A Sustainable Leisure and Tourism Destination
In 1972, the Sentosa Development Corporation was set up by the Singapore Government as a statutory board to oversee the development and management of Sentosa Island as a leisure and tourism destination. The past few decades have seen rapid changes to the island.
Despite extensive development works, many parts of Sentosa still retain the original tranquil and green environment. This is because the Corporation has adopted a balanced and sustainable approach to the development and growth of Sentosa, and constant attention has been paid to protecting the greenery, heritage and island charm.
The Sentosa Sustainability Plan
We have developed a comprehensive Sentosa Sustainability Plan with the following objectives in mind:
- Minimising the island’s carbon footprint
- Conserving its flora and fauna
- Developing itself as a hub for green projects
- Adopting responsible environmental standards and business practices
Sentosa was shortlisted as a sustainable tourism destination finalist in the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) “Tourism for Tomorrow” Awards in 2013. Examples of other accomplishments include:
- The island being home to some 27 carefully-preserved heritage trees and over 30 conserved buildings
- Singapore’s only fully-restored military fort, Fort Siloso
- Several Green Mark-certified developments such as the Sentosa Cove Village, Sentosa Family Entertainment Centre, W Hotel and Resorts World Sentosa
- An award-winning eco-hotel, Siloso Beach Resort
- Developing the Sentosa Boardwalk, which is a pedestrian walkway with various sustainability features to connect the island to the Singapore mainland
- Partnering Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to testbed Singapore’s first low-flow tidal turbine at the Sentosa Boardwalk
- Running the annual island-wide “Sentosa Gives” corporate social responsibility week in September since 2011
Details of the Sustainability Plan
1) Enhance the island’s ecology
Sentosa is home to some 27 heritage trees listed under the National Parks Board’s registry. Great efforts are made to protect and conserve them. Regular biodiversity surveys are conducted to monitor the health of the natural environment.
2) Protect and showcase island history and heritage assets
Singapore’s only fully-restored fort, Fort Siloso, and over 30 conserved buildings are found on the island. Pre-war buildings and unique structures are re-purposed to give a second lease of life. Some buildings were built by the British and date back to the late 1800s. Similarly, some of our iconic but defunct Sentosa monorail stations have been converted into hotels, restaurants, attractions and offices.
3) Promote sustainable tourism & responsible visitor behaviours
Sentosa welcomes millions of visitors every year. This presents an opportunity for us to educate our visitors on the environment while they are having fun. In addition, all F&B outlets operated by SDC’s Business Units have removed shark’s fin dishes from their menus.
4) Adopt environmentally-sustainable designs
The advent of green design has highlighted methods in minimising the damage dealt to the environment through various architectural and design solutions. Many of Sentosa’s buildings are Green Mark certified, which is awarded by Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority to environmentally-friendly buildings.
5) Maximise efficiency in use of energy and other resources
Sentosa is exploring efficient and greener transportation methods which will reduce our carbon footprint, which includes building more sheltered walkways to encourage our visitors to explore the island by foot.
6) Develop as a centre for green innovation and testbeds
The island is well-positioned to be a “living laboratory” for testbedding and green innovation. Research institutions, universities and companies are welcome to partner with us to experiment and test out suitable green ideas on the island.
7) Promote community-giving and encourage corporate volunteerism
We educate students and the wider public about Sentosa’s sustainability efforts, as well as ensure that underprivileged Singaporeans have the opportunity to experience the island’s leisure offerings. Since 2011, the island community has come together in our “Sentosa Gives” initiative during the September school holidays to welcome children from various Voluntary Welfare Organisations and charities in Singapore. The children are treated to a day of fun and activities on Sentosa.
8) Build corporate culture of sustainability thinking
Staff campaigns and educational talks are regularly organised to spread awareness on environmental issues. This includes inviting speakers from organisations such as the Nature Society (Singapore). We also have experiential activities, such as a regular beach cleanup for staff, to encourage everyone to appreciate environmental issues and take personal responsibility.
9) Create fair and beneficial business practices towards labour and community
SDC implements best practices in labour conditions, human resource practices as well as corporate governance. We provide comprehensive benefits and good work-life balance to our employees, and endeavour to foster good relations with the labour unions. We adopt ethical and transparent business practices when dealing with our Island Partners and other parties. As recognition of our ongoing efforts, SDC has won the Singapore Human Resources Institute’s annual Singapore HR Awards in various categories.
10) Generate economic benefits for Singapore and be financially sustainable
Since 1972, SDC’s mandate has been to develop and manage Sentosa as a leisure destination for locals and tourists. The annual island visitorship has grown steadily over the years to more than 18 million currently. Sentosa has attracted key investments over the years, including the S$6.6 billion integrated resort by Genting Singapore, which opened in 2010. The various businesses on the island have generated significant employment opportunities. SDC oversees the economic ecosystem on Sentosa and has various income sources to sustain operations and for re-investment back into the island.