SABIC'S lights of our future for sustainable development

The 2019 "Lights of Our Future" Sustainable Development Design Competition focuses on sustainability in urban public spaces, including libraries, community areas and public hubs.
SABIC'S lights of our future for sustainable development

The student team from Hongwen School, which won the top award.

SABIC, a global leader in diversified chemicals, co-hosted the 2019 “Lights of Our Future” Sustainable Development Design Competition recently, with JA China — member of Junior Achievement Worldwide which is one of the world’s largest youth-serving non-profit organizations, focusing on educating students on work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. This competition saw SABIC and JA China jointly lead young students out of the classroom to think about how to cope with the sustainable development challenges facing the city for the third consecutive year since 2017.

As part of SABIC's global signature CSR program — “Lights of Our Future” — and the extension and expansion of the “JA-Lights of Our Future” curriculum, this year's competition focuses on sustainability in urban public spaces, including libraries, community areas and public hubs, and encourages the students to apply the knowledge they acquired throughout the course to enable sustainable urban development and create innovative and feasible renovation plans.

SABIC'S lights of our future for sustainable development

Displays of students’ project prototypes.

The competition coincides with the SABIC 2019 Open-to-Public Day, where more than 90 guests and participants, including Mohammed Al-Ali, Senior Manager, SABIC Technology Centers, North East Asia, T&I, SABIC; Amanda Guo, Senior Manager, HR Operations, Asia, SABIC; Susan Jiang, Director of Regional Communications, APAC, SABIC; Alice Chou, Executive Director of JA China; Dai Daixin, Associate Professor at School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, as well as students, teachers and volunteers, gathered at the SABIC Technology Center in Shanghai to witness heated competitions through model demonstrations presentations and Q&A sessions. It also reflected SABIC's efforts to actively answer the calls from the Association of International Chemical Manufacturers (AICM) to disseminate the concept of Responsible Care and inclusive development while effectively promoting the sustainable development of the chemical industry.

"As a responsible world-scale chemical company, we are committed to promoting education on sustainability in China, and have made meticulous and in-depth efforts to actively fulfill our corporate social responsibility,” said Li Lei, Vice President and Regional Head, North Asia, SABIC.

“Through a series of programs such as ‘Lights of Our Future’, we hope to cultivate young students' awareness of urban public affairs and inspire them to face the existing challenges. In the future, SABIC will continue to focus on the Chinese market and deepen our roots here, to enable China’s inclusive growth and sustainable development. As such, SABIC will also contribute to the realization of the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations around society, economy and environment.”

SABIC'S lights of our future for sustainable development

Students on a site tour led by volunteers at the SABIC Technology Center in Shanghai.

The competition attracted eight teams from seven schools in Putuo, Hongkou, Pudong New Area, Fengxian, Minhang and Jiading districts in Shanghai, who presented their projects on the sustainable development of urban spaces, such as redesigning the lamps in Luxun Park, a parking revolution at 118 Mall and roof garden design of Jing’an Joy City. The judging panel, comprised representatives from SABIC and JA, Dai Daixin and teachers and research staff from various districts, then made comprehensive evaluations of the competing projects based on criteria of environmental, economic, and social benefits, enforceability and on-site demonstrations.

First place was awarded to the team from Shanghai Hongwen School with its plan on the community open floor reuse. Group member Li Baiheng said: "Through the ‘Lights of Our Future’ program, I have experienced a kind of education not found in text books, which has allowed me to develop hands-on skills in research and presentations, amongst other things. Today's competition has given me a deeper understanding of sustainable development, as well as the importance of energy conservation. The journey to protect this rich and precious world starts at home with ourselves.”

"Sustainable urban development directly correlates with a high standard of living, and requires the participation of everyone in society. The competition this year focuses on the sustainable development of urban public spaces to further enhance students' awareness of issues pertaining to urban public affairs and development. We are very grateful to SABIC for its continuous support. Youth education needs long-term investment from all sectors. JA China hopes to continue to work with SABIC to make positive contributions to the development of the character, creativity and leadership of Chinese youth,” added Judy Wu, Senior Director of Program and Development, JA China.

SABIC'S lights of our future for sustainable development

Group photo at the SABIC Technology Center in Shanghai.

As SABIC’s global signature CSR program, “Lights of Our Future” was introduced to China in 2014. Through this bespoke CSR program, SABIC seeks to create a positive and lasting impact on youths and communities around the subject of sustainability, while inspiring creative and innovative thinking in environmental protection and care. To date, SABIC has engaged more than 3,300 students in China, with 83 school teachers having contributed more than 2,000 hours to support volunteer activities and teaching, while 520 SABIC employee volunteers have devoted nearly 7,000 hours to developing teaching courses and materials.

“SABIC has always been a champion of STEM education, both in its own right and for the benefits it offers individuals and society as a whole and we are proud to support students around the world in their quest to find sustainable solutions to today’s pressing urban development challenges,” said Abdulrahman Al Mulhem, Senior Manager, Global CSR, SABIC.

SABIC has also carried out a series of CSR activities in China, such as “Back to School” and various disaster relief and reconstruction efforts to further help China achieve coordinated development of environment, economy and society. In particular, SABIC recently sponsored and participated in the Second Young Talents’ Chemical Innovation Challenge (Hackathon 2019) for the first time this year to encourage Chinese college students to actively participate in promoting the innovation of products, processes and models in the field of plastics, helping the chemical industry to achieve sustainable growth.

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