As one of the leading real estate developers in Asia with a presence in over 130 cities in 20 countries, CapitaLand recognises that its actions have an impact on the communities it operates in. While commercial viability is important in real estate development, it cannot compromise the environment for future generations. This is why as part of the group’s commitment to sustainability, CapitaLand actively engages its stakeholders to get involved in meaningful ways to conserve the environment.
Here’s a look at some inspirational initiatives that CapitaLand has spearheaded with different stakeholder groups!
Starting young: getting kids involved
CapitaLand’s Little Architect programme, which is designed to help children learn building construction concepts in a simple yet fun way, has been given a green spin! Named ‘Little Green Architect’, the initiative was the result of a synergistic three-way partnership between CapitaLand China, charity organisation Cahryou, and non-governmental organisation China Council of Green Buildings and Energy Efficiency.
The goal? To inspire primary school students to do their part for the environment by teaching them about sustainability and the built environment.
A six-part activity-based curriculum, which was developed to make the learning experience fun and interactive for children, was rolled out to CapitaLand Hope Schools across five regions in China, reaching out to over 1,700 children — and making the Little Green Architect a deserving winner of CapitaLand’s Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Stakeholder Engagement Award 2016.
Long-term results with short stay residents
On the rooftop of Citadines Salcedo Makati, located in the heart of Manila’s high-powered financial district, is an unlikely green sanctuary. Instead of a lush, manicured landscape typical of serviced residences, the Citadines Salcedo Makati opted for a simple vegetable garden. Recycling plastic drink bottles into ‘pots’, vegetables are grown organically without any synthetic fertilisers or pesticides. These are harvested once a month as a healthy treat for residents.
This green initiative has proven so popular that the vegetable garden has grown into an amenity area of the property, with many residents happy to potter around the garden and do their part.
This idea of turning lesser used areas into eco-friendly spaces has produced wonderful results in many other Ascott properties around the world. At the Ascott managed Beverly Park Residences in Navi Mumbai, the team revitalised an unused plot of land by building an entire children’s playground out of recycled materials like tires, paint tins, water pipes and wooden planks. That certainly deserves full marks for creativity and effort!
Driving the message home with homeowners
For people to get involved in environmental conservation, they first need to be interested and invested in the idea. This inspired CapitaLand China to invite over 1,000 homeowners of residential development La Citè in downtown Foshan, China, to vote for their favourite green initiative during a ‘Thank You Dinner’.
The most popular initiative — called ‘One Book for One Plant’ — was implemented later by CapitaLand China with the support of CapitaLand Mall Asia and Ascott. Members of the public were encouraged to donate their used books at both CapitaLand’s residential sites and shopping malls in exchange for small potted plants to ‘green’ their homes. And since one good turn deserves another, Ascott also offered book donors the chance to win free stays at its properties! These collected books were later passed on to underprivileged children, creating a virtuous cycle of good.
These initiatives also won the CapitaLand’s Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Stakeholder Engagement Award 2016.
Growing the eco culture
From shoppers to homeowners, employees to office tenants, and the wider public, CapitaLand hopes to reach out to more people to increase awareness and inspire concrete action on environmental conservation.
As a developer, CapitaLand is committed to building environmentally sustainable developments in the cities it operates in. In Singapore, for example, all its buildings must achieve a minimum Green Mark GoldPLUS rating awarded by the Building and Construction Authority.
As a property manager, it hopes to encourage sustainability as a way of life. At Raffles City Beijing and Raffles City Shanghai, CapitaLand undertook a survey of its current tenants to understand their well-being needs and commuting habits. With the findings, CapitaLand customised a series of initiatives to achieve better energy and water efficiency without compromising the comfort and wellbeing of tenants. Both buildings have since achieved LEED Gold certification.
Through these and many other ways, CapitaLand continues to lead the charge towards a more sustainable tomorrow for everyone.