Businesses in the Asia-Pacific that have chosen green practices with great returns.
The recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that global surface temperatures have become 1.09 degree celsius higher in the decade between 2011-2020 than between 1850-1900. This statistic shows us that the quest for economic and social progress has adversely affected the environment.
There is a pressing need to shift to sustainable forms of production and consumption to combat climate change. One of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals is Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), which asks for a global shift towards less resource-intensive practices to avoid jeopardizing future generations’ access to resources.
Any substantial reduction in the consumption of resources requires a systematic change. To understand the process better, let’s look at how the the inter-connected sectors of construction and real estate conduct their sustainability initiatives.
Innovative manufacturing in the construction sector
The Asia-Pacific region has been making strides in the field of sustainability. One of the sustainable businesses in the region is Taiwan Cement Corporation (TCC). The company was named Asia’s Green Company of The Year 2020 in Asia’s Corporate Leadership and Sustainability Awards.
TCC uses a large amount of its industrial waste for power generation. They use high temperature, high retention time and high turbulence of cement kilns to process and treat industrial waste to achieve a circular economy.
TCC includes energy consumption and power generation data in its management dashboard for real-time reference. It carefully evaluates its raw material needs monthly to reduce the frequency of material transportation. This effectively lowers transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.
The company arranges for residents and educational institutions to visit the plants and show stakeholders that they follow relevant laws. By doing so, TCC assures the locals that they need not fear environmental impacts associated with TCC’s operations.
Sustainability in real estate
The rising population across the world has led to an ever-increasing demand for housing. The global market for real estate will increase to about US$4.2 trillion by 2027. With such a high demand comes a massive environmental burden. Buildings contribute to one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions and consume 40% of the world’s energy.
One of the major players in sustainable real estate is City Developments Limited (CDL). CDL is a Singapore-based company. Their business motto is “conserving as we construct”. It has established a reputation as a trusted property pioneer, delivering long-term sustainable value to all stakeholders.
CDL has been listed on three of the world’s leading sustainability benchmarks – FTSE4Good Index Series (since 2002), Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World (since 2010) and Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (since 2011).
CDL prioritizes carbon management. It is the first in Southeast Asia to sign World GBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment in February 2021. CDL has pledged to achieve net-zero operational carbon emissions for buildings under its direct control and management by 2030. Further, it advocates for all buildings to be net-zero operational carbon by 2050. Reducing the operational carbon of buildings maximizes the chances of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees.
Towards a sustainable future
Combating climate change requires a consistent effort to change the ways in which we consume and produce products. If the current consumption and production patterns continue, the planet will need 183 billion tonnes of material every year by 2050.
Companies need to realize that the current consumption and production patterns are impossible to sustain. A shift towards sustainability in the long run will help businesses increase operational efficiency by reducing the cost of safe waste disposal.
Moreover, consumers today are actively holding producers accountable for the ways in which they carry out production. Studies show that 79% of consumers are changing their purchase preferences based on social responsibility, inclusiveness or environmental impact. Thus, in order to fortify customer loyalty, companies need to show the work they are putting into being sustainable now more than ever before.
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