In line with its commitment to advancing the sustainability agenda as a purpose-driven bank, DBS Bank today debuted the second season of Sparks, an award-winning mini-series.

Themed “Everyday Heroes for a Better World” and inspired by true stories, the first three episodes of this new season follow a group of dynamic DBS bankers as they partner with the community to address some of the most pressing social and environmental issues of the day. These include plastic pollution, food waste as well as social inequality.

The episodes are inspired by the stories of three social enterprises, Evoware from Indonesia, Bettr Barista from Singapore, and Eco-Greenergy from Hong Kong, which are supported by the DBS Foundation. The DBS Foundation was set up five years ago to champion social entrepreneurship and has since nurtured over 300 SEs around the region.

Evoware was founded to address the global plastic waste problem by providing an eco-friendly, biodegradable and even edible packaging solution made from seaweed. Bettr Barista empowers marginalised individuals through jobs training in coffee brewing so they can be self-sufficient. As food waste becomes a burgeoning issue in developed societies, Eco-Greenergy turns coffee grounds into innovative products such as compostable cutlery, therefore upcycling food waste.

Through Sparks Season Two, DBS Bank hopes to spark conversations and galvanise change around key sustainability challenges such as:

  • Plastic pollution: Asia is home to eight of the world’s top 10 plastic waste polluting countries. It is estimated that five Asian countries alone – China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – account for 60% of all plastics dumped into the ocean. In Singapore, the consumption of single-use plastics continues to be a particularly pressing issue. According to the Singapore Environment Council, Singaporeans use at least 1.76 billion plastic items a year, of which less than 20% is recycled.
  • Inequality: Despite economic development, issues of social and gender inequality remain. OECD work shows that the accumulation of disadvantages for certain income groups can have detrimental effects on the prosperity and well-being of all.
  • Food waste: USD 1 trillion of food is wasted globally each year, and Asia contributes to 50% of this. In Singapore, 2.5 kg of food is thrown away by an average Singapore home each week.

At the same time, through the episodes, the bank seeks to pay tribute to everyday heroes whether individuals, businesses or members of Team DBS, who are passionately and resiliently stepping out to make a difference.

You can view the Sparks mini-series here.