Taking the Lead in the Green Campaign
CapitaLand documents dedication to sustainable future
Issue: Aug 2010
In line with CapitaLand’s commitment to go green, the 1st Sustainability Report is only available online at www.capitaland.com/sustainability/sustainability-report
In May 2010 CapitaLand Limited released its first-ever Sustainability Report. The document details the company’s 2009 achievements in corporate governance, environmental & human capital development and philanthropic initiatives in 110 cities and 20 countries where it has a presence. The report caps, amongst others, a decade-long commitment to the twin tenets of philanthropy and environmental consciousness that has remained unwavering.
CAPITALAND GROUP’S KEY SUSTAINABILITY ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2009
Underscoring its importance, President and CEO of CapitaLand Group, Mr Liew Mun Leong said, “The publication of CapitaLand’s first Sustainability Report in 2010 marks a significant milestone for CapitaLand as we celebrate the Group’s tenth anniversary this year.
“Since inception, corporate sustainability has been part and parcel of how we operate, and this has helped to differentiate us in a highly competitive business environment. We remain committed to be a good corporate citizen and to building a greener future, not just for this generation, but for generations to come.”
The first operating office building to win the Green Mark Platinum Award 2010 by BCA Singapore, Six Battery Road, is a prime example of CapitaLand’s commitment to the environment.
Building the Foundations of a Green Future
CapitaLand has long been a champion of the green cause, which has been firmly backed by its top management. As early as 2006, it set up a group-wide Green Committee to spearhead environmental initiatives in the company in Singapore and abroad. The committee was responsible for introducing the CapitaLand Green Buildings Guidelines (GBG) to advocate green best practices covering the entire lifecycle of a building from the feasibility, design procurement, to the construction and operation stages. The multi-national company even has an internal Environment Tracking System to track energy and water usage, waste generation and carbon monoxide emission of over 180 of their properties around the world.
CapitaLand’s energy and water usage, waste generation and carbon dioxide emissions for 138 properties worldwide show reduction in all areas in 2009
These efforts have paid off spectacularly, with actual performances causing initial targets to appear modest. In 2009, CapitaLand aimed to reduce both energy and water consumptions per gross floor area (GFA) by 3% for properties worldwide. By the end of the year, CapitaLand achieved 9.4% and 6.4% reductions in energy and water usages per GFA respectively. This has translated to substantial savings of approximately S$8.88 million.
CapitaLand’s next target is a 20% reduction in energy and water usage per GFA by 2020.
Its efforts have also been recognised by authorities. CapitaLand has won 33 Green Mark Awards, given by Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority for its energy efficiency and environmentally friendly developments throughout the world. In 2008, it won the eminently prestigious Singapore Environmental Achievement Award by the Singapore Environment Council. Outside of Singapore, Raffles City Chengdu and Raffles City Hangzhou in China were conferred the Gold Level LEED Pre-Certification by the US Green Building Council.
All four of the Raffles City mixed developments in Singapore and China (Beijing, Chengdu & Hangzhou) have won awards for their environmentally conscious designs
Enlisting Soldiers for the Green Cause
Of course, in keeping with its philosophy of “Building for People to Build People”, CapitaLand believes in changing the world one person at a time. That’s why it achieved average training hours per employee of 59.6 hours per annum, well above the recommended industry guide of 40 hours. And part of that time was devoted to the Green Army set up in August 2009.
"The Green Army concept stemmed from a Green ICE Camp 2009, which looked at 'Green in turbulent times'. It mobilises every staff member to play his or her part in the protection of the environment," explained Wong Hooe Wai, Chairman, CapitaLand’s Green Committee.
Mr Liew and the CapitaFrog giving out organic fruits at the Green Army Launch.
The Green Army uses an army analogy to engage all employees to march in one direction and coordinate their efforts, so as to battle the common enemy of global warming and to protect environmental sustainability. Whether frontline “footsoldiers”, trained “specialists” or management “commanders”, staff at all levels are armed with the appropriate training and knowledge to implement the green initiative and affect change in their various areas of work.
Braydon Per (2nd from right, 3rd row) and Hasliza Yaacob (5th from left, 1st row) are part of the Green Army that is geared up and ready to do battle against global warming to build a greener legacy for the future generations
One such person who was very much influenced by CapitaLand’s Building A Greener Future programme is Braydon Per, a senior property assistant at the Golden Shoe Car Park and Market Street Car Park. He has worked with CapitaLand for nearly four years and was one of the people nominated to attend the one-day Green Beret Course specially designed for frontline staff in November.
“In my job, I have to interact with tenants very often. By gearing up on “Green knowledge” it prepares me to better share and impart the knowledge to the tenants as well as my colleagues. I am also involved in the enhancement work and the maintenance of existing building facilities. With such Green knowledge, I’m better able to contribute to Green initiatives prior to implementing the projects,” said Per.
Going the Extra (Green) Mile
But the Green recruits are not just committed to change within the organisation. Earlier in the year, the Green Beret members were asked to help turn the Canossaville Children’s Home into an eco-friendly place. In a matter of weeks, energy-saving lights, an internal irrigation system that utilizes rainwater and a rooftop garden to introduce a green zone and help cool the canteen below were all implemented. The efforts were capped off with a morning of activities to teach the children about conserving the Earth.
Hasliza Yaacob (3rd from right holding the candle), together with the CapitaLand team, shared with the children at the Canossaville Children’s Home tips to save the Earth
“My best memories were of spending time with the kids aged between six and 15. We explained the reasons behind our contribution to the home,” said Hasliza Yaacob, a Customer Service Assistant at Junction 8 Shopping Centre who has been with CapitaLand for six years.
CapitaLand also has other programmes that marry philanthropy and sustainability. Its Green for Hope @ Primary Schools exchanges recyclable waste waste collected by primary schools with donations by CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF), the Group’s philanthropic arm, to students from needy homes in those schools. This has not only given them something to smile about. The programme has also taught students about recycling and about helping their classmates in need. The project has been so successful with a collection of some 1 million kilogrammes of recyclable waste in 18 months earning the schools close to S$2 million in donations. There has also been a 75% increase in the schools’ recycling rate since the start of the programme. Now into the third year of the programme, more than 95% of the primary schools are participants in this green and philanthropic programme.
With this success, CapitaLand extended the programme to 26 of its properties in Singapore. Under the Green for Hope@ CapitaLand project CHF will donate S$2 to a children’s charity in Singapore for every kilogram of recyclable waste collected by the properties, In the first six months of 2010, the CapitaLand properties collected about 888,550 kilogrammes of recyclable waste with ten selected children charities benefitting from a donation of $430,000 from this programme.
“The Green for Hope@CapitaLand project is an excellent initiative to engage the communities around our properties – namely our staff, tenants, retailers, shoppers and serviced residence guests – in our ‘green’ efforts and to provide financial aid to underprivileged children,” said Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO of CapitaLand Group.
CHF Board and management with beneficiaries of Green for Hope 2009 (Mr Liew Mun Leong, President & CEO, CapitaLand, 4th from left)
And it isn’t just the children of Singapore that have been benefitting. In total, over S$5 million has been donated to children’s charities all over Asia since November 2005 through CHF.
Clearly, the inaugural collation of the company’s green journey is proof of its steadfast commitment to protecting the earth, one green initiative at a time and its determination to maintain transparency. Little wonder that it is the only Singapore real estate company that is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index 2009 and has won the “Most Transparent Company (Property)” award by the Securities Investors Association (Singapore) for the ninth consecutive year.