• SUTD Sustainability Plan

    Leveraging technology and design thinking to build a more sustainable and happier world by design.

    The SUTD Sustainability Plan (SSP) was launched on 6 December 2021.

    With the university’s mission 'A Better World by Design' as its foundation, the SSP will use participation by all members of the SUTD community as the yardstick in its approach to measure sustainability, as part of efforts to build a broad-based culture of sustainability.

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    ​The SSP builds on SUTD’s international leadership in design and engineering innovation by framing three key commitments as leverage points for creating new sustainable technologies.

    • To transform SUTD campus into a green experimental ground for test-bedding of new sustainable technologies (OASIS – Open Arena for Sustainability Innovation and Solutions)

    • To launch a new research initiative on Circular Economy to generate sustainable products and software solutions

    • To provide hands-on sustainability learning/education for students

  • Campus, 

    The three parts of the SSP mutually support each other.

    The SUTD DesignZ will lead our sustainability efforts, spearheaded by Prof Tai Lee Siang (Director of DesignZ) and Prof Erwin Viray (Chief Sustainability Officer).

    SUTD DesignZ
    Prof Tai Lee Siang
    Prof Erwin Viray


    Smart Low-Carbon District

    SUTD will work with SingHealth in a first-of-its-kind ground-up effort to achieve a smart low-carbon district.

    SUTD aims to take its sustainability plan to support industry and community to achieve circularity. As the first of such efforts, SUTD and SingHealth will seek to collaborate on three fronts to achieve a smart low-carbon district, and this also forms part of the long-term plans of SingHealth’s campuses in the east of Singapore under its regional hospital network.

    About SingHealth
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    Our collaboration with SingHealth

    • Smart campus

    • Future Health Living Laboratory

    • Continual Education and Training (CET)

  • Ground-up Greening of Communities

    The creation of ground-up low-carbon districts is not limited to the hardware but also the “heart ware” of the people.

    SUTD will be working closely with the North West Community Development Council (CDC) to explore various projects that can help residents advance towards a greener culture and bring about behavioural changes in the community.

    North West CDC Sustainability Reports
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    Our projects with North West CDC

    • North West Sustainability Forum

    • Behavioural Change

    • Community Support for Ground-up Initiatives

  • Private Sector to Lead Sustainability Efforts

    SUTD will also enter into collaboration efforts with green developer City Development Limited (CDL) to jointly explore cutting edge green building products and innovations to achieve low-carbon and net zero outcomes.

    CDL Sustainability
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    Our collaboration with CDL

    • ​Singapore Sustainability Academy (SSA)

    • CDL Green Gallery at Singapore Botanic Gardens

    • My TreeHouse Kids Library

  • Green Campus Building

    ​The SUTD campus, designed by UNStudio and DP Architects, is a contemporary and open campus that utilises natural ventilation principles alongside cooling techniques to counteract the conditions of Singapore’s tropical climate. 

    With the incorporation of facade planters, green roof terraces, sky gardens and green pockets planted with native trees and flowering plants, the overall campus design also responds to the natural landscape of Singapore.

    The design won the SG Mark Gold award in 2016, and has also achieved the Green Mark (Platinum).

    More about the campus design
    Singapore Good Design Gold Award


    21 advanced courses specifically addressing sustainability are currently offered in our pillars and clusters, led by Architecture and Sustainable Design with nine, Humanities Arts and Social Sciences with five, and Engineering Systems and Design with three. These offerings include distinctive interdisciplinary courses like, Digital Biomimetics: Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing.

    Science for a Sustainable World

    In 2020, we also introduced a focus on Sustainability into our Freshmore curriculum.

    The new module called Science for a Sustainable World focuses on the need for sustainable development by creating awareness of climate change and human impact on the environment.

    Prioritising on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the United Nations, this course will address issues and challenges related to sustainability: green materials, clean water, sustainable energy and biodiversity. Emphasis is placed on the knowledge of science and engineering approaches towards achieving the SDGs.

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    The first run was completed in April 2021, and based on the following four main themes:

    • Responsible Consumption and Production

    • Clean Water and Sanitation

    • Affordable and Clean Energy

    • Life Below Water and Life on Land

    Science for a Sustainable World
  • Undergraduate Research Opportunities

    Our students are given the opportunity to participate in various research working with faculty right from Day 1 of their education.

    Sustainability research span different disciplines, including architecture, healthcare, green technology, transportation, waste management, heritage studies, etc.

    Here are some examples of recent UROP projects.

    About UROP
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    Up-cycling Vending Machine

    This project is a response to a general call by the National Environment Agency to make a significant impact in re-cycling. Nearly 2 million plastic bags consumed from grocery stores are disposed into garbage after its first use. The re-use of plastic bags will reduce the amount to be processed as waste.

    The Up-cycling Vending Machine (UVM) is an enclosed vending machine similar to the size of a soda vending machine that can be deployed at residential areas where residents can feed used plastic bags into the UVM which will instantly turn those bags into plastic ropes.

    An Artificial Intelligence (AI) module will segregate plastic bags by pre-defined thickness and length to be processed; the processed plastic rope will be reeled into storage spools while a communications module will send a notification for the replacement of filled spools.

  • Sustainability Metric Development For The Business Tourism Industry

    With an increasing interest towards sustainability in the MICE (Meetings, Incentive travel, Conferences and Exhibitions) industry, it is important for Singapore to start addressing the issue of sustainability in a systematic and quantifiable manner so as to maintain Singapore as the premier location for events hosting.

    This project builds upon the sustainability guidelines for industry participants as published by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), and works towards a common set of standards and reports that can drive the industry going forward. The aim is to provide a framework and initial case studies for sustainability audits and ISO 20121 reports on the Singapore MICE industry and activity. The annual delivery would include studies and reports that can serve these functions: Benchmarking, Accountability and Solutioning.

    The project was completed in collaboration with the sustainability officers at Marina Bay Sands. Data included energy use at the banquet halls, menu items and amount of food waste generated. The study then compared the results from four different wedding events that can be used to address the gaps in the MICE ecosystem.

  • Neighbourhood Animal Farm (ongoing)

    The objective is to propose a new typology of “agrihood” that includes animal farm which also acts as a place for respite and therapy for the residents, especially older adults, at-risk youths, as well as working adults seeking for alternative, more sustainable lifestyle.

  • The idea is to research on the potential of a neighbourhood-based communal farm that houses different types of animals, particularly rescued horses, and is open to the community around its location and to propose a design at a potential site.

    The vision is that such typology that integrates farm, animal shelter, community, education and healthcare will in turn benefit the residents as they take part in horse-therapy and farm activities to relief the stresses of urban life.


    We have various faculty who are also doing research on Sustainability and Climate Change. Here are some of the topics and latest research.

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    Sustainable Transport

    There are about 1.3 billion vehicles in the world today, and this figure is expected to grow to 2 billion by the year 2050. So how can we make sure our increasing travel needs are sustainable in the long run?
    Adjunct Associate Professor Lynette Cheah from SUTD’s Engineering Systems and Design pillar leads the Sustainable Urban Mobility research group at SUTD which looks at reducing the environmental impacts of passenger and urban freight transport through data-driven models and tools.

    Sustainable TransportAdjunct Associate Professor Lynette Cheah
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    Designing for our Rising Seas

    Amidst the pressing issue of rising sea levels, Professor of Practice Eva Castro from SUTD's Architecture and Sustainable Design pillar explains how her research lab, Form Axioms is looking into designing sustainable designs for both the present and future.

    Designing for our Rising SeasProfessor of Practice Eva Castro
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    Redesigning Recycling with our Karang Gunis

    How can technology aid us in recycling without disrupting traditional systems like the ones karang gunis use? SUTD's Assistant Professor Lyle Fearnley (Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences cluster) explains how his research project is an intersection between technology and society, allowing for a different take on how innovation can serve societal needs through design.

    Redesigning Recycling with our Karang GunisAssociate Professor Lyle Fearnley
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    Turning the Sea into a Mega Battery

    Professor Yang Hui Ying (Engineering Product Development pillar) takes us through her unique research which merges the fields of water and energy - two of the most important resources required for us to survive.
    Well-known in her field of materials science, find out how her studies on dimensional nanomaterials for electrochemical energy storage and water treatment might hold the solution for scalable water purification methods and maximising natural resources from our oceans.

    Turning the Sea into a Mega BatteryProfessor Yang Huiying
  • Rethinking our Hawker Centres

    What would your version of a re-imagined hawker centre look like?

    Associate Professor Carlos Banon (Architecture and Sustainable Design pillar) explores the architectural possibilities of our hawker centres and how they can evolve to meet the changing needs of our communities. Using digital tools for architecture, he explains how data is integrated with design intentions to merge objective information with intuition to create sustainable spaces.

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    Missing link to circular economy

    Researchers from SUTD have developed a process that allows for the production and degradation of almost any object within a circular economy using additive manufacturing and urban waste, the largest by-product of civilisation.

    SUTD develops missing link to circular economy while tackling global waste
  • Beyond Plastic

    Touted as the future of plastic, FLAM – a fungal-like adhesive material – is strong, lightweight, inexpensive and most importantly, biodegradable.

    Designed and fabricated by Associate Professor Stylianos Dritsas from Architecture and Sustainable Design and Associate Professor Javier G. Fernandez from Engineering Product Development, this material is the result of a truly multi-disciplinary research endeavour at SUTD.

    Beyond Plastic
    Associate Professor Stylianos Dritsas
    Associate Professor Javier Fernandez

    Sustainable Exhibition Booths @ Open House

    The SUTD Open House 2020 exhibition booth designed by Assistant Professor Peter Ortner (Architecture and Sustainable Design pillar) boasts sustainability and circularity in a number of ways.

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    Designing for Circularity

    • Made entirely out of recycled materials

    • The design minimises waste from fabrication

    • Assembles quickly without the use of any glue/fastener

    • Stacks flat for space-efficient storage

    • Can be recycled at its end-of-life

    Assistant Professor Peter Ortner

  • FarMe

    Using technology to feed an ever-expanding population.

    A start-up by SUTD researcher, Pranjal Verma, that’s primarily focused on creating an end-to-end system for large-scale growing operations, combining sensors and data analytics. A system that can improve the existing productivity of how a farm operates.
    FarMe aims to optimise resource allocation (water, fertiliser, pesticide, etc.) for farms (both vertical and traditional farms), as well as optimise growth patterns. It utilises low cost hardware modules that sense and record agricultural data which is then analysed on the cloud. A neural network and a machine learning model optimises growth rate and generates new values for soil moisture, etc, that is then used to automate nutrient/water feeding as well as light exposure to the plants. 

    FarMe is currently working with Singapore's largest mushroom and wheatgrass farm and will be deploying its sensors to their farm.

  • SGP Foods

    Building Singapore's Food and Climate Resilience

    ESD Alumna Pek Yun Ning, who graduated from the SUTD Technology Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) in 2019, is the founder of SGP Foods Pte Ltd. SGP Foods focuses on high-tech urban farming with an aim to help Singapore meet her climate change goals. 

    The company, incorporated in April 2020 , signed a Letter of Collaboration with Institute of Technical Education (ITE) on 5 Feb 2021 to transfer the knowledge for sustainable solutions and vertical agriculture to its students.

    Currently on the team are also Benjamin Goh (EPD Class of 2019, STEP) and Brandon Chong (ISTD student).

    More about SGP Foods