Tanglin Trust School – Making an Impact, Taking the Lead

Carla Randall

Assistant Head of Year 12, Tanglin Trust School

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Sustainability continues to be a key focus at Tanglin Trust School and there has been a renewed energy and focus since it was made a whole school priority. Guided by our core values and in recognition of the ecological threats we face today, we are strongly committed to reducing our impact on the environment and empowering our students to rise to the challenges ahead.

Community Projects

The number one priority? A healthier, greener campus that unlocks the perks of greater biodiversity and reduced consumption. The impact of our renewed efforts in sustainability was obvious from the start and provided the school with greater opportunities for collaboration with the local community. For example, we partnered with the National Environment Agency in a food waste to energy biogas project and collected over 60 tonnes of food waste. A three-week e-waste drive also saw staff, parents and, students rallying together to hand over 95kg of used electronic equipment for recycling. In the school canteens across the campus, biodegradable packaging has replaced all plastic cups and pots. Large storage containers have replaced individually wrapped food as well. Reduction of energy use is key; we closely monitor our consumption, and the data is used both as a teaching tool and as a way to track use across the campus. Air conditioning units have been set to a minimum of 23°and now automatically turn off at 5pm, resulting in significant energy savings across the school.

Student Action

Under the guidance of our Student Lead on Sustainability who oversees several committees across the three schools, student action has been reinvigorated. From the Planet Protectors who take care of the edible garden in the Infant School to the Global Guardians who champion initiatives in the Junior School, students are passionate and proactive about making Tanglin a greener community. In the Senior School, students have created stickers to raise awareness about energy use, met experts in the sustainability field and were involved in the redesign of the Eco-Vista – an 18m infographic with a focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The culmination of these efforts not only resulted in our school winning the Outstanding Environmental Project Award at the School Green Awards last November; it also helped raise considerable funds for tree planting initiatives during STEAM and Sustainability Week.

Valuable Connections

Such sustainable efforts tend to have a positive effect on the entire community, and this has motivated Tanglin to continue forging links with businesses and other schools. Whether it’s participating in the International Climate Change competition alongside schools from Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and the UK, or joining Shell’s transformative NXplorers programme (an expansive global initiative for positive change), exciting collaborations have ignited our students’ dedication to addressing environmental challenges with innovative solutions.

Notably, the Forest School has experienced significant growth – substantiated by a remarkable rise in campus biodiversity. Furthermore, the school is a proud partner of ‘Every Singaporean a Naturalist’, an initiative spearheaded by the Nature Society (Singapore). We have also been fortunate enough to engage with some of the most innovative scientific and business leaders in the region through The Institute. Climate scientist Sammie Buzzard, self-destructing plastic entrepreneurs Polymateria, and sustainability drivers at Microsoft are but a few speakers who have inspired us this year and introduced us to more creative and complex thinking.

We have made good progress but there is a still more work to be done. Tanglin is very aware that schools are in a unique position to shape the next generation of environmental leaders and together, as a community, we will continue driving change and taking positive action to reduce our impact on the environment.


12 December 2023