The rustic setting at Gardenasia in Kranji provided the perfect backdrop as more than 300 staff from CapitaMalls Asia (CMA) – CapitaLand’s wholly-owned shopping mall business unit – and their families gathered for its fourth Green Day. The CMA Green Day brings together staff in a fun setting to celebrate their sustainability efforts and reinforce their commitment towards the green cause.
Said Mr Jason Leow, CEO of CMA, “The selection of location this year is great as it is in line with the green efforts we’re trying to promote in the CapitaLand Group. Being city dwellers, many of the staff hardly see farms and today’s event serves as a good reminder that there is more to life than just working in an office.”
Explained MrChowChee Khang, CMA’s Head of Design Management (Mechanical & Electrical) and a member of the CapitaLand Sustainability Steering committee, who heads the Green Day organising committee, “By bringing staff and their families here to Singapore’s countryside, we hope that they can take in some fresh air and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. For it is only when we appreciate nature that we become more motivated in our efforts to conserve the environment.”
“As we commemorate SG50 this year, we decided to take a walk down memory lane by including in our line-up some traditional snacks and toys. We believe these will appeal not only to the nostalgic amongst us, and be an eye-opener to our younger staff and the children who are here today,” he added.
In addition to booths that offered traditional snacks and toys, a farmer’s market was specially set up and many staff enjoyed shopping for fresh produce so close to their source. From eggs and mushrooms to peasprouts and wasabi sprouts, the booths offered fresh produce galore and the opportunity to learn more about farming in Singapore from the farmers themselves.
Reduce, reuse and recyle
In championing the three R’s of waste management – reduce, reuse and recycle – this year’s Green Day activities were designed to highlight the possibilities of breathing new life into old and unwanted items.
Prior to Green Day, CMA staff organised a T-shirt donation drive and collected over 1,800 old T-shirts from its shopping malls and corporate office in Singapore. Of the T-shirts collected, over 1,000 were donated to The Salvation Army.
Jeannie Koh, Senior Administrative Assistant, Westgate, was part of the team which topped the T-shirt collection drive. Comprising staff from IMM, JCube, Westgate, Bukit Panjang Plaza and Lot One Shopping Mall, the team collected 875 T-shirts in total.
“We went around and asked colleagues to donate whatever they were clearing out for Chinese New Year. It was challenging but great to see everybody being so cooperative and supporting our collection drive,” said Koh.
On top of contributing to the community, staff also learnt how to repurpose the remaining old T-shirts into a colourful hand-woven mat. Measuring 3.08m in diameter, the mat had entered the Singapore Book of Records as the largest braided mat made from old T-shirts.
During Green Day, CMA staff also set the Singapore record for the fastest time to pass 10 T-shirts along a chain of 100 people. Every participant had to put on each of the 10 T-shirts and take it off before passing to the next participant.The enthusiastic participants practised several times before the day to prepare for this record setting attempt.
Angeline Tan, Senior Manager, Cost and Contract, who was the first in the line of 100, said, “I really enjoyed being part of this record attempt as it makes for good team bonding”.
Teamwork certainly did the trick as the chain of 100 staff set a Singapore record with an impressive timing of 15 minutes and 49 seconds.
Teamwork was not the only thing that was celebrated on CMA Green day 2015. At the event, Mr Leow shared how far CMA had come in its green efforts. In 2014, CMA received 11 nods at the annual CapitaLand Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Awards – which recognises outstanding EHS performance across the Group – for initiatives such as the development of applications that help to improve productivity and resource management; and a light bulb recycling programme at the shopping malls.
In that same year, more than 15,000 light bulbs were collected across nine CapitaLand malls in Singapore, contributing to over 4,700 kilograms of glass and 5,600 kilograms of metal for recycling. “It is always important to remember that no matter how big or small, every effort we make will go a long way in our company’s sustainability journey,” said Mr Leow.
Indeed, CMA has come a long way in its efforts to promote sustainability and what better way to celebrate its accomplishments than at its annual Green Day.