Safeguarding the environment as a property developer

Country Garden Australia’s CEO, Dr Guotao Hu, was featured again in this month’s CEO Magazine regarding sustainable development.

It may surprise many people, but on both a private and professional level, as a property developer, I feel very deeply that our industry has an integral role in protecting the environment and implementing long-term sustainability practices. Often the perception of property developers is exactly the opposite. Many believe we adversely impact the environment and have one objective only – to maximise profit.

In the past, for some developers this may well have been common practice, but not nowadays. Not only have the objectives of developers changed, but also those of our residents and surrounding communities. Our residents now demand environmentally-friendly building practices and infrastructure, such as water recycling, as well as renewable energy such as solar power.  In addition, our residents also demand green spaces, significant tree retention and the protection of natural waterways and native flora and fauna. And we go out of our way to deliver on these expectations, not only because our buyers and local councils mandate it, but because we are genuinely committed to reducing our impact on the environment while significantly improving it at the same time. We also want our residents to actively engage with the environment for their health and wellbeing.

At our new Windermere master-planned community west of Melbourne, we are piping recycled water to each home for use in activities such as garden watering and car washing, and rejuvenating the natural wetlands and creek corridor, while we’re also investigating solar power and wind generation. Our landscape plan includes the planting of 5,000 trees and 400,000 native shrubs and grasses amid 50 hectares of open green spaces, featuring boardwalks and walking trails. Our parent company, Country Garden, also actively invests in the environment. Indeed, its overarching goal is to create healthy, living, green buildings that have a considered approach to resource consumption and a low environmental impact.

You only need to look at the company’s global head office in Guangzhou, which is literally covered in flora, to understand this commitment. Most buildings they deliver in China feature rooftop gardens and multi-layered vertical greening. For long-term solutions, Country Garden has also designed its own proprietary model of sustainable development. Known as the ‘SGFF Model’, the model is based on four pillars:

  • Sustainability: our overarching goal to develop in an eco-friendly manner utilising recycling initiatives whilst conserving local ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • Green: utilising a low carbon, low resource intensity development initiatives that reduce the use of raw materials, waste production and carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Fine and Fast: utilising efficient construction methodologies that not only save resources but also produce high quality product for our customers.

Here in Australia, I’m proud to say that we too are deeply committed to these practices and to the delivery of ecological expertise across all our developments.

Republished with permission from CEO Magazine