The Straits Times: Singapore Environment Council chief steps down

The Straits Times today reported here that Howard Shaw has joined the Halcyon Group as the senior vice-president of corporate social responsibility.

We at Green Drinks wish him the best.

See story below.

Singapore Environment Council chief steps down

THE executive director of the Singapore Environment Council (SEC), Mr Howard Shaw, has stepped down to join the private sector.

Recognised by many as the public face of the non-profit, non-governmental organisation, he will be a corporate adviser to the council, helping to guide the new executive director, whose name has not been announced.

A well-known advocate of environmental sustainability, Mr Shaw, 40, has been at the Halcyon Group as its senior vice-president of corporate social responsibility since last Friday.

The group is an investment holding company headquartered in Singapore, with businesses in rubber plantations and the offshore and marine sectors.

When contacted by The Straits Times, Mr Shaw said he had been with the council for a very long time – 15 years – and that everybody needed to move on.

‘SEC has built my knowledge in all areas of sustainability,’ he said. He added that he would enjoy applying in the private sector what he has learnt, and that this was something he had always wanted to do.

‘That is part of my passion, not just telling people what to do and talking about it, but also actually seeing it materialise in projects… looking at real, concrete, environmental performance and improvement.’

In his new role at Halcyon, he will oversee environmental management systems, conduct environmental impact studies and engage company stakeholders in corporate social responsibility activities, among other things.

At the council, Mr Shaw worked his way up from programme coordinator in 1996 to the executive director post, which he held for the last eight years.

The middle child of three, he is the younger son of Mr Shaw Vee King, managing director of cinema giant Shaw Organisation and son of its founder Runme Shaw.

Some of Mr Howard Shaw’s work at the council included Bring Your Own Bag Day, which is now a weekly affair in supermarkets. It was launched in 2008 by the council and the National Environment Agency. The Eco-Foodcourt certification, for foodcourts that comply with a set of guidelines, including installing water-saving devices and providing only sustainable packaging, was another project. This was launched in January.

Mr Aloysius Cheong, chief executive of Olive Green, a local firm producing corn-based disposable tableware, had nothing but praise for Mr Shaw.

‘He is a great guy, you can really see that he is passionate about what he does,’ Mr Cheong said, adding that it was a shame Mr Shaw had stepped down just when the council was making waves in the green industry.

Mr Allan Lim, chief executive of Alpha Biofuels, a company that produces biodiesel from used cooking oil, said Mr Shaw was innovative and would always challenge conventions.

‘He applied commercial sense to environmental sustainability and was able to find ways that were economically viable for companies to go green.’

Mr Lim said he looked forward to working with the new director.

‘This would challenge the SEC to shift the paradigm set by Howard; to inject new ideas and to have more exciting things that can be done to raise more awareness about the environment.’

Image taken from Learning Capital


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