New Endeavour Flourishes

CapitaLand adopts hybridised orchids and marries Green commitment to bio-diversity

Issue: Jan 2012

In CapitaLand's commitment to biodiversity, it has adopted two hybridised orchids - Cattleya CapitaLand (left) and Phalaenopsis CapitaLand (right)
In CapitaLand's commitment to biodiversity, it has adopted two hybridised orchids - Cattleya CapitaLand (left) and Phalaenopsis CapitaLand (right)

Recognised by Frost & Sullivan as the Asia Pacific Green Builder of the Year in 2011, CapitaLand's commitment to building and managing green buildings is well acknowledged. Preserving and promoting biodiversity also features prominently in CapitaLand's eco drive. For instance, the 2000-square feet indoor vertical garden within Six Battery Road in Singapore comprises a rich array of about 120 plant species originating from the tropical rainforests of Asia, the Americas and Africa. This vertical green wall enables eco-friendly features such as rainwater harvesting, absorption of environmental pollutants and air refreshment by releasing oxygen.

In one of its latest biodiversity initiatives, CapitaLand has adopted two hybridised orchids, Cattleya CapitaLand and Phalaenopsis CapitaLand, which were officially unveiled by His Excellency President Tony Tan Keng Yam and CapitaLand President & CEO, Mr Liew Mun Leong, in November 2011 in support of President's Challenge 2011.

Investing in a Well-loved National Flower

The decision to adopt the orchids was a considered one. Orchid is the Singapore's national flower and a strong visual icon of the country. Being a real estate company that originated and is headquartered in Singapore, adopting orchids was reflective of the company's identity.

(From left) His Excellency President Tony Tan Keng Yam and CapitaLand President & CEO, Mr Liew Mun Leong unveiling the two new orchid hybrids in support of President's Challenge 2011
(From left) His Excellency President Tony Tan Keng Yam and CapitaLand President and CEO, Mr Liew Mun Leong unveiling the two new orchid hybrids in support of President's Challenge 2011

Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO of CapitaLand Group, said, “Orchids have long been associated with love, beauty and resilience, with its presence dating back to 500 B.C. Cultivating orchids take patience, skill and creativity - the same elements essential to building quality properties. It is CapitaLand‘s mission to build a lasting company and the evergreen nature of the orchid heritage is an inspiration to us.”

Sweet Smell of the Future

As early as 2009, CapitaLand embarked on a journey to find species of orchids that would capture the essence of CapitaLand's vision and mission. After a 15-month search, it found two unique blooms that perfectly capture the spirit of CapitaLand. The flowers are the creations of How Wai Ron who has originated many orchid hybrids in Singapore. How was the winner of the OSSEA (Orchid Society of Southeast Asia) Eric Holttum Gold Medal in 1999, an award given to orchid breeders in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei in recognition of their hybridisation programme.

“Orchid hybrids are beautiful, easy to grow in local climate and are free-flowering, meaning they bloom well and often. But growing Cattleya was an experiment and a brand new experience for me. People don't usually grow Cattleya because they believe it is more suited to tropical conditions. But I tried it and found that they could grow quite well here and so I developed a series of Cattleya hybrids, one of which was Cattleya CapitaLand,” said How of his experience.

Cattleya CapitaLand was a successful hybrid experiment by How Ron Wai who discovered that the local climate actually suited Cattleya hybrids
Cattleya CapitaLand was a successful hybrid experiment by How Ron Wai who discovered that the local climate actually suited Cattleya hybrids

Cattleya, crowned “King of Orchids”, has big strong blooms which signify CapitaLand Group's stable and solid foundation in the real estate industry. Its three large petals are supported by three narrow sepals, an embodiment of CapitaLand‘s three-prong group strategy of Focus, Balance and Scale being guided by the I.C.E. philosophy of Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship. Cattleya CapitaLand‘s lush blooms and leaves, long flowering season and strong adaptability in the environment it grows in reflect the Group‘s sustainable development and continuous growth. Cheery blooms which look like smiling faces epitomise the Group‘s optimism and positivity while the flower's uncharacteristically strong fragrance is synonymous with how CapitaLand leverages on its competitive advantage to be a leader in the industry.

Phalaenopsis is known as the “Queen of Orchids”. Its five equal-sized petals represent CapitaLand's core value system derived from Five Confucian Virtues of Benevolence, Righteousness, Decorum, Wisdom and Trustworthiness. Its pure white pistils are a reflection of CapitaLand's business ethics which involves aggressive self-discipline, fairness and integrity. The beauty and grace of the pastel yellow and soft pink petals is reminiscent of CapitaLand's vigour and vitality in forging ahead.

A scent, “inflorescence”, was specially created to capture the essence of the fragrance of the two hybridised orchids
A scent, “inflorescence”, was specially created to capture the essence of the fragrance of the two hybridised orchids

On top of supporting these orchid hybrids, CapitaLand is also contributing to biodiversity by re-creating the scent of these orchids. Orchids are not usually known for their scent but CapitaLand Cattleya has a refreshing, floral fragrance at bloom. The scent is preserved through a fragrance specialist to create the orchid scent into the “inflorescence” fragrance. The fresh delight of ‘inflorescence’ is a spirited blend of orchids, lilac hearts and green accords with pears and apples; the harmonious confection conjures the imagery of CapitaLand, a brand of distinction and grace. The soft infusion of musk and tonka evokes CapitaLand’s history and heritage, and celebrates the organisation’s steadfast credence and conviction.

Through adopting the two orchid hybrids, CapitaLand hopes to continue its support of biodiversity by preserving the beauty of Cattleya CapitaLand and Phalaenopsis CapitaLand through its blooms in years to come.


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