Shanghai, China, June 8, 2018 – SABIC, a global leader in diversified chemicals, has successfully co-organized the 2nd ‘Lights of Our Future’ Sustainable School Design Competition at the company’s Shanghai Plant today with JA China, the Chinese chapter of the non-profit organization Junior Achievement which focuses on educating students on work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. This annual competition is an extension of the ‘JA-Lights of Our Future’ program, initiated and sponsored by SABIC, which aims to encourage students to apply the academic knowledge they have learned in class to their daily life, while considering the practical correlation between environmental preservation and economic development. The final competition was held in conjunction with SABIC’s Open-to-Public Day (OTP) 2018, which also underscores SABIC’s firm support for the Association of International Chemical Manufacturers (AICM) and its initiatives. This year’s OTP theme “Green Architecture Inspired by Innovative Chemistry”, also aptly reflect the objective of the ‘Lights of Our Future’ program - striving to educate the ideology of creating a better and sustainable future with the power of chemistry.

With the successful implementation of the course during the 2017-2018 school year, this year’s competition attracted eight teams from five middle schools in Putuo District, Pudong New Area District and Minhang District. The contestants started preparations as early as April, in identifying sustainability issues within their campuses and devising solutions. Prior to the competition, posters and models of their proposed ideas were showcased at the SABIC Shanghai Plant. On June 8, more than 90 attendees comprising of students, teachers, SABIC employee volunteers and invited guests, arrived at the competition venue. Amid a highly competitive atmosphere, the contestants confidently presented their research and solutions addressing sustainability challenges in front of a panel of judges, made up of instructors from Shanghai local education bureaus and representatives from SABIC and JA China. Solutions from the contestants include facilitating water recycling at schools, as well as solar and wind power generation. All competing teams were mentored by SABIC teams, who shared their expertise and professional knowledge.

After an intense deliberation, the judge panel has finally concluded that the top award goes to the student team from No.4 Middle School affiliated to East China Normal University. Their solution aimed at addressing campus rain collection and reuse convinced the judges and audience onsite. “While attending the ‘Lights of Our Future’ course and the competition, we have not only learned much knowledge about sustainability such as energy saving and the greenhouse effect, but also applied the knowledge to our daily lives through many interviews with students and extensive research. Although we are now merely students with limited capabilities and resources, we are doing our best to contribute towards building a better world,” said Chen Nuo’er, student leader from the winning team.

“SABIC has always been committed to promoting education on sustainability in China. While continuing to expand our business here, we are also actively fulfilling our corporate responsibilities and advocating the importance to cultivate China’s next generation of leaders with a mindset of sustainability as well as related knowledge and skills,” said Li Lei, Vice President and Regional Head, North Asia, SABIC. “Throughout the implementation of the ‘Lights of Our Future’ program, I’m pleased to have seen the creativity demonstrated by Chinese students, and their feasible solutions which very well address the sustainability challenges faced in their respective schools. At SABIC, we believe in creating Chemistry That Matters™. We are looking forward to further strengthening our partnership with JA China to widen the students’ outreach of this program in China.”

Judy Wu, Senior Director of Program and Development, JA China, added, “This program is aimed at facilitating discussions on how to maintain a balance between economic gains and environmental benefits by bringing real-life case studies to classrooms, while cultivating students' capabilities in critical thinking and teamwork through experimental learning. We greatly appreciate SABIC's continual support for this program. We are also looking forward to joining more partners to help Chinese youth build their character, creativity and leadership, and to be outstanding in their respective career arena in the near future globally.”

‘Lights of Our Future’ is a global signature CSR program initiated and first launched in Asia by SABIC. It was piloted in 2014 in China, with the aim to create a positive and lasting impact on Chinese young generation’s awareness of sustainability and inspire their creativity and innovation in environmental preservation. SABIC has so far engaged more than 1,900 Chinese students aged 12-28 with this program, while more than 300 employee volunteers from SABIC have devoted over 3,900 hours to the program and developed the program’s content on sustainability, or contributed to the course materials. More than 40 teachers have also devoted over 1,100 hours in educating or supporting the volunteers.