- Category: Sustainable Brands
- Published: Monday, 16 February 2015 06:08
- Written by StarHub
Establishing Our Commitment
StarHub acknowledges the fact that we need to act in an environmentally responsible manner, throughout our operations, in order to minimise our overall impact on the environment. In 2009, we established a six-point commitment to our environmental policy as outlined below:
- We will adopt responsible and sustainable practices in our corporate activities to minimise the environmental impact of our operations. We will continually review our goals and commitment to protect the global environment as much as possible.
- We will adhere to, as much as possible, environmental recommendations by the relevant authorities and also implement in-house targets to improve our environmental performance.
- We will reduce our environmental loads by efficiently using resources, saving energy, reducing waste, encouraging material recycling, and minimising emissions of greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting substances.
- We will minimise environmental loads and adopt environmentally friendly technologies as far as possible, when ordering and purchasing necessary resources.
- We will implement education programmes to raise environmental awareness among our employees and to ensure that they recognise the essence of this Green Policy by actively addressing environmental concerns.
- We will make social contributions in close partnership with local communities by disclosing environmental information and supporting environmental conservation initiatives.
Following these policies, StarHub has introduced a number of initiatives:
Building More Energy-Efficient Networks
We constantly enhance our mobile network to be more energy efficient. We have upgraded our 3G radio network to lower power consumption by more than 10%. In addition, our mobile core network is being enhanced to reduce power consumption by up to 50%, resulting in an estimated saving of 2,940 kWh of energy per BTS annually. In fact, after modernising our 2G and 3G networks in 2013 and adding our 4G network, our BTS network saw a 12% savings in electricity consumption.
We have also used green technology to innovate. For example, we have two solar-powered mobile base transceiver stations (BTS). Situated at StarHub Green and on the roof of IKEA at Alexandra Road since September 2010, these stations have helped us save more than 8,000 kWh of energy or about 3,900 kg of CO2 in 2011.
We have also introduced Singapore's first solar-powered cellular BTS-enabled vehicle, the Mobile 'Greenergy' vehicle. The cellular BTS in the van is self-sustaining, using four solar-panels and a bank of rechargeable batteries to power up mobile communications temporarily for a 500m wide area for at least eight hours.
In terms of our backend infrastructure, we have enhanced the cabling management and air-conditioning efficiency of our data centres in order to reduce energy consumption, and ensure that the servers in the data centres can run more efficiently.
As part of StarHub's efforts to go "green", we deployed Singapore's first solar-powered mobile base station on the roof of our main office, StarHub Green, in August 2009.
StarHub introduced Singapore’s first solar-based cellular base station (BTS) enabled vehicle, the Mobile “Greenergy” vehicle, in November 2010. This allows us to boost our mobile signal strength when and where required, using renewable energy.
StarHub has implemented a number of initiatives to reduce our dependence on printed material for our marketing efforts.
For example, a majority of our invitations to our marketing events are issued as e-invites; we have also used e-cards during festive seasons rather than printed greeting cards. In terms of our newsletters to business customers, we have made available an electronic version of the latest issues online on our website.
In 2009, we started to make our Annual Reports and EGM Circulars primarily available in electronic format and now print the minimum number possible for shareholders who require a hard copy. These Annual Reports are printed on FSC-certified paper.
In 2010, we reduced the number of physical printed copies of our newsletters, compared to 2009.
In 2011, we introduced an alternative payment system via Recurring Credit Card (RCC) to replace Business Reply Envelopes (BREs). As of October 2011, StarHub had 244,206 customers paying by RCC. From 1 October 2011, we removed BREs that used to be inserted into the envelopes containing the bills of RCC customers. Customers requiring a BRE can now print one off the StarHub Corporate website and fold it themselves, following the on-envelope instructions.
In 2012, StarHub rolled out the MyStarHub e-bill, allowing customers to opt for electronic statements to be sent to them, minimising paper usage for the company and reducing physical clutter for our customers. As of end-2013, StarHub had over 67,000 billing accounts on the My StarHub e-bill. If you are a StarHub customer and still receiving paper bills, please log in to My Manager and go paperless with StarHub.
Complementing MyStarHub e-bill is the My StarHub app, available on both the iOS and Android platforms. This allows customers to view their account details, like billing information, on their mobile devices at their convenience, encouraging them to go paperless.
In 2013, StarHub changed to a paperless bill payment system at their retail shops, printing out bills only for customers who request a hard copy for retention. These various paper-saving initiatives that involve StarHub customers saved over 44 tonnes of paper in 2013 alone.
For Earth Hour 2013, StarHub also replaced their paper bags with new carrier bags targeted to help its customers make the most of their carrier bags with increased reusability.
StarHub’s new carrier bags are composed of the polymer polypropylene, which is more convenient and durable than the former paper bags. This allows the bags to be used post-purchase as a carrier bag for other items. The bags are also clearly labelled with the Recycling Code 5 symbol, to help recyclers identify the specific type of recycling required.
Improving Internal Operations
One major eco-friendly initiative StarHub implemented in 2012 was the sharing of transport by its service staff to make house calls. This saves us over 52 thousand litres of fuel annually.
StarHub incentivises staff to go green by including environmental components in the company-wide Balance Scorecard, a strategic performance management tool used to keep track of the performance level of the company’s various departments. All staff bonuses are affected in part by the achievement of these green targets. Currently, they focus mainly on increasing paper recycling, paper usage reduction, green volunteerism and electronic waste recycling.
To encourage paper recycling, we have paper-recycling bins at our offices in StarHub Green, Noble House, Tai Seng, Techlink, Haw Par and Ayer Rajah. In 2013, StarHub recycled 10,260 kilogrammes of waste paper, which translates to just over 174 trees saved during the year.
We have also had an electronic waste recycling bin since Earth Hour 2012 at our StarHub Green office, which was a part of our launch of an electronic waste recycling programme for consumers. For Earth Hour 2014, we introduced a recycling bin for plastic, metal and glass at our main office at StarHub Green.
Finally, all paper consumed by StarHub for its internal processes is FSC-certified. Forest Stewardship Council certification provides a credible link between responsible production and consumption of forest products, enabling consumers and businesses to make purchasing decisions that benefit people and the environment as well as providing ongoing business value.
StarHub’s main office, StarHub Green at Ubi, was awarded the Green Mark Gold by the Building and Construction Authority in Singapore in 2009. The Green Mark certification is a benchmarking scheme which incorporates internationally recognised best practices in environmental design and performance in buildings. For instance, we save energy by including motion-sensor activated lighting in our offices after normal working hours.
Our MediaHub—located at one-north in Buona Vista and for which we had the groundbreaking in November 2013—will serve as a convergence hub for our fixed, mobile and pay TV networks, and will also be the place for our innovation and future business. The six-storey building has been designed to achieve the Building & Construction Authority Green Mark (Data Centre) GoldPlus certification. MediaHub will include a host of environmentally friendly features for energy efficiency, water efficiency, sustainable
construction and management, and indoor environment quality.
Educating Our Staff
We recognise the need to demonstrate the power of going green on our own home turf. That's why we require all new hires to go through an induction session where they learn about StarHub’s green initiatives and get involved.
In 2011, we began creating green events in which our staff could participate and gain a greater awareness of environmental issues. October 2011 saw a two-day My Green Office Exhibition and Roadshow where staff picked up green tips that they could adopt right at their desk, bought environmentally-friendly products and learnt more about the dangers our planet is facing.
In February 2012, StarHub screened three green themed movies: The Day The Earth Stood Still, Food Inc and Bag It! Each movie screening was accompanied by a facilitated sharing session, exploring how our staff could help save the earth.
Engaging Our Community
In 2012, StarHub initiated a massive consumer-oriented environmental programme. Electronic waste (e-waste), which includes items such as mobile phones, cable modems, laptops and lithium-ion batteries, can be very toxic and its improper disposal can lead to serious pollution and health problems. Yet there are very few avenues for individual consumers to recycle their e-waste.
That is why StarHub, as a provider of electronic services and products, decided to provide consumers with avenues to responsibly dispose of their electronic products. We partnered with home-grown e-waste recycler TES-AMM to launch the StarHub E-Waste Recycling Programme on 31 March 2012, Earth Hour.
The five bins, located at our Customer Service Centres and one other location in town, collected over one tonne of e-waste within five months. Buoyed by the success and with the aim of making e-waste more convenient by providing more locations of recycling, StarHub increased the number of bin locations in August 2012.
Due to popular demand and to further cement their commitment to electronic waste recycling, StarHub and TES-AMM brought DHL on board as a partner and the programme was renamed RENEW. More details about the RENEW programme can be found at here.
For Earth Hour 2013, StarHub collaborated with Singapore’s other two telco operators, SingTel and M1, to issue an Earth Hour Challenge to their collective consumers. The challenge was for 2,303 customers to decline a shopping bag during the three days before Earth Hour. As a result of that challenge, StarHub employees joined forces with staff from the other two telcos to clean a stretch of East Coast Beach.
For its personal Earth Hour 2013 contribution, StarHub also introduced a tax-deductible donation to World Wide Fund for Nature (Singapore) Limited Conservation Fund as part of its StarHub Rewards Redemption for Charity programmes. To date, $50,945 has been raised from customer donations.
Prior to 2011, our annual reports only featured a few pages of our social outreach and environmental efforts. However, the annual report for FY2011 showcased StarHub's first fully-fledged sustainability report.
We adopted 42 performance indicators from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Framework for disclosing our environmental impact. In addition, we began for the first time to measure our carbon footprint — in conformance with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, the internationally recognised framework for measuring and reporting corporate carbon footprints. We also started tracking and measuring water consumption by using the globally recognised Water Footprint Network standards. Another initiative involved measuring the amount of waste. These endeavours enabled us to establish a baseline against which we could measure our future performance.
For 2012, we covered 58 performance indicators, including some from the newly released Media Sector supplement, the first Singaporean company to do so.
Our 2013 sustainability report was prepared in accordance with the latest GRI G4 guidelines at core level and also includes relevant indicators from GRI's Telecommunications and Media Sector Supplements.
The 2013 report features an expanded stakeholder engagement table as well as the first ever overview of the StarHub Group's supply chain. This paves the way for more in-depth monitoring and assessment of our value chain.
StarHub’s direct impact on the environment comes mainly from the use of electricity, fuel, water and the generation of waste across our business activities. It is through recognising and measuring our impact that we hope to expand on our current efforts and develop more ways in which we can minimise that impact for more sustainable operations.
StarHub’s Sustainability and Annual Reports can be found here: http://ir.starhub.com/Financial-Information/?page=Annual-Reports.