting all staff with a flask in 2019, and all students a bottle as an orientation gift.
The Sunway merchandise store also presented its range of sustainable lifestyle products during the Last Straw Marketplace to promote uptake of reusable bottles, food containers and reusable cutlery sets.
A dedicated range of Last Straw Campaign merchandise was made to encourage students to adopt habits of reuse. This series includes cutlery sets and reusable bottles. Awareness of global issues surrounding plastic pollution of marine environments and the effects of plastic on marine life empower students to make everyday choices with a global consciousness.
Plastics, however, are far more prevalent in daily life.
The campaign also ran awareness messaging on the Sunway Campus TV on plastics which have already become part of packaging design. With the rise of mass plastic production since 1950 plastic has since became a cost-effective manufacturing alternative to conventional materials such as paper, metal, glass and leather, plastics has become a common component of everyday items.
To make staff more aware of plastics in everyday items, public service announcements were broadcasted on the Campus TV and on social media. Toothpaste tubes, cosmetic packaging, detergent bottles and cooking oil containers were some of the examples shown. The proliferation of plastic into these items make it difficult to avoid, yet it is important to take steps to reduce the amount of plastic consumed.
Sunway student volunteers from the Environmental Club, CIMP and ADTP programmes conducted a plastic audit of all the items collected during a recent campaign to both reduce plastic usage and generate awareness of the widespread presence of plastic as well as its potential dangers in the food and water system.
Student volunteers in the loading bay with collected plastic waste.
As part of the campaign, staff and students on the Sunway campus were encouraged to participate in the plastic reduction campaign during the Last Straw Marketplace by dropping off plastic packaging and other plastic waste in the Last Straw Bin as an acknowledgement of the need to reduce plastic production and consumption.
Plastic is a synthetic material made from fossil fuel-derived raw material. Its production in consumer goods took off in 1950 with an estimated production volume of 2 million tonnes. As its chemical structure, plastic is made out of large molecules made out of long chains of monomers. Different types of monomers produce different types of plastics. Due to the variation in chemical composition of these monomers, the degradation timeline of different types of plastic types vary. As an example, juice and soda bottles made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate) have shown signs of degradation to the polymer chain within eight months of sunlight exposure.
Students washed and dried the collected plastic for odour prevention and recycling process energy reduction.
An audit of the waste was done according to plastic type. Students used a plastic audit form prepared by the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development, which included a visual guide to inform volunteers’ separation behaviour.
Students weighed and categorised each type of plastic waste. The audit served three main purposes:
1) To establish a baseline for future comparison
2) To serve as a reflection on the sources and management of plastic waste
3) To build capacity in identifying plastics types and plastics recycling
Waste audits are a way of understanding the composition of the plastics received.
From the main bin, single-use plastic cups, sandwich boxes and transparent film plastics were evident sources of plastic waste on campus. The final audit showed a disproportionate amount of PET. The other two notable plastic types collected were LDPE, mainly plastic bags and containers, followed by PP, mainly takeaway plastic containers. Not all plastic items had resin identification codes. Through this hands-on process, students faced the challenges of separating plastics for effective recycling.
Global plastics output in 2015 was estimated to be 381 million tonnes. In comparison, the annual global fisheries output that year was less than half, at 171 million tonnes. This high volume of plastic production is not matched with its recycling rate. Of all plastics produced since it became a popular material in manufacturing, it is estimated that only 9% has been recycled and 12% incinerated, 30% remain in use, and the remainder is in landfills or leaked into the natural environment. The majority of plastics can be remelted for remoulding into lower-value applications. Rather than recycling, in countries with waste-to-energy treatment of solid waste, plastic can also be used as feedstock for energy production. Over 90% of plastics are made from virgin fossil fuel derivatives. Some of the plastic sent for recycling is not ultimately recycled due to contamination and the unavailability of suitable recycling technology.
As a bid to reduce its plastics usage, Sunway Education Group launched the Last Straw Campaign in 2018. Since the campaign started, the gradual removal of single-use plastics was implemented. This began with the removal of plastic bottles in vending machines, at all cafeteria outlets and event caterings (July 2018), the removal of straws from all cafeteria kiosks (March 2019). Prior to the campaign, SEG had already paved the way towards plastic reduction in removing use of polystyrene and plastic bags by cafeteria vendors.
Plastic waste management faces other challenges within the global waste management landscape. Low waste collection rates and low-environmental protections in end-of-life waste disposal in developing countries result in high leakage of plastic waste. In Malaysia alone, 55% of plastic waste is discarded openly, ending up in the natural environment. This waste ends up in informal open dumpsites or in waterways.
Therefore, plastic waste is not merely a global issue but felt first hand on a local scale within everyday lives. SEG’s commitment to plastic awareness and reducing plastic waste is part of the global shift towards sustainable living and sustainable communities.
A big step towards a greener future!
The technology eliminate the need for building new labs, which result in saving of RM400,000 of capital expenditure and RM66,000 of yearly electrical cost.
Malaysia enjoys an average of 4 to 6 hours of effective sunlight. As such, solar panels will help reduce the maximum demand for power consumption during the day. The University as invested over RM2 million with a payback of 6 years. The capacity of the solar system based on the simulation using the PVSyst for Sunway University is 600kWp.
To reduce the dependency from Tenaga National Berhad, for the electricity supply and to be self-sustainable in the future;
The targeted building to use the solar energy is the South Building as their tariff per kWh is range between 0.43 to 0.509 cents. As such, there should be minimal use of electricity for the South Building.
Energy Saving Method
Locations for Solar PV System (Blue spaces)
The solar panels are installed on the University Building and the North Building rooftops.
Batteries 1000KW will be brought in 2 stages in 2019. The campus requires 3500 KW TNB Usage. As such, these batteries will allow us to save further on energy consumption. We hope to achive 11 million Ringgit savings in 30 years.
On the “e-Waste Collection Day”, we have e-Waste collection trucks with standby workers to collect your e-Waste at Graduate Centre, you may drive your big e-waste items there and pass to them. This collection service is provided FOC, and there is no monetary return for the collected items. Items collected will be properly disposed in DOE-certified centres.
The campus GreenThink! is a venue for Sunway campus community to dispose unwanted electronic devices and electrical home appliances, instead of disposing as regular household rubbish that end up in landfill.
|Year 2018||1,090kg||338kg (23/08/18)|
This design and cafeteria location was approved by Branding BCC and Facilities.
Staff and students of Sunway campus can conveniently dispose small e-Waste items such as spoiled mobile phones, batteries, chargers, and other electronic components via e-Waste collection bins placed at strategic locations throughout campus compound. For large household e-Waste items. They can bring in during the twice yearly e-Waste campaign days for the specially arranged disposal truck on campus to be disposed.
We ensure a DOE certified vendor, which advocates and supports restoration of the environment in order to preserve a cleaner and greener environment, properly disposes the collected e-Waste.
This CSR effort won the “Special Recognition Prize” for #SUNWAYFORGOOD Competition at the 2017 Sunway Leaders Conference.
Sunway University has installed alternative pipes that are connected to Sun-Water from the South Quay Lake Water Plant. This state-of-the-art water treatment facility owned by Sunway Group has a targeted portable water capacity of 10 million litres per day (MLD). In case of a water disruption, the University will be able to have its own water supply from this plant.
To advocate recycling and resource efficiency, the University ensures that students and staff have easy access to amenities that uphold sustainability practices. Recycling bins are abundant around campus and are clearly indicated by colours and signs to encourage effective waste-sorting. Apart from waste management, the University also invests in large industrial fans to not only improve air circulation in campus spaces but also reduce the amount of energy consumed for temperature control.&
Sunway City is currently one of Malaysia’s most connected cities, seamlessly linking the public road network, public transport and the nation’s first elevated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)-Sunway Line. Eco-friendly electric buses serve seven stations, linking the KTM Komuter rail service and Light Rail Transit (LRT). Commuters can travel to Kuala Lumpur city centre and Kuala Lumpur International Airport with ease.
Sunway City also provides a dedicated free shuttle bus service so residents, students and visitors can commute within the township, efficiently. There is ample space for parking bicycles at Sunway Pyramid Mall, Sunway Lagoon, Monash University Malaysia, Sunway Geo and all BRT stations to complete the multi-modal transportation system in Sunway City.
Malaysia’s first transit-oriented township (TOD), with seven key lifestyle components, offers an impressive array of housing, jobs, shops, restaurants and entertainment. Over the years, Sunway has invested more than RM300 million in improving Sunway City’s connectivity, accessibility, landscape and green efforts. This initiative supports Sunway’s growth as a tourist destination and value-generation hub for the nation.
As a TOD township, Sunway City is able to focus on development and activities that capture value, which is reinvested in communities and the nation.
The University continues to educate its community on waste separation by placing posters next to the recycling bins.