Saturday mornings in Singapore’s central business district are generally quiet but on 27 August 2016, over 370 people were seen running through buildings and landmarks, pausing occasionally to complete a mission before sprinting off again.
This was the CCT Eco Race 2016, organised by CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT), one of Singapore’s largest office landlords, to promote greater environmental awareness among its tenant community. This year, over 370 participants responded to the event’s call to ‘Go Green, Be Fit’, marking a 30% increase in participation rate from the last race.
In this contest of speed, strategy and teamwork, participants were required to complete eight checkpoints located at CapitaLand office buildings and landmarks across the central business district. Each checkpoint was designed to test participants’ knowledge of environmental issues such as green buildings, air quality, food and electronic waste, while challenging their physical limits.
Getting everyone involved
The CCT Eco Race 2016 was made possible by the support of organisations that share CCT’s commitment to sustainability, including event partner, Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA). A strong supporter of the CCT Eco Race since its inception in 2012, BCA fielded four participating teams and sponsored prizes for the race and pre-race online contests.
“Tenants and users of commercial buildings play a crucial role in energy savings as they account for up to 50% of the total electricity consumption in a building. The CCT Eco Race is in line with BCA’s efforts under the 3rd Green Building Masterplan to reach out to building tenants and occupants and get them to come on board the green building movement,” said BCA Chief Executive Officer Dr John Keung.
Fitness First also stepped up as the event’s fitness partner, managing two of the checkpoints and leading participants in a mass warm-up before the race began.
“We are honoured to join CapitaLand in this event and offer participants a unique fitness experience that educates them on the importance of sustainability, and motivates them to shape a fitter and more environmentally responsible lifestyle,” said Mr Andrew Phillips, Managing Director for Fitness First Singapore, who personally led a team that tied for second place with JP Morgan.
BMW Asia also sponsored six cruiser bicycles for one of the challenges to encourage tenants to consider cycling as a cleaner mode of transport. This is in line with CapitaLand’s support of the national movement towards a car-lite Singapore and echoed by the winning team from Economic Development Board.
“Through the race, we realised that the central business district is actually quite small. We can easily get around by foot, bus or train. If we cut down on traffic, we can make life better for everyone,” said the team after crossing the finishing line.
Making a sustainable difference
To enhance the sustainability and impact of its corporate giving efforts, CCT partnered The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (SPMF) for its Eco Race and annual year-end Gifts of Joy initiative this year.
CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF), CapitaLand’s philanthropic arm, matched dollar-for-dollar the total registration fees collected from the race participants. In addition, CHF donated S$10 per kilometre per participant, for every team that pledged to complete the 6km race. Based on the total distance pledged and the matching of registration fees, the CCT Eco Race raised S$27,120 for the SPMF’s beneficiaries – children from underprivileged families.
In another first, CCT has reached out to its tenant community to adopt the SPMF coin banks, or ‘blue boys’ as they are affectionately known. Tenants can place these coin banks in their offices to encourage contributions by staff. The contributions will be tallied prior to Gifts of Joy in December and CHF will make a matching donation of up to S$10,000.
To keep the momentum going, CapitaLand has also expanded its e-waste collection and recycling programme. A collection drive is being held from 15 August to 31 December 2016 in eight of its office buildings — Capital Tower, CapitaGreen, One George Street, Six Battery Road, Raffles City Tower, HSBC Building, Wilkie Edge and Twenty Anson — to encourage tenants to safely dispose of their personal and corporate e-waste. CHF will donate S$10 for every kilogramme of e-waste collected up till 30 November 2016, subject to a cap of S$2,000.
“While we provide quality conducive environments for our tenants in our environmentally sustainable office buildings, CCT is equally committed to promoting the benefits of active, healthy and sustainable living among our tenant community. We also provide opportunities for our busy tenants to engage with and give back to the community in practical, meaningful ways,” summed up Ms Lynette Leong, Chief Executive Officer, CCT Management Limited.