Towards a greener future

Rizal Faisal

The Future Energy Lions (FEL) hosted its second Eco-Festival on December 20 at the Seria Energy Lab (SEL), formerly known as the Oil and Gas Discovery Centre, with the theme ‘Cultivating a Sustainable Lifestyle’.

Since its launch in 2018, FEL aims to be a catalyst for sustainable solutions for Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) and Brunei, targetting BSP employees who want to connect and contribute alternative energies and sustainable solutions for BSP.

BSP Managing Director and Shell Country Chair in Brunei Darussalam Agnete Johnsgaard-Lewis, in her opening remarks, said, “I am honoured to be the new FEL Brunei sponsor in BSP. The conversation of the energy transition has moved to the forefront of our industry. I hope that we as a company can continue to play a key role in the energy transition journey for Brunei. I am eager to learn about the initiatives and projects that are supported and led by FEL Brunei.

“FEL started as a Global Shell network founded in the Netherlands in 2014. It investigates the business potential of new energy and low-CO2 ideas by acting as an incubator to deliver new projects and raise awareness.

“It boasts more than 2,000 members across four continents and has connections to the global New Energies team. The international FEL chapters aim to create employee awareness about global developments.”

The guest of honour BSP Managing Director and Shell Country Chair in Brunei Darussalam Agnete Johnsgaard-Lewis during the event. PHOTO: RIZAL FAISAL

She added, “This year, despite certain restrictions, FEL Brunei has been very active. There have been 10 mostly-virtual learning events on topics ranging from composting and aquaponics, to peat forests and solar energy.

“The group has also hosted four beach clean-up and planted more than 300 trees while engaging with primary and secondary school students to embed energy-savvy mindset for a cleaner future. Around 350 pupils took part in an activity set up in collaboration with the BSP’s Construction-HSEQ Network at St Margaret’s School in Seria.

“In an effort to raise awareness around new energies, such as solar power, FEL Brunei has also arranged site visits to both Seria’s Tenaga Suria Solar 1.2-Megawatt Peak and BSP Flagship Solar 3.3-Megawatt Peak photovoltaics plants for its members,” she noted.

The festival featured different environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as ReefCheck Brunei and Green Brunei.

This year’s highlights were the eco-workshops with topics such as terrariums and sustainable food foraging. Food vendors also encouraged customers to bring their own containers and utensils to reduce waste. Vendors and the public were also encouraged to carbon offset the waste they generated by contributing to FEL initiative, ‘Adopt-a-Tree’, where they could purchased a tree saplings at the FEL booth.

Over at the Eco-Cinema, a panel discussion was held on Brunei’s Waste Management, where panellists touched on waste generation, localised issues and the collective solutions.

The Eco-Cinema also showcased BruWild’s documentary, titled Mangroves of Brunei Darussalam and environmentally conscious films set in Borneo.

Meanwhile, the Eco-Talks session saw speakers discuss environment and sustainability-related topics, such as Brunei Darussalam National Climate Change Policy given by the Brunei Climate Change Secretariat and Education For Sustainable Development In Action from Jerudong International School.

In addition, a ‘fireside chat’ between Kaimana and Fuel’d educated the audience on the topic of green entrepreneurship.

Kaimana is an online store founded by Trish Lai, Tracy Lai, Tiffany Lai and Denise Yong.

“We are Brunei’s first dedicated low waste store specialising in high quality reusable and refillable products,” said Trish, whose mission is to remove single use packaging by using a refill model.

There was also a Kids’ Corner such as a story-telling session, hosted by students from Chung Ching Middle School.