Unveiling its 15-year manifesto for sustainability, NTU Singapore charts its course for carbon neutrality and societal impact

NTU’s corporate and sustainability goals will be supported by a S$1 billion multicurrency bond facility announced today

Singapore : NTU Singapore is today announcing its Sustainability Manifesto, which will propel its wide-ranging sustainability efforts over the next 15 years and solidify the University’s position as a global leader in sustainability. NTU will strive to achieve carbon neutrality, along with a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions, by 2035.


This manifesto reflects NTU’s commitment to decarbonisation and sustainable development encompassing its multi-faceted approach. This plan builds on the University’s strong foundation and integrates our intellectual assets and human resources. It also seeks to seamlessly connect the NTU Smart Campus initiatives, educational activities, campus infrastructure, research discoveries, partnerships with industry and government, and targeted efforts to encourage and incentivise individual and community behaviour over the course of the next 15 years.


Our targets and goals in this manifesto are reflected in our Sustainability Framework document which can be found here: www.ntu.edu.sg/sustainability.


As part of this manifesto, NTU is also announcing today the establishment of a S$1 billion Medium Term Note programme. This programme, together with the Sustainability Framework, will give the University access to capital markets through the issuance of Sustainability Linked Bonds from time to time.


Moody’s Investors Service today announced NTU’s credit rating of ‘Aaa’, the highest available, along with a baseline credit assessment of ‘aaa’. Moody’s has also issued a “stable” rating outlook for NTU.


The unifying theme of the manifesto is predicated on NTU’s firm conviction that its efforts in sustainability begin with its own actions on campus. NTU’s belief in ‘walking the walk’ deploys its distinct approach that tests and puts into scalable practice its teaching and research advances in sustainability on its 200-hectare (500-acre) Smart Campus. It also places a strong emphasis on sharing its best practices and innovations with the world and working closely with industry and government for the benefit of local and global society.


The University’s manifesto draws together a wide range of existing initiatives and new aspirations, and encompasses the actions of employees and students, and spans all aspects of the university’s mission in education, research, innovation and service to society and humanity.


In addition to striving for carbon neutrality, the University’s Sustainability Framework includes plans to:


Achieve 100% Green Mark Platinum certification for all eligible buildings on the main NTU campus;
Reduce by 50% NTU’s net energy utilisation, water usage, and waste generation, by March 2026, compared to the baseline levels of 2011;
Incorporate sustainability in its newly established interdisciplinary common core curriculum for all undergraduate students;
Launch new undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education programme options on different aspects of sustainability;
Promote sustainable food tech solutions and pathways for food production and for minimising food wastage;
Establish a new NTU Sustainability Office to coordinate and drive sustainability efforts in education, research, as well as individual and community engagement, in a holistic and integrated way;
Support and promote the principles of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals across the pillars of education, research, innovation and community; and
Forge close ties with Industry Sustainability Partners that are committed to joining NTU’s Sustainability journey.

Professor Subra Suresh, President of NTU Singapore, said: “NTU Singapore is well-positioned to be a leader in sustainability. What makes NTU stand out among its peers is that we have the confluence of infrastructure, technologies, partnerships and talent to help us realise our ambitions to ‘walk the walk’ in sustainability.


“We will encourage and motivate current and future generations of students and staff to participate in our journey to address some of the most pressing global challenges. Our research, innovations and discoveries through interdisciplinary collaborations with industry and government will provide opportunities and solutions to tackle these challenges at scale.”


Sustainable Financing – Towards a Climate-Aligned Economy


OCBC Bank is the sole arranger for NTU’s Medium Term Note programme and serves as the University’s ratings and sustainability structuring advisor.


Mr Tan Kee Phong, Head of Capital Markets, OCBC Bank, said, “We are extremely honoured to support NTU on the latest milestone of their sustainability journey with the establishment of their Medium-Term Note programme and the Sustainability-Linked Bond (SLB) framework. The ability to issue SLBs and engage investors who share a similar vision on sustainable funding further illustrates NTU’s holistic approach to their new society-linked and climate objectives. This is another step forward in furthering the goals of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, paving the way for more organisations to use sustainable financing avenues to transit towards a climate-aligned economy. It will certainly strengthen Singapore’s position as an international sustainable finance hub.”


Inspiring and educating current and future generations about sustainability


To produce a new generation of scientists with leading-edge knowledge and skills in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to address critical environmental challenges, the University has launched an interdisciplinary PhD programme in AI and Sustainability.


At the undergraduate level, sustainability will constitute a core component of the the common interdisciplinary core curriculum introduced in August 2021.


Besides offering 200 electives related to sustainability across its vast curricular programmes, NTU has also introduced an interdisciplinary Minor in such topics as Environmental History, Environmental Sustainability, Environmental Management, Environmental Humanities, and Sustainability for undergraduates.



Partnering industry to create innovative solutions


NTU today announced that seven multinational organisations, geographically distributed around the world – Applied Materials Inc. (USA), Continental AG (Germany), Durapower Ltd. (Singapore), HP Inc. (USA), Hyundai (South Korea), Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (India) and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (headquartered in Singapore) – have committed to become key partners of NTU’s Sustainability journey.



A new office to coordinate and drive sustainability initiatives


To coordinate and drive NTU’s sustainability efforts in a holistic and integrated way, a new NTU Sustainability Office headed by Prof Madhavi Srinivasan of the School of Materials Science and Engineering, has been established. This Office will report directly to the NTU President.


The NTU Sustainability Manifesto recognises that sustainability is a grand and complex global challenge involving all sectors and all of society. The Manifesto will bring all members of the NTU community and the University’s multiple partners in government, industry and other sectors together, to fully commit and take action on sustainability.