CapitaLand has done it again. For the fourth consecutive year, the company has been listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. This places it in the top 10% of real estate developers among the world’s largest 2,500 companies that are considered leaders in sustainability, according to the S&P; Global Broad Market Index (BMI). CapitaLand is one of only two Singapore companies on the index.
Asia’s leading real estate group also retains its position as the longest-standing Singapore company to be listed in the Dow Jones Asia Pacific Index 2015 for the seventh year straight. This puts CapitaLand among the top 20% of real estate developers in the Asia Pacific S&P; Global BMI universe of 600 companies across six developed markets - Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea.
“CapitaLand is pleased to be recognised by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), the leading sustainability leadership benchmark. We are heartened to be recognised in our vision to be a leading global enterprise that enriches people and communities. Sustainable business practices are essential to long-term value creation for our stakeholders. As a responsible developer, we are committed to be profitable and sustainable through innovation and stakeholder engagement,” said Mr Tan Seng Chai, Chairman of CapitaLand Sustainability Steering Committee and Group Chief Corporate Officer, CapitaLand Limited.
Responding Proactively to Climate Change
According to the latest DJSI, climate change is among the most important considerations for the real estate industry since buildings are responsible for about a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. As a major developer, owner and operator of real estate, CapitaLand has remained focused in its efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change.
It recently doubled the number of plug-in electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in its properties in Singapore, providing twice the number of locations where these stations are found and extending its network beyond the Central Business District (CBD). Working with global technology solutions provider for EV networks, Greenlots, CapitaLand will install six new stations in four new locations: The Star Vista, Westgate, Bedok Mall, and The Atrium@Orchard. This is in addition to the six stations already available in the CBD. Together, they make up nearly 25% of the 47 EV charging stations in 31 locations across the island.
“Since 2008, we have reduced the carbon emissions intensity of our global operational properties by 21%. Taking this to the next level, we hope to enable our stakeholders to further reduce their carbon footprint and join us in supporting sustainable mobility. We understand that the availability of charging stations is key to greater adoption of EVs, which helps reduce carbon emissions,” said Mr Tan.
To encourage real estate players to support sustainable mobility in Singapore, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has included the provision of EV charging stations as part of its Green Mark scheme. Thus far, CapitaLand is the first and only developer in Southeast Asia to offer EV charging stations across its different properties. Looking ahead, CapitaLand has plans to offer over 100 EV charging stations in more than 40 properties across Asia and Europe. The sales of EVs worldwide have grown exponentially since 2009. Global sales are expected to reach one million in October 2015, 10 times the figure sold just three years ago. By 2020, the number of electric cars on the roads is estimated to hit 20 million.
“The expansion of our EV charging network will bring great convenience to the growing group of EV-owner customers. We are also looking at making home charging stations available at our upcoming residential developments in Singapore. This will form an integrated CapitaLand network of charging stations, where our customers who are EV owners can plug-in and charge their cars easily and seamlessly when they live, work and play at our properties,” Mr Tan adds.
CapitaLand is also responding to climate change through its haze contingency plans in Singapore. Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) readings are monitored across its properties and projects, with instructions to close all external features and cease outdoor activities if the PSI crosses the 150 mark. This includes the possibility of ceasing outdoor lifting operations involving tower and mobile cranes at its work sites due to poor visibility.
Efforts to Increase Energy Efficiency
Another area the real estate industry needs to be concerned about is energy efficiency, noted the DJSI 2015. CapitaLand is a leader in this area. It recently had Bugis Junction fitted with solar panels which cover about 1,000 square metres of roof area, making it one of the largest installations for an integrated mixed-use development in Singapore.Making this happen is REC, a leading global provider of solar energy solutions with one of the largest vertically integrated and fully automated production facility in Southeast Asia.
“As a socially responsible corporate citizen, CapitaLand Mall Trust is continually looking for ways to green our malls by developing and implementing sustainable designs, operations and practices. Partnering with REC to install solar panels at Bugis Junction not only helps our mall to tap on a renewable energy source, it also delivers cost savings that enable us to run our malls more efficiently,” said Jacqueline Lee, Head of Investment and Asset Management, CapitaLand Mall Trust Management Limited.
The solar panels at Bugis Junction will generate 200,000 kWh of clean energy or enough power for about 50 four-room HDB households a year, and mitigate 110 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually. This will add up to savings of approximately S$30,000 every year for the next 25 years.
CapitaLand’s sustainability efforts have certainly not gone unnoticed. Apart from its latest DJSI ranking, it has garnered a list of other sustainability accolades in 2015. The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark or GRESB Regional Sector Leader (Asia/Diversified), Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World, Sustainability Yearbook (Bronze Class recipient), and FTSE4Good and MSCI Global Sustainability Indexes are all the prized fruits of CapitaLand’s eco labour.
As Mr Tan aptly sums up: “Sustainability is integral to CapitaLand, and we will continue to improve the economic, environmental and social well-being of the communities we operate in.”