Since the launch of the Singapore Green Plan,the nation’s journey to becoming a low-carbon economy is moving forward with a deepening of workforce capabilities. According to LinkedIn, Asia-Pacific has seen 30% growth in hiring for green jobs — defined as jobs that cannot be done without sustainability skills — between 2016 and 2021. Aiming to reduce the talent skills gap as sustainability becomes entrenched into regulation and public awareness, Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the world’s digital infrastructure company™, today announced that it has pledged S$160,000 towards sustainability focused scholarships for programs administered by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore Management University (SMU).
Yee May Leong, Managing Director, Equinix South Asia, said: “Sustainability is a top priority for Equinix. Digital infrastructure is fundamental to enabling a digital economy, but it is also necessary for that infrastructure to have as little impact as possible on the environment and not to compromise our planet further. These scholarships, developed in partnership with renowned institutes of higher education NUS and SMU, reaffirm Equinix’s ongoing commitment to greening businesses in line with our Future First strategy, and enabling the innovations that enrich our work, life and planet. Nurturing the next generation of leaders with a core expertise in sustainability will be key to accelerating the transition towards greener business models, and is necessary to boost climate change efforts in ways that are scientifically sound, economically feasible and socially acceptable.”
Established in 2021 at SMU, the Equinix Sustainability Scholarship is offered to third-year SMU undergraduate students enrolled in any SMU School who have declared a major in Sustainability. It aims to motivate and encourage outstanding undergraduates to expand their learning beyond traditional academic disciplines by nurturing an interest and awareness in Sustainability. The scholarship provides funding of $15,000 per annum for 2 academic years (i.e. total value of $30,000 per scholar) towards subsidized tuition fees and study-related expenses, as well as potential internship and/or employment opportunities at Equinix.
Shania Sukamto, a fourth-year SMU business undergraduate and inaugural recipient of the Equinix Sustainability Scholarship, said, “Sustainability is a career path that provides opportunities for individuals to be a part of innovations that will solve some of the most pertinent issues we face today; it is a career in which I can truly make a positive global impact. My interest in technology and sustainability, and knowledge of Equinix’s strong environmental credentials as a leading data infrastructure company, have inspired me to apply for the scholarship. I am optimistic that the Equinix Sustainability Scholarship will further spur passionate students like me to advocate for a sustainable future from our various professional domains.”
Equinix also contributes S$100,000 to enable the Center for Nature-based Climate Solutions at NUS to establish two scholarships for outstanding students enrolled in the Master of Science in Biodiversity Conservation and Nature-based Climate Solutions (MBCNCS) program. Selected students stand the chance of receiving a financial award of S$50,000 for academic expenses for up to two years of study. Candidates will be given the opportunity to apply when they submit their applications for the 2023 MBCNCS programme later in 2022.
Professor Lian Pin Koh, Director, Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions, National University of Singapore, commented: “Equinix has demonstrated its commitment to supporting emerging talent in the sustainability space to facilitate Singapore’s journey towards a greener, better tomorrow. With sustainability and climate change increasingly part of the everyday lexicon, building a future-proof workforce for long-term success and growth will be key. We’re thrilled to be working with a like-minded partner and look forward to deepening our collaboration in the near future.”
Professor Bert De Reyck, Dean of SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business and Professor of Operations Management, said, “As more businesses embrace sustainability as part of their strategic goals, SMU has also taken a multi-pronged approach to enhance and deepen our Sustainability curriculum, teaching as well as research. We are delighted to have found a like-minded partner in Equinix and we are grateful for the generosity they have extended to our students through the Equinix Sustainability Scholarship as well as via internship and employment opportunities. The Scholarship is timely and relevant amidst greater awareness of and appreciation for sustainability issues among the younger generation. The support of industry leaders like Equinix is critical as we nurture a pipeline of talent with the aptitude and attitude to manage sustainability challenges in the future global economy.”
Research has also shown that Singaporeans have a greater understanding of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues than the rest of the world. This suggests the effectiveness of initiatives such as the Singapore Green Plan in elevating the topic to the national stage, and also opportunities to turn this interest into tangible action.