The ComfortDelGro Group is committing S$50 million (A $$48 million) in clean energy technology and research as part of a larger push towards upping its overall sustainability quotient.
In a newly inked Memorandum of Understanding with the National University of Singapore (NUS), ComfortDelGro will invest about S$10 million (A$9.6million) in a mobility-focussed CDG-NUS Smart & Sustainable Mobility Living Lab (CDG-NUS Living Lab) that will focus on Energy Sustainability, Integrated Urban Mobility as well as Smart and Intelligent Mobility Technologies. The CDG-NUS Living Lab is expected to be set up by September 2021. The collaboration with NUS is significant as it brings the business community and academia together in a collective effort to roll out long-term and commercially viable solutions.
ComfortDelGro will also seek to invest another S$40 million (A$38.4 million) to replace its fleet of diesel buses with electric buses, which may be deployed to the NUS Kent Ridge Campus; as well as supporting infrastructure and mobility technologies. Concurrently, ComfortDelGro Engineering will also seek to explore the introduction of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure into the campus’ car parks to study the impact of using EVs for travelling in and around the campus.
The move to “electrify” Singapore’s largest tertiary institution is part of the ComfortDelGro Group’s plan to intensify its sustainability efforts. ComfortDelGro has become the first mobility operator in Asia, and one of eight leading Singapore companies to commit to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), an international collaboration between the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact), the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the World Resources Institute (WRI)
As part of this initiative, ComfortDelGro plans to develop its transition plans and work towards having the SBTi targets validated and approved over the next 24 months, including transiting towards a clean-energy fleet, improving energy efficiency, adopting renewables, and driving business innovation.
In Australia, ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia (CDC) operates Australia’s largest fleet of 40 locally built Volvo hybrid (self- charging electric) buses in Melbourne. It is also investing A$10 million in 14 fully electric buses for its operations in Sydney. In London, the Group not only operates 97 fully electric buses, but is also the operational partner for Transport for London’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicles project. Other initiatives include the trial of double deck hydrogen fuel cell buses this year, as well as complete the construction of a hydrogen fuelling facility at its Perivale Garage in West London. The Group also runs close to 1,000 electric taxis in China, as well as trialling electric taxis in Singapore and Perth.
Mr Yang Ban Seng, MD/Group CEO of ComfortDelGro, said: “The global pandemic which began in early 2020 gave us an opportunity to recalibrate and review our businesses. One of the key outcomes has been the keen awareness that we must step up our commitment to Green technology and processes. Sustainability is not just a catchphrase to us. It has become a key pillar of our foundation and one that we intend to build on going forward. The collaboration with NUS and our commitment to SBTi are just some of the new initiatives in this regard and we fully intend to invest and commit further in sustainable activities in the months and years ahead.”