Green Hero is set to leverage on HLB Jumpstart, Hong Leong Bank’s (“HLB”) CSR platform for social enterprises, providing them with sustainable smart business technology to achieve their dream to reduce food waste across Malaysia. HLB Jumpstart, launched in September 2018 aims to build a sustainable Malaysia through its five pillars: financial knowledge, tools and digitisation, branding and marketing, commercialization, and volunteering.
The induction of Green Hero into HLB Jumpstart follows HLB’s recent success with SURI, a denim upcycling social enterprise that provides financial opportunity and living skills for single and underprivileged mothers.
Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Hong Leong Bank, said, “We are very excited to embark on our next CSR project, this time with Green Hero to help them build a viable business model to help reduce food wastage and to spread awareness on this relatively less-prominent subject. This approach is also in line with our own sustainability initiatives, and provides us with an opportunity to collaborate with a promising social enterprise towards playing a larger role in improving our society and the environment around us.”
Food waste is food fit for human consumption, but is discarded and left to spoil by retailers or consumers. Across Malaysia, almost 3,000 metric tonnes of perfectly edible food is wasted every day. In Penang alone, home of Green Hero, a staggering 700,000 kilograms of food is wasted daily with hotels, restaurants and catering businesses identified as the biggest contributors.
This struck a nerve for Calvin Chan, the founder of Green Hero, after witnessing how F&B outlets are faced with little choice but to discard significant amounts of still-edible food every day. Chan said, “Seeing so much good food getting thrown out really broke my heart. I knew that I had to do something about it, so I created a channel for F&B outlets to make good of their surplus food which benefits both outlets and customers”.
Calvin and his team of like-minded green activists set up Green Hero, and since 2016 have helped more than 70 cafés and restaurants in solving their food surplus problem – equivalent to 23,000 kilograms of excess food. Through social media, they set up an online channel to sell surplus food including sushi, bread, cakes, pastries, bento boxes and even groceries at discounted prices to a ready pool of consumers including college and university students, people struggling on a tight budget and other green activists.
Inspired by strong demand and decent revenue, Green Hero has set their sights to expand out of Penang, looking into other cities such as Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru. Efforts by HLB are now underway to help Green Hero to achieve this through HLB Jumpstart.
Zalman Zainal, Chief Marketing and Communication Officer of Hong Leong Bank, said, “As much as it is our aim to help build a thriving social enterprise industry, it is also our civic duty to move strongly on social awareness starting from within Hong Leong Bank itself. We are very happy to work with Green Hero, supporting them through HLB Jumpstart so that they can continue to stay sustainable, making an impact in the social business ecosystem”.
Creating Public Awareness: Food Surplus Donation Drive!
Besides providing the right business solution tools to Green Hero, HLB is also helping the social enterprise to create awareness amongst the public on the seriousness of food wastage and what can be done in addressing the problem.
The Bank will be initiating its first Food Surplus Donation Drive from 29 April to 3 May 2019 at all its 256 branches nationwide. Members of the public may drop by at any of the Bank’s branches to donate their excess ‘dry’ foodstuff.
HLB Jumpstart will continue to support and guide social enterprises as part of the Bank’s efforts towards building a sustainable Malaysia. Social Enterprises that are looking for support in sustaining their cause and business can write in to email@example.com or visit https://www.hlb.com.my/en/personal-banking/about-us/csr.html