To mark Earth Hour’s 10th anniversary, CapitaLand properties in 22 countries will be organising more than 500 actions and activities this week in the lead-up to Earth Hour on Saturday, 19 March 2016, to encourage its stakeholders to make small lifestyle choices that contribute to resource and species conservation, and waste minimisation.
Positive change, starting at home
All 34 CapitaLand properties in Singapore will go beyond the usual one-hour lights off period by switching off their façade lights and non-essential lighting for extended hours throughout the night, starting from 8.30pm (local time) on Saturday, 19 March 2016.
In addition, 10 CapitaLand properties in Singapore’s Central Business District and Civic District – Capital Tower, CapitaGreen, Six Battery Road, One George Street, Raffles City Singapore, Wilkie Edge, Golden Shoe Car Park, Twenty Anson, HSBC Building and Ascott Raffles Place – will be turning off their façade lights from 4 to 27 March 2016 in support of the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) i Light Marina Bay campaign, which is held in conjunction with Earth Hour.
CapitaLand is also reaching out to food and beverage tenants at its office buildings in Singapore to promote the 3Rs of waste minimisation – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – through a series of promotional campaigns. For example, Salad Stop! at Capital Tower and One George Street has crafted a special Shine a Light Salad made of locally-sourced ingredients to promote the message of eating local and reducing one’s carbon footprint.
Grain Traders at CapitaGreen is offering 10 per cent off purchases on coffee and food when customers bring their own mug, tumbler, or container. Joe & Dough at Capital Tower and Golden Shoe Car Park, and H.O.T. at CapitaGreen are also running promotions in March to mark Earth Hour.
Mr Tan Seng Chai, Group Chief Corporate Officer of CapitaLand Limited and Chairman of the CapitaLand Sustainability Steering Committee, said: “CapitaLand has been a pioneer participant in Earth Hour since the movement was launched in Singapore in 2008. This year’s Earth Hour is especially significant as it is the movement’s global 10th anniversary. It is also the first after the Paris Agreement was inked in December 2015, when 195 countries pledged action and investment to combat climate change.”
He added: “CapitaLand’s continued support for Earth Hour is just one of the ways we have been contributing to the effort against climate change. We will not stop here. As a responsible corporate citizen with a global footprint, we will continue to do the right thing and push forward with our sustainability initiatives, reduce our carbon emissions and do our part to #ChangeClimateChange.”
CapitaLand has a long term target of achieving a 23% reduction in carbon emissions intensity by 2020, using 2008 as the base year. It is well on track as it has reduced its carbon emissions intensity across its operations by 21% since 2008.
Spreading the conservation message overseas
In China, CapitaLand is leveraging its CAPITASTAR platform on the popular WeChat mobile app to launch its “Touch” campaign, which this year casts the spotlight on protecting endangered species. There are three components to this innovative online campaign – a pledge committing action towards species and habitat conservation; a game where players need to “save” endangered animals from extinction due to climate change; and a digital sketch that can be published on one’s profile or even sent to friends to encourage participation.
CapitaLand has also launched a t-shirt graffiti campaign across its malls in China, where members of the public are invited to design their own Earth Hour-inspired t-shirts using eco-friendly fluorescent paint. These t-shirts will light up the night as CapitaLand malls turn their façade lights and non-essential lighting off during Earth Hour.
In Malaysia, Queensbay Mall in Penang is organising an Earth Hour Charity Ride to promote a greener, healthier lifestyle among participants while doing their part for the community – they pay a registration free of RM10 and all money collected will be donated to the St Nicholas Home in Penang, a non-profit organisation that serves the visually impaired in the community.
Similarly, Gurney Plaza in Penang is hosting an Adopt-A-Plant Campaign – mall tenants can adopt a plant for RM250 and all proceeds will be channelled to the disadvantaged in Penang. The planting ceremony by the tenants will be held on 18 March 2016, 8am at the Landscape Garden which is owned and managed by the mall. The Mines in Klang Valley will also encourage members of its Kids Club to create items using recycled materials for a charity sale. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to the disadvantaged in the community.
In Indonesia, Citadines Rasuna Jakarta will be inviting its guests to travel around the city with bicycles, available for guests to borrow for free, as an alternative to cars to help reduce the city’s carbon footprint. Ascott Kuningan Jakarta and Somerset Grand Citra Jakarta will also inspire more green fingers by creating small herb and vegetable gardens on their properties. Guests will be encouraged to use the harvests for their own in-house cooking.
Inspiring staff to become stewards of the environment
Aside from the activities that are being organised for Earth Hour, CapitaLand staff have also taken it upon themselves to further propagate the Group’s message of sustainability.
For example, Sarah Lewis, a London-based human resources executive with The Ascott Limited, CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence arm, is taking eight weeks off work to volunteer at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah, Malaysia. The centre is run by Orangutan Appeal UK, a UK-based non-governmental organisation dedicated to providing a sustainable future for the species through the conservation and rehabilitation of their rainforest habitat.
Sarah was motivated to make a difference after finding out that orangutans are in grave danger of becoming extinct due to habitat destruction, and reached out directly to the Appeal to volunteer. During the eight weeks with the centre, Sarah will have the opportunity to care for baby and juvenile orangutans, and conduct a field survey on the orangutan population within the Sepilok reserve.
For its sustainability efforts, CapitaLand was this year listed for the fifth year running in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World, recognised as the gold standard in corporate sustainability analysis; and for the second year running in The Sustainability Yearbook 2016 with a ‘Bronze Class’ distinction, placing it in the top five among real estate companies worldwide.
CapitaLand is also listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and Asia Pacific Index, Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark Report (Regional Sector Leader for Asia, Diversified), FTSE4Good Index Series, MSCI Global Sustainability Indexes, STOXX® Global ESG Leaders Indices and ChannelNewsAsia Sustainability Ranking.
CapitaLand is one of the first companies in Singapore to voluntarily publish sustainability reports annually. The CapitaLand Global Sustainability Report 2014, based on the latest Global Reporting Initiative ‘Global 4’ Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, is available at http://www.capitaland.com/csr/sustainabilityreport/2014/index.html. It remains the first and largest real estate company in Asia to achieve ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications for its Environmental, Health and Safety Management System across 15 countries with its investment properties across Asia and Europe.
About CapitaLand Limited (www.capitaland.com)
CapitaLand is one of Asia’s largest real estate companies headquartered and listed in Singapore. The company leverages its significant asset base, design and development capabilities, active capital management strategies, extensive market network and operational capabilities to develop high-quality real estate products and services. Its diversified global real estate portfolio includes integrated developments, shopping malls, serviced residences, offices and homes. Its two core markets are Singapore and China, while Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam have been identified as new growth markets. The company also has one of the largest real estate fund management businesses with assets located in Asia.
CapitaLand’s listed real estate investment trusts are CapitaLand Mall Trust, CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Ascott Residence Trust, CapitaLand Retail China Trust and CapitaLand Malaysia Mall Trust.
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 i Light Marina Bay is Asia’s leading sustainable light art festival, and is held along Marina Bay. To promote environmentally-responsible behaviour for a sustainable future, participating artists incorporated recyclable materials and adopted energy-efficient lighting technologies in the creation of their light art installations.