The multiple benefits of such activities are well-documented. Less so, are the opportunities and simple question of where do we start?
The road to sustainability
While there has been great support to embrace Green Mark certification to drive sustainability in new and existing buildings, it takes more than execution to walk the talk. Very often, it extends to the very ethos of the company and this is where some companies can find opportunities to drive change.
- Defining sustainability
As Lendlease’s founder Dick Dusseldorp said in 1973, “There are two things in life. You can be out for the maximum amount of profit you can possibly squeeze from your effort, or you can aim at a reasonable profit and have a feeling that you leave something behind”. It was always his view that the company should make a genuine and meaningful contribution to the community, leaving a lasting legacy.
We have a long history as sustainable company and today, our Sustainability Framework is a refined and detailed pledge that responds to the macro trends impacting our world and defines what sustainability means to our business and what we want to achieve in the long-term.
- Take a bottom-up approach
A sustainability framework also needs to create operational impact. Funnelling down the specifics of how the framework will be delivered on a day-to-day basis drives organisational performance and success on this crucial area. In Lendlease’s case, we focused on being operationally efficient, which meant that we had to be mindful of our usage of energy, water and how we tackle waste.
Aligning what we were doing on the ground to the overall strategy meant constant reviews, tracking of performance and adjustment of plans. This requires concerted efforts across different business units within the organisation to see it through: from people on the ground to middle management, who report and evaluate, and to long-term commitments from our senior management.
- Drive innovation through sustainability
By taking the long view position, we found that over time, our adoption of sustainability practices encouraged us to pursue new and complementary areas of improvements. As we are always looking at ways to improve and reduce, we explored a wide range of technological innovations.
For example, at Paya Lebar Quarter, we implemented high efficiency water fittings along with monitoring and leak detection systems, a move that is expected to save over 40 per cent of water (and costs) annually. At [email protected], we have also installed solar panels on the roof to harness the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity, which enables energy generation within the centre and lower energy use.
Across our retail assets, we have installed waste digesters to help manage food waste by converting this waste into non-potable water, helping us to reduce disposal costs. Moreover, data collected will help to better manage our waste across our malls.