Exploring Sustainability in the Metaverse: DBS Tackles Food Waste with BetterWorld

3 min readSep 6


In the bustling city-state of Singapore, a visionary idea took shape within the corridors of DBS, the nation’s largest bank. This idea was about to take its leap into a virtual world, a world where pixels and data converge to create an alternate reality — the metaverse. The DBS team embarked on a mission to educate and enlighten, all within the confines of a digital playground.

The Genesis of BetterWorld

The year was 2022, and DBS was already envisioning a concept that went beyond the realms of traditional banking. The notion of the metaverse had ignited their imagination. With a calculated move, the bank acquired a plot of virtual land within the Sandbox metaverse, laying the foundation for their grand vision.

Fast forward to 2023, and the concept had taken a tangible form — BetterWorld. This metaverse game wasn’t about mere entertainment; it had a noble purpose. The DBS team recognized the urgency of addressing sustainability and food waste issues that plague our world. According to the International Food Container Organization (IFCO), a staggering 1.3 billion tonnes of food were wasted globally, amounting to a third of total food production. BetterWorld’s mission was clear — to educate, to create awareness, and to inspire change.

A Glimpse into BetterWorld

BetterWorld ins’t just a game; it is an experience designed to make players reflect on their real-world actions. Players would immerse themselves in a digital universe, devoting 20–25 minutes of their time to delve into social challenges, particularly the menace of food waste. Through interactive gameplay and thought-provoking scenarios, participants would gain insights into the consequences of their choices.

But it wasn’t just about abstract knowledge. DBS had something more substantial in store. Players would have the chance to earn rewards within the metaverse — tokens of appreciation for their engagement and commitment. These virtual rewards could seamlessly transform into real-world value through DBS’s application, PayLah. This innovative fusion of the virtual and the tangible aimed to bridge the gap between the metaverse and reality, reminding us that the choices we make in one world have an impact on the other.

Karen Ngui’s Vision

At the heart of this ambitious project is Karen Ngui, the Head of Group Strategic Marketing and Communications at DBS. Karen’s belief in the power of the metaverse to drive awareness for critical environmental and social issues was unwavering. She eloquently expressed, “DBS believes… the metaverse… can be harnessed… to increase awareness of important environmental, social, and governance issues and spotlight those who are finding innovative ways to address them.”

With this vision as their guiding light, DBS marched forward, ready to launch BetterWorld by the end of 2023. Their journey from the inception of the idea to its imminent realization was a testament to their commitment to the cause.

Conclusion: A Glimpse into Tomorrow

As the digital sun sets on DBS’s journey to bring BetterWorld to life, we are reminded of the power of innovation, education, and collaboration. In this narrative, the metaverse isn’t just a realm of fantastical possibilities; it’s a platform to address real-world issues that demand our attention. BetterWorld is a testimony to the potential of blending virtual experiences with genuine impact, providing players a chance to transcend the boundaries of screens and pixels and connect with the essence of sustainability.

In a world where the virtual and the physical are becoming increasingly intertwined, DBS’s foray into the metaverse isn’t just a game launch — it’s a step towards creating a better tomorrow, one pixel at a time. So, as we eagerly await the unveiling of BetterWorld, let’s reflect on the power we hold, both in the metaverse and beyond, to shape a world that aligns with our values and aspirations. After all, the metaverse isn’t just a place to play; it’s a canvas for the future we wish to paint.