It features a menu using ingredients sourced from local farms, job opportunities for disadvantaged individuals, and more.
Asia's leading financial services group, DBS has established a new employee café, called DBS Better World Café, representing 11,300 sq. ft of space devoted to advancing team DBS' sustainability agenda.
Located in Singapore’s Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3, the café’s operations have a host of sustainability features, such as a menu using ingredients sourced from local farms, job opportunities for disadvantaged individuals, and more - all supporting the objective of inspiring DBS employees to do their part for a more sustainable world through food.
The team behind the café aims to minimise carbon footprint by leveraging DBS' experience in developing DBS Newton Green, Singapore’s first net zero bank building. As such, it has deployed occupancy-based lighting and air-conditioning systems as well as low-energy appliances to minimise the café’s energy needs. Heat pumps are also installed in the kitchen to harness waste heat generated by refrigerators and freezers to produce hot water.
Only eco-concrete certified by Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority was used for all café screeds. To avoid generating unnecessary embodied carbon, the furniture in the café was upcycled or repurposed from other parts of the bank where possible, while the café’s feature walls and art pieces were made from upcycled waste (see above lead image for art pieces made from recycled drink cartons).
Visitors to the DBS Better World Café are greeted by a biophilic green wall:
Erwin Chong, Group Head of Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Administration, DBS, said: "In conceptualising DBS Better World Café, we challenged ourselves to create a differentiated employee experience that goes beyond the functional.
"We hope that by incorporating sustainability elements in as many aspects of the café as possible, DBS Better World Café can serve as a beacon of inspiration for our employees and guests, and perhaps even encourage them to become sustainability advocates in their own lives."
As part of a sustainable kitchen approach, DBS has worked with homegrown F&B company Chilli Padi Holding to curate a menu using ingredients sourced from local farms and suppliers with responsible agricultural practices. Such produce includes chicken and cage-free eggs that are ‘Certified Humane’ by HFAC, fish from BAP-certified aquaculture farms, and pesticide-free mushrooms.
Chilli Padi is also supporting DBS in creating job opportunities in the kitchen for disadvantaged individuals from local social enterprise The Social Kitchen. Discussions are underway to offer internship opportunities for students studying at APSN, a social service agency that supports individuals with mild intellectual disability.
Patricia Lee, Director at Chilli Padi Holding, said, "We are happy to partner with DBS to push the boundaries and bring to their employees our first sustainable kitchen concept."
She added: "DBS Better World Café is a living experiment of how employee experience can be fused with sustainability, and we look forward to more collaborations as we continue to introduce new spaces and concepts within the café in the coming months.”
Also represented on the menu is Bettr Barista, a social enterprise supported by the DBS Foundation as well as Singapore’s first Certified B Corporation, which has opened a coffee bar offering beverages made from responsibly sourced coffee beans.
The café falls in line with the bank’s 'Towards Zero Food Waste' initiative, wherein food composting stations have been deployed for employees to dispose their food scraps in, thus diverting food waste from Singapore’s landfills. All dine-in tableware and takeaway packaging used at the café are fully compostable.
DBS has engaged Aperion Twin Gem Biofuel, a local company that specialises in recycling waste oil, to convert used cooking oil from the kitchen into biofuel to power the café’s backup generator.
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All photos / DBS (the lead photo shows art pieces made from recycled drink cartons on a wall at the DBS Better World Café)