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TALKING POINTS

Step Towards a Sustainable Future – We’re All In!

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In the fight against climate change, we all count! Through different Sustainable Development (SD) initiatives, Swire Properties has been supporting our community to work towards a better future together. Here, we catch up with tenants Jardine Schindler, Emmer Pizzeria & Café and LVMH Fragrance Brands to see how they are making progress in reducing energy use and waste. 

Power up Energy Efficiency

Wondering how your office can be more energy efficient? With Swire Properties’ free energy audit programme, office tenants can have an in-depth review of their energy usage and identify opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint and electricity costs.

 

One tenant who took part in this programme is Jardine Schindler. “We are very much committed to sustainability and have received the ISO 14001 certification for our environmental performance. Lowering electricity consumption is always one of our goals,” says K.T. Ngan, Quality Manager at Jardine Schindler. “I was eager to see how the programme could help us find improvement opportunities, and was pleasantly surprised that the audit was performed by Swire Properties’ technical professionals specialised in lighting, electrical appliances, small power and indoor air quality.”      

 

The onsite inspection took several days to complete, with a detailed report that followed. “We received many helpful recommendations from the Swire Properties team,” shares Ngan. “For instance, we’ve switched to T5 LED lighting, which uses less energy than traditional grow lights, releases less heat and has a longer lifespan.”

 

The most surprising finding to Ngan, however, was that 15 per cent of their temperature sensors were malfunctioning. “Swire helped us fix the faulty sensors, which also improved thermal comfort for our colleagues,” he says. “The audit far exceeded my expectations. It was thorough, the process was smooth, and offered useful insights. I believe other companies will also benefit from reviewing their electricity use patterns and habits.”

 

The energy audit programme requires tenants to provide documentation and access to their premises. But for those who want simple tips to get started, our energy management best practices booklet is also available upon request.

Cook up a Greener Future

Also designed to reduce energy consumption – as well as to improve indoor air quality, water and waste management – is the Green Kitchen initiative, which offers technical guidelines for F&B tenants to set up resource-efficient kitchens. It also offers “Green Kitchen Award” to recognise tenants who actively adopt green measures.

 

Committed to environmental protection, Emmer Pizzeria & Café at Pacific Place received the Green Kitchen Award with a Two Leaf rating in 2020. “The programme provided us with clear guidelines and ideas as to what green practices could be implemented,” says Adrien Ellul, Partner and Director of The Greater China Restaurant Company, the company behind Emmer. These ideas included deploying an energy- and water-efficient dishwasher, a water purifying system, a food waste recycling bin, eco-friendly supplies and high-efficiency lighting. The restaurant was also designed to let in natural light in order to save energy.

 

These efforts have translated into incredible results: they’ve managed to operate the restaurant with 50 per cent energy reduction than their typical shop, and saved thousands of plastic bottles from being sent to the landfill. “It’s a win-win for all,” says Ellul. “We spend less money on electricity, and customers enjoy greater value for money – our in-house carbonated water, for example, is much cheaper, and a greener choice than bottled water.”

 

Aside from practical guidelines, Ellul says the Green Kitchen programme also offered motivation. “There were discussions and inspections, in addition to the award – these were the extra things that helped push us to achieve our targets,” he says. “We hope more companies will participate in programmes like this to make a greater impact together.”  

Think Before You Bin

Launched in July, the Smart Waste Reduction Challenge is the first of its kind in Hong Kong to combine smart technology with employee engagement. It gamifies the recycling process, where participating office tenants compete to optimise waste reduction and diversion. Disposal data are recorded through centralised sorting stations retrofitted with smart scales in their offices. At the end of the six-month challenge, the best performing teams will receive awards in categories such as “Most Engaged” and “Best Diversion”. 

 

Among the 15 participating teams is LVMH Fragrance Brands, who has already implemented various initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint. “We have been reducing the weight of our packaging and using more recycled plastics at the global level. We have also planted 50,000 trees in Indonesia as reforestation is also crucial in the fight against climate change,” says Morgan Cohen, APAC General Manager of LVMH Fragrance Brands. “This challenge will help our Hong Kong office go further by giving us a clear target for improvement.”

 

The French luxury brand has also been focusing on engaging their staff. “We believe real change begins with human development through active engagement and education,” Cohen explains. “This programme is a fun first step that gets our staff into reducing and recycling waste. More importantly, it’ll help them make it into a habit, which is essential for long-term impact.” To support this, Cohen says they’re considering several small but smart ideas, such as giving staff reusable bags and lunchboxes to reduce plastic bags and disposable containers.

 

“It’s exciting to see what Swire Properties is doing to get everybody involved,” he adds. “Climate change is a global issue, so it takes collaborative efforts to bring positive change. It’s a step-by-step process to educate and encourage people to act, and every bit of effort counts.”

Swire Properties is the first real estate developer in Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland to have a 1.5oC-aligned science based target. Want to work together for a better tomorrow? Get in touch with us to see how you can take part in our SD programmes: sustainabledevelopment@swireproperties.com

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