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Minimising environmental impact

Two very different businesses are helping to protect the environment through their business models.

Big Tiny integrates the concept of tiny houses with eco-tourism and improves the lives of rural farmers and city dwellers by placing beautifully designed compact homes on wheels in spectacular rural settings.

Amici Events and Catering has made significant efforts to reduce plastic waste, by using biodegradable utensils and encouraging the use of porcelain and glassware for events.


BIG Tiny is the first company in Singapore to integrate the concept of "tiny houses" with eco-tourism, improving the lives of rural farmers and city dwellers. Tiny houses are part of an international trend of simplifying lives by reducing the size, and therefore the resource consumption, of homes without sacrificing quality of life.

Big Tiny takes this movement one step further by placing its beautifully designed compact homes on wheels in spectacular rural settings. The aim is to amplify the benefits of the "tiny house" movement by pairing an efficient home with Mother Nature. The company was a double honouree at the Brands for Good 2019 Awards in the "Community - Business Model" and "Environment - Managing Environmental Impact" categories. Big Tiny's young Singaporean founders wanted to offer city dwellers a chance to escape their hectic lifestyles to experience a different style of living.

To help reduce its environmental impact, the company's homes are outfitted with solar panels on the roof to generate power for electrical appliances. They also make use of composting toilets, which allow the farmers who own the land to collect the waste, treat it with enzymes and use it as fertilisers for their crops.

Houses located in areas with higher rainfall are also connected to a rainwater collection and filtration system. In terms of the building materials, the firm also uses responsibly sourced and eco-friendly materials. "All in all, by the pure fact that one is living in a tiny house, it reduces the carbon footprint by up to 48 per cent," said Jeff Yeo, Big Tiny's co-founder.

Big Tiny's business model also helps the rural farmers where their houses are located. "Rural farmers usually own large pieces of land but they only utilise 20 to 30 per cent of the land. Farmers also face hardship whenever there are prolonged seasons of drought or floods. By placing our tiny houses on their unused land, and renting them out to tourists, we are introducing a sustainable secondary source of income to them via our profit-share model," explained Mr Yeo.

The company currently operates mainly in Sydney and Melbourne, but is looking to expand into the Australian state of Queensland next, as well as to New Zealand and Indonesia in the longer term.

"Moving forward, we are looking at developing more of our concept in other countries, and working with interested local partners who are keen to embark on this eco journey with us and make a positive impact not only on the environment but to society as well. We are also in the midst of further developing our building capabilities in the low-cost housing, resort and granny flat space in various markets," said Mr Yeo.


AMICI Events and Catering (Amici) is a boutique caterer who takes on events with an eye towards being socially responsible.

The firm has made significant efforts to reduce plastic waste, by using biodegradable utensils and encouraging the use of porcelain and glassware for events.

For its success in doing so, it was an Honouree in the "Environment - Managing Environmental Impact" category at this year's Brands for Good Awards.

"From one-time use plastics to creating edible food bases, using 100 per cent bio-degradable products is the little that we hope to contribute to sustain the environment," said Willie Tan, CEO of Amici.

The company is also a forerunner in employing EPP (Expanded Polypropylene) materials to store and transport its food, a material that is both friendly to the environment and also lightweight, as well as good for handling.

The company's vision to be at the "forefront of luxury and lifestyle catering has driven it to provide top-notch events coupled with product innovations," said Mr Tan.

With strong client retention, the company is doubling its sales annually in both Singapore and Malaysia.

Over the next few years, Amici plans to expand its business to the rest of South-east Asia.

"With a proven business recipe comprising a passionate heart, a spirit of excellence and a touch of exclusivity, Amici is all ready to go forth and bring delight to customers beyond the shores of Singapore," said Mr Tan.

He added: "Being a trendsetter is important to Amici as we embark on product innovation, we consider ourselves able to influence the community to do their part too."

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