Press Release - SwissCham Gala Dinner "Mystère" Unveiled Excellence in Green Initiatives
Singapore, 12th November 2023 – The Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry Singapore (SwissCham) hosted its annual Gala Dinner, themed "Mystère," at the iconic Capitol Theater @Kempinski yesterday. The event was honored by the presence of distinguished guests, including Ms. Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director of the Singapore Economic Development Board, H.E. Mr. Frank Grütter, the Swiss Ambassador, and SwissCham Chair, Ms. Julie Raneda. The gathering also brought together over 300 top-level Swiss executives based in Singapore. In alignment with the Swiss business community's dedication to sustainability and net-zero initiatives, the evening's culinary offerings featured a groundbreaking, fully plant-based gala menu.
Green Initiatives and Achievements: Showcasing Member Companies
The Gala Dinner highlighted the commendable green initiatives and achievements of SwissCham members. Companies such as Mercuria, ABB, Swiss Airlines, and SPS Global have demonstrated leadership in promoting sustainability and creating a green economy. Their efforts contribute significantly to reducing carbon footprints, adopting renewable energy sources, and implementing eco-friendly practices.
(See Appendix A for case studies)
The Gala was hosted at the historical Capitol Theater that stars like Charlie Chaplin, Ava Gardner and Mary Pickford once visited to promote their films. Addressing members and guests, recently elected SwissCham Chair, Ms Julie Raneda, introduced the gala's theme "Mystère": “We gather in this theater to celebrate the enigmatic, the mysterious, and the extraordinary. It's a theme that evokes a sense of wonder and the unknown. Mystère is also the promise of something exciting, of a better future.”
SwissCham Chair also emphasized 3 key objectives that Switzerland and Singapore share, namely excellence, innovation and sustainability. SwissCham, and the Swiss business community in Singapore more generally, promote the same and contribute to the economic developments of Singapore and the region:
Excellence: SwissCham is proud of the variety and high-quality events organized for its members by its 8 subcommittees. SwissCham offers a networking platform but also contributes to advancing the discussion on very important topical issues. In 2024, SwissCham will also relaunch its Business Excellence Awards, to showcase Swiss companies' excellence in Singapore.
Innovation: Switzerland has been ranked the most innovative country for the 13th year in a row in 2023. SwissCham's science & tech and digital transformation subcommittees promote Swiss innovation by providing a thought leadership platform, promoting our members' latest developments in technology and innovation and fostering exchanges in the field, including with local actors.
Sustainability: The climate tech subcommittee has been actively pushing SwissCham's members' initiatives for more sustainable business activities. SwissCham also believes that a more sustainable future goes hand-in-hand with a more social and inclusive environment. It has therefore engaged on a new charity partnership with Red Cross Singapore.
SwissCham Chair then invited on stage the Guest of Honor of the gala, Ms. Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director of Singapore Economic Development Board. She shared that Swiss organizations have been at the forefront of the carbon services and trading space – some examples include ClimeWorks, a leading provider of direct air carbon capture technology, Gold Standard, an international organization that develops and upholds standards around carbon reduction measurements, and Mercuria, the Swiss commodities giant that is now investing heavily into carbon reduction projects. She encouraged Swiss companies to be a part of Singapore’s expanding ecosystem and lend their expertise to Southeast Asia’s transition into a low-carbon future.
Swiss Ambassador H.E. Frank Grütter then spoke about Switzerland having more top 200 universities per capita than any other country in the world. This includes the presence of four Swiss universities in Singapore, making the city-state the only foreign country in the world with four Swiss universities’ campuses. Economic liberalism, good education, trust, and honesty give us a partial answer to why Switzerland and Singapore both are so successful.
Plant-Based Gala Menu for a Sustainable Future
In a move towards sustainability and gastronomic innovation, SwissCham presented its inaugural plant-based gala menu curated by its member SaladStop!. Guests were treated to a culinary journey that redefined traditional gala dining with a visual feast, marrying aesthetics with gastronomical dishes and using evocative names such as Wide Awake Garden, Baby Beet Tartare, Mystère en Croute, and Cruising the Green Seas. The GoodFoodPeople team from SaladStop! presented exquisite flavours that were harmoniously crafted to celebrate the bounty of the earth without compromising on taste, elegance, or nutritious values. Each dish represented a stride towards contributing positively not only to health but also the environment.
The event ended on a high note with a lucky draw that awarded a return-trip business class ticket sponsored by Swiss Airlines to a fortunate winner. Additionally, exclusive gifts were provided by the following prestigious Swiss brands and hospitality partners: Chopard, Nespresso, Solis, The Capitol Kempinski Hotel, Dusit Thani Hotel, Swissotel The Stamford & Fairmont Singapore, and Switzerland Tourism.
About Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry Singapore (SwissCham)
SwissCham Singapore is one of the pillars of the Swiss community in Singapore and brings together the representatives of Swiss companies, encouraging networking and exchange of information, and championing the establishment of Swiss values and quality through business. SwissCham Singapore is focussed on promoting Swiss businesses in Singapore and bridging bilateral commercial interests.
More details about SwissCham Singapore is available at https://swisscham.sg/
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Mercuria - is one of the world’s largest independent energy and commodity groups, bringing efficiency to the commodity value chain with technology, expertise, and low-carbon solutions.
Mercuria is involved in most global carbon markets, including the voluntary offset space and the widening clean fuels markets. The company provides new and existing customers with access to carbon-free or low-carbon products to help fulfill the increasingly growing demand for environmental commodities.
To demonstrate our commitment to the restoration and protection of nature, the company recently established a US$500 million investment vehicle called ‘Silvania’. This will be used to invest in projects and activities that will help restore and protect land and forests.
ABB - traction converters are powering new trains up the Swiss Pilatus Bahn, the world’s steepest cogwheel railway.
ABB drive technology allows more energy-efficient, reliable and sustainable railcars operated by Pilatus Bahnen to bring thousands of visitors to top of Pilatus, a very popular destination in Switzerland.
The 4.6 kilometer route is the world’s steepest cogwheel railway with a gradient of up to 48 percent. The rack railway covers almost 1,700 meters in altitude gain and offers expansive views across Central Switzerland as the end station Pilatus Kulm reaches an elevation of 2073 meters. Using ABB’s energy-efficient traction converters, the new rack-and-pinion rail cars consume 30 percent less energy than the previous generation of trains.
Swiss Airlines - As part of new premium offers for catering on board SWISS, packaging materials based on agricultural residues are used to a large extent for meals. This includes bamboo cutlery, which can be composted very quickly and easily and is antibacterial.
SPS Global- With SPS’ global presence extending across more than 20 countries, the group operates in over 600 onsite locations and 32 processing centres across the North America, EMEA, and APAC regions, allowing it to provide uninterrupted support to clients 24/7, 365 days a year. Annually, its operations process more than 3 billion physical and digital documents, in 36 languages.
In North America, SPS has a comprehensive training program in ESG that forms part of its onboarding process. New employees are introduced to ESG during their initial orientation. In the SPS New Employee Learning Journey, there are 21 courses, of which 16 are related to ESG.