CEO's Message

Mr Luke Goh The past year was unprecedented as NEA officers rallied to meet the successive challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and a record number of dengue cases.

The crisis was a severe stress test of NEA’s teams across the organisation. Business continuity plans were refreshed, activated in real time, and continually made more robust. The crisis brought out the best of NEA’s officers, and strongly spurred collaboration and communications with industry stakeholders in the environment protection and public health sectors. We provided unprecedented support to markets and hawker centres operated by NEA or NEA-appointed operators to tide over the COVID-19 disruptions.

The circumstances accelerated new capabilities. This ranged from ground operations among agencies tasked with ensuring safe distancing measures, to development of laboratory capabilities such as wastewater testing to pick up the presence of COVID-19 viral fragments, to sharply ramping up disinfection capacity to tackle premises where clusters were found. Details of NEA’s role in the national response to COVID-19 can be found here.

2020 was also a year of opportunity as global interest in climate change gained momentum. NEA continued work on the foundations for contributing to what would become the Singapore Green Plan 2030. We explored novel approaches in waste management, trialling chemical recycling solutions to turn plastic waste into ‘NEWOil’ – a form of pyrolysis oil, and researching new uses for ‘NEWSandTM’, derived from incineration ash and other waste treatment residues.

Work also began on an NEA Green Bond Framework and a Multicurrency Medium Term Note Programme. This was driven by the goal of closing the loop between raising capital through green financing by inaugural Statutory Board issuance of Green Bonds, to fund environmentally friendly infrastructure development projects, specifically the flagship Tuas Nexus Integrated Waste Management Facility.

I am indebted to Mr Tan Meng Dui, my predecessor who strengthened NEA’s structure by spearheading a 15-month restructuring process, bringing greater cohesion across NEA by sharpening our focus into today’s four pillars of work. This paved the way for the organisation to rise up to even greater challenges in 2021.

Looking ahead, NEA must redouble our Stewardship efforts from environmental protection to public health, to advancing meteorological services and climate science, to deeper transformation through technology and digitalisation, and through commitment to our values and cultural capabilities.


Mr Luke Goh
Chief Executive Officer