26 May 2024


Singapore, Sunday 26 May 2024 - The Marina Barrage came alive this morning as close to 5,000 participants gathered for the Income Eco Run (IER) and ran in support of a zero waste and sustainable lifestyle ahead of World Environment Day on 5 June.

The IER challenged Singaporeans to run their preferred distance between 3 km and 21.1 km by asking, “How Far Will You Go for Zero Waste?” and remains the only mass run in Singapore that extends such flexibility to participants. By doing so, it promotes inclusivity and rallies more behind the cause.

Heightening the inclusivity ante, IER introduced a Kids Category, for children aged four to 12 years to participate in either a 700m or 1 km route. In addition, athletes from the Special Olympics also took part in various categories, alongside participants of different ages, backgrounds, and fitness levels.

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment of Singapore, was the Guest-of-honour for the event and led the 5km flag-off at 7 a.m. Dr Khor also ran 5km for the cause and visited the Income Eco Run Village, which featured a variety of eco-friendly activities.

Like last year, Income Insurance also matched one dollar (S$1) for every kilometre (1 km) clocked by participants at IER this year. The proceeds go to the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) in support of the Singapore Green Plan 2030. Collectively, participants at IER 2024 clocked a total distance of nearly 60,000 kilometres and raised S$60,000 for the zero waste cause. This is 50% more than the donation made to SEC last year.

Mr Andrew Yeo, CEO of Income Insurance, said “IER exemplifies our commitment to championing zero waste practices which are fundamental to a sustainable lifestyle. Such real-world changes directly contribute to us achieving our collective Net Zero 2050 ambition. To us, the IER is more than just a run. It is an annual rallying call for participants of all ages and fitness levels to embrace a healthy, inclusive, and sustainable way of life. By adopting zero waste practices together, we are running for a common cause to make a collective difference and build a cleaner, greener future for all,”.

Greener practices that are industry-first at IER 2024

This year, IER continues to improve its green practices at the event and has taken more steps to reduce its environmental impact.

For example, the running bibs for adults at IER 2024 were made 65% smaller than the industry standard. This was an improvement from last year’s which was 35% smaller than the standard. Young participants of the Kids Category wore special bibs made of seed paper, which can be planted and grown into plants, to nurture young eco warriors via engaging and tangible eco practices. These measures were unprecedented in Singapore.

At hydration points, IER 2024 used only plastic-free cups which are 100% recyclable. This is a first at a mass event in Singapore that promotes not just recycle more but recycle right. To avoid more single-use plastic waste, only reusable cutlery will be used at the event. The event had also ensured the effective sorting of food waste to allow for composting, for example, banana peels, where possible.

Furthermore, Income Insurance also intends to offset the carbon footprint of IER 2024, and to include, for the first time, participants’ commute to the Race Entry Pack Collection and to Marina Barrage on event day, as well as the IER tees that were purchased.

As an on-going push for more people to practice reduce, reuse and recycle, IER 2024 also encouraged participants to wear their own run t-shirts or reuse their past IER tees. The event also did not give out physical medals to participants but extend electronic certificates to them instead to mark their participation and to further avoid materials used.

Ms. Isabella Loh, Chairman of the Singapore Environment Council, said, "The Singapore Environment Council is proud to partner with Income Insurance in its push to foster a culture of sustainability among Singaporeans. The Income Eco Run furthers the spirit of environmental stewardship and community action that the SEC champions. More importantly, we are very pleased to see many runner supporters come forward for this event to support the Zero Waste initiative. The run sets a powerful example of how the environmental impact of public events can be further reduced. Last year’s Income Eco Run was awarded SEC’s Eco Event certification, and we are looking forward to the event achieving the same feat this year.”

Advancing public education and advocacy through activities and fun

To make zero waste and sustainability concepts accessible and enjoyable to learn, particularly for the young, the Tzu Chi Foundation hosted engaging eco-exhibits and highlighted sustainable practices at the IER Village via three approaches, “Play”, “Practice” and “Pledge”.

To encourage learning while playing, the IER Village featured a myriad of interactive and educational game booths for all ages to learn how our daily lifestyle choices – from meatless food options to reusable cutlery, and the fast fashion we purchase – have an impact on our environment.

To promote sustainable practices, designated waste sorting bins were set up for specific waste to raise public awareness about recycling right. To support the use of reusable cutleries at the event, volunteers manned washing stations to showcase and educate the public about efficient water use and management of wastewater.

Participants at the IER Village were also encouraged to make a ‘Tread Lightly, Live Gently’ pledge, which was a promise to transition to zero waste practices and a more sustainable lifestyle. By pledging to ‘Tread Lightly’, one makes a commitment to take greener commute options such as public transport daily and to be more conscious about one’s buying patterns or purchase habits taking into consideration their impact on the environment. To ‘Live Gently’ successfully, one must mindfully reduce the use of disposable products and use more reusable wares, while at the same time, add more meatless options in their diet.

Mr Low Swee Seh, CEO of Tzu-Chi Foundation, said, “We are honoured to contribute to the Income Eco Run by curating educational exhibits that showcase the potential of responsible consumption. We aim to demonstrate that everyone can do their part to live sustainably. Tzu Chi Foundation has long been committed to fostering compassion and environmental stewardship, and through this collaboration, we hope to inspire more people to live more responsibly and sustainably.”

Income Insurance has been championing the zero-waste cause via the IER since 2017. The IER took a three-year hiatus during the pandemic and returned in 2023, as a physical event via an unprecedented run format that empowered participants to run their preferred distance in support of the cause. For more information on IER, please visit Income Eco Run.