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"Being an environmentalist isn't a choice", says Ruth Yeoh, YTL
Forum For The Future, 10 April 2014
"One is an environmentalist whether one likes it or not." So says Ruth Yeoh, Executive Director for YTL Singapore, Director at YTL's in-house carbon credit and clean development mechanism (CDM) consultancy, and winner of the inaugural Singapore Environmental Achievement Award, conferred by the Singapore Environmental Council in 2012.

It's the 'caring' aspect that makes it part and parcel of life for Yeoh - something she believes should be instinctive, even if the finer details of making it work have to be learnt. She's a Christian, and quick to attribute her own conviction to her faith, which is also that of her family. "I understand stewardship from biblical scripture: we are meant to be God's stewards of this Earth. 'Sustainable living' is simply a lifestyle where we attempt to take as little from the Earth as possible. The concept of reducing our carbon footprint is the more modern way of looking at this - as the world comes to realise that in many cases, humans have not used resources sparingly or wisely."

"My Father, and our Managing Director, Tan Sri Dr Francis Yeoh, consistently reminds us to be a 'force for good'. One of the biggest themes we emphasise at YTL is environmental evangelism, and this is not geographically constrained. It involves educating the public about the environment but also placing responsibility on key leaders in the community to pay it forward."

Little wonder, then, that Ruth - in contrast to many sustainability pioneers - found her ideas to protect the environment and serve the community "well accepted and embraced by the board, senior management and staff from the start".

For YTL, setting an example is not just about establishing the brand as a global leader but about bringing others along too. Ruth points to YTL Construction, which was recently awarded the Green and Gracious Builder Award, introduced by the Singapore Building and Construction Authority to set standards for green practice in the construction industry.

During 2012, Ruth recounts, YTL's Wessex Water exceeded government targets for biodiversity recovery, through habitat management for birds, bats and bees on nearly 300 hectares of land that it manages which are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. YTL's Wessex Water also works with farmers to help them manage their use of nitrates and pesticides to prevent contamination of drinking water sources, and in 2013 partnered with the South Wiltshire Farmland Bird Project, working closely with farmers along a new pipeline route they are laying to protect some of the UK's rarest farmland bird species.

But real leadership - beyond the incremental - requires continual innovation, she asserts. "Take YTL's Wessex Water's subsidiary, GENeco. It has developed a Volkswagen Beetle vehicle that is powered by methane gas derived from human waste during the sewage treatment process. the first such test done in the UK.

YTL has strategic partnerships with The Nature Conservancy, Rare Conservation and Reef Check Malaysia, among others. With Rare Conservation, we have developed the YTL-RARE Fellowship programmes throughout South East Asia, where we educate community leaders who will go on to create their own 'mini' campaigns for their communities."

Michelle Yeoh honoured as woman icon
The Star, 29 January 2014
Photo exhibition dedicated to extraordinary eight achievers. The exhibition is presented by Louis Vuitton Malaysia and YTL Corporation Berhad and will run from now until Feb 28. The exhibition is open to the public. Located on the Indulge Floor of the Starhill Gallery, it is being held in conjunction with Louis Vuitton Malaysia's recent Global Store opening in the city.

YTL's Wessex Water wins Queen's Award for Enterprise and Sustainable Development
South West Business, 13 November 2013
YTL's Wessex Water, the business supplying Bath with water, has been awarded for its commitment to sustainability.

The award was presented by Lady Gass Lord Lieutenant of Somerset at the Wessex Water headquarters, in the city.

Chairman of Wessex Water, Colin Skellett, said during the last 15 years the company had remained focused on sustainability.

"Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Wessex Water so we are delighted to have been recognised for this and to receive this accolade."

"It is not just about being environmentally friendly, but it is also about offering excellent customer service and value for money, being a good employer with efficient working practices and continuing to attract new investment."

Wessex Water is the only water firm to have won the award twice and this time was recognised for its catchment management initiative to protect the environment.

The initiative involves working with farmers to help them manage their use of nitrates and pesticides to prevent contamination of drinking water sources, to avoid building additional energy-intensive water treatment facilities.

Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, Managing Director of YTL Power International said "I am very proud of all at Wessex for winning the Queens Award the second time. It is unprecedented. I give our Lord Jesus all the honor and glory."

YTL Power International owns 100% of Wessex Water.

YTL's Wessex Water Funding protects farmland feathers
Wessex Water, 23 October 2013
Funding has been provided to a bird project in Dorset so declining farmland birds can be protected while a new pipeline is laid. Mark Doughty, principal ecologist for our engineering and construction department, explained that it was important Wessex Water did all it could to reduce its impact on the environment while the work was taking place.

“Building a long-distance water main through an area designated as being an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty certainly presents a challenge, but through the SWFBP, we hope that we can also use the opportunity to give a real boost to numbers of farmland birds and other wildlife.

YTL's Wessex Water receives gold award for health and safety
Dorset Echo, 6 August 2013
YTL's Wessex Water has received an award in recognition of its approach to health and safety.

The company’s in house construction firm Wessex Engineering Construction Services (WECS) received the gold award from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) as part of its Occupational Health and Safety Awards.

 
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