Executive director of YTL Singapore
A well-known environmental and sustainability advocate, the scion of multi-sector international conglomerate YTL Group is not just involved in driving her family empire’s ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) vision, but has also served in countless global leadership positions in this field. While Ruth Yeoh’s journey began upon graduation from architecture school and joining YTL some two decades ago, her love for nature and community has its roots from her childhood in a family who prizes the same values.
She says, “I still recall my childhood days when my father, Tan Sri Sir Francis Yeoh, brought me to Pangkor Laut Resort to plant seedlings as he believed in teaching practical lessons on protecting the environment, starting from when we were very young. Indeed, this early experience planted an idea in me that I wanted to do more, and so began a lifelong commitment to making as much of a difference as I possibly could to protect God’s creations.”
In Ruth’s corporate role, she acts as the executive director of YTL Singapore and also director of YTL-SV Carbon, the group’s carbon credit and clean development mechanism consultancy. Early in her career, during the wake of the climate-protection movement, she pioneered her Malaysia-based company’s highly successful Climate Change Week campaign to effect change locally. Since then, she has added multiple such feathers to her cap within the business and as an international industry leader.
In her personal capacity, she is a working mum, a published author and an active community leader in causes spanning environmental stewardship to women’s rights. Ruth is a member of the Board of Trustees of Reef Check Malaysia, which works on protecting reefs and coral life in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. She serves as a board member of United Women Singapore, a non-profit organisation that advances women’s empowerment and gender equality.
She is also a committee member at Women in Sustainability and Environment (WISE), a Singapore society formed following the announcement of Singapore’s Green Plan in February 2021. Set up in response to the conclusion of COP26 Glasgow, WISE is the first women’s society here focusing on concerted gender action towards Singapore’s Green Plan 2030 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, targeting, in particular, responsible consumption and production patterns.
“It is imperative that WISE ensures a strong, equal voice and representation of women in the business of sustainability, whether as a consumer, investor or professional. In fact, women are responsible for major decisions as leaders in the household, workforce and wider community. They should continue to be respected and encouraged for the sheer strength they provide towards the health of communities and their well-being,” adds Ruth.