Green Plan 2030 Dialogue- Rachel Ooi
Savour!’s 4th Webinar, “Singapore’s Green Plan Dialogue 2030 - Sourcing Food Sustainably” was an enriching session with our 5 honored panelists. In this blogpost feature, we will be diving into sharing more information about Rachel Ooi, one of our panelists as well as the key quotes she brought up in the webinar that serves as valuable takeaways for readers like you.
Rachel Ooi is the Sales and Business Development Lead of abillion, driving the company's commercial development strategy, working closely with businesses globally to grow their brands by tapping into the abillion ecosystem. Abillion is a community for sustainability. It is social media for social good where people can review all kinds of plant based goods. They vary from food to body products, clothes to pet food.
When asked about her views on the Green Plan Dialogue 2030 and what sustainability means to her, here’s what she said.
“Many studies including a recent Oxford study say that choosing a plant based lifestyle is the single best way to be sustainable. To put this into perspective let’s take a few examples. We all know beef causes a lot of greenhouse gas emissions. Replacing beef with tofu alone, reduces your contribution to emissions by 25 times. Putting this in comparable measures, if you were to consume vegan products for a day, you would save 4000 litres of water, that's a lot of showers that you have to not take to save. You would save 20 kgs of rice, 30 sq. ft. of forest, 20 lbs of CO2 and one whole animal.
When we started out, we had a huge following from the vegan and vegetarian community. But as the app has grown over 140 countries and over a million members, 65% of them identify as flexitarian and omnivore. We believe that people’s choices can make a big impact on the demand and supply issue as well.”
Q. What, in your opinion, are at least two potential benefits for an organization pursuing food sourcing sustainability and supporting green plan 2030?
Ans. We have hundreds and thousands of reviews on the app. In which many many businesses have been reviewed globally. We’ve managed to come up with a lot of interesting data using this broad group of people not just globally, but we’ve been able to find some local trends. One important thing is that people have started to think with a more sustainable mindset. They are choosing with their wallets and want more plant based options as well as environmentally friendly packaging.
A lot of studies say that more than half of the consumers that boycott a brand, do it because they do not share the social and ethical values of the brand. Essentially there is a huge gap between the demand and supply for plant based options, which is a major issue in a lot of countries like Spain, Africa, UK, Italy as well as Singapore. Brands have to adapt themselves to this shift in consumption pattern, or they will lose out on the consumer base that chooses environmentally friendly goods and services. It will help the brand improve their reputation and in turn help their long term financial sustainability.
In terms of how we support the Green Plan, it is more ground up because we are not the legislators. What we can do is propagate mindful consumption ideas among our consumers. We do not only connect individuals to the products, we can tell businesses what people are looking for, how they can sustainably improve, what their sustainability metric is like, how they grow in this growing market, not just for vegans and vegetarians, but people who want to do better for the planet.
This is particularly important in Singapore because we do not have many natural resources except for humans. So we really want to be cognizant of the things we consume. So we introduced a feature on the app called the “Impact Diary” just to keep track of what things a person did today to make an impact, something as small as bringing your own box when going to shop, transport we choose, things we eat, what air cons we use. In Singapore, every year we realise that it’s getting hotter and we know this is climate change.
We want to support the Green Plan to make Singapore more self-sufficient and increase food security for us for a day when countries might be unwilling to import food for us.
Q. What business value have you seen from your sustainable food sourcing efforts at abillion?
Ans. We’re not directly into Supply Chain, so we just try to inspire people and businesses to do the right thing and do better than legislation mandations. One thing that we want to see is the alternatives getting cheaper and accessible. Products like dairy and meat are heavily subsidized in countries that produce them. Another way to bring prices down would be to connect producers directly to other distributors. This will help to grow and foster both ends of the community.
Written by Subhi Poddar
Subhi Poddar is a Marketing & Communications Intern at Savour!