Building People, Building Communities

06-Aug-2019 Intellasia | VN Economic Times | 6:02 AM Print This Post

CapitaLand recognises that its long-term success is closely intertwined with the health and prosperity of the communities in which it operates.

Inspired by the hope of giving unprivileged children better and happier lives, the CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF), the philanthropic arm of the CapitaLand Group, was established in 2005 to further its community development commitment to “Building People, Building Communities”, recognising that the long-term success of the company is closely intertwined with the health and prosperity of the communities in which it operates. Every year, CapitaLand allocates up to 0.5 per cent of its net operating profit to CHF to promote the social growth and development of underprivileged children with respect to their education, healthcare, and shelter needs.

As Vietnam is one of CapitaLand’s key markets in Asia, the company said it will continue to contribute to Vietnam’s economy by hiring and nurturing a strong local team, exchanging knowledge and skills with local partners, and contributing to local communities’ underprivileged children and the environment through corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.

“Building People, Building Communities”

CapitaLand Vietnam has been actively involved in helping the community and organising a picnic for children at the Rosary centre in HCM City last year was just one of its CSR activities during 2018.

The company organised the picnic at Dam Sen Water Park last July for 70 street children from the Rosary Centre, a local charity that supports underprivileged children in HCM City. CapitaLand Vietnam organised the day out for the children to enjoy a fun time outdoors before they began their school term. The children, mostly orphans or from poor families, are considered one of the most underprivileged in Vietnamese society. While other children at their age enjoy food and toys, these children must work for their basic needs by selling lottery tickets and balloons and collecting bottles and cans.

CapitaLand Vietnam and The Ascott Limited, CapitaLand’s wholly-owned serviced residence business unit, also worked in cooperation with the Red Cross last July to organise a Blood Donation Drive. This took place at different Somerset properties in Vietnam, from Hanoi and Hai Phong to Da Nang, Nha Trang, and HCM City. It was the 12th consecutive year CapitaLand has been involved in this meaningful event, in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO)’s World Blood Donor Campaign.

“I was happy to witness not only the participation of staff from CapitaLand and Ascott but also from our stakeholders too,” said Chen Lian Pang, CEO of CapitaLand Vietnam. “This is the 12th year we have organised a blood donation drive and we will continue to do so annually. In line with our motto ‘Building People, Building Communities’, the blood donation drive is one of various CSR approaches we undertake to create better lives for Vietnamese people.”

CapitaLand has also been leveraging its real estate expertise and engaging the local community in co-developing its first kindergarten in Vietnam, CapitaLand Le Xa Hope Kindergarten, in May last year. CapitaLand Le Xa Hope Kindergarten is the 28th school in the network of CapitaLand Hope Schools in China and Vietnam, and the third in Vietnam

CapitaLand Le Xa Hope Kindergarten is the largest school in Le Xa commune in northern Hung Yen province, playing a significant role in the holistic development and education of about 350 students aged five and under, providing a safe and child-friendly environment for learning. With CHF’s support, the two-story kindergarten now has ten well-equipped classrooms, a teachers’ room, a meeting room, and toilets, while the children get to enjoy a new playscape, courtyard, sensory wall, and murals. Since phase one of the school was completed in late 2017, the student enrolment rate at the kindergarten has increased 10 per cent to 73 per cent.

Tan Seng Chai, CapitaLand’s Group Chief People Officer and Executive director of CapitaLand Hope Foundation, who officiated the opening of CapitaLand Le Xa Hope Kindergarten, said: “At CapitaLand, we are focused and strategic in our corporate philanthropy efforts, from the way we leverage our expertise to help the community, integrating the communities’ needs in the design of our buildings, to supporting underprivileged children’s needs through the CapitaLand Hope Foundation.”

“We have been combining CapitaLand’s extensive real estate design, development, and master planning capabilities with collective efforts of our staff volunteers to build inclusive and sustainable communities across the world. As we celebrated the opening of the CapitaLand Le Xa Hope Kindergarten, we also marked our 25th International Volunteer Expedition since we started this initiative more than ten years ago. Through participatory design, we aim to empower the community to influence the development of children’s education and give them a greater sense of ownership in creating a better future for the next generation.”

Moreover, CapitaLand and Ascott banded together to organise a series of green activities in the weeks leading up to Earth Hour in Vietnam on March 30. Over 1,000 residents and employees contributed to the movement with upcycling and energy saving activities. They went beyond an hour of going dark by preparing Green Corners made from recycled materials, organising a Green Market Bazaar, tree planting, and mass cycling events, and gathered together employees, residents, and office tenants to learn more about the importance of environmental sustainability.

CapitaLand has now built three CapitaLand Hope Schools in Vietnam that provide quality education to about 650 underprivileged students each year, in northern Phu Tho and Hung Yen provinces and the Mekong Delta’s Long An province. Other CSR initiatives include blood donation drives, first-aid training, book donations, and festive activities for underprivileged children.

At the same time, 50 CapitaLand Vietnam and Ascott staff spent a day at Binh ChauPhuoc Buu Nature Reserve in southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province and planted 20 trees as part of CapitaLand VietnamAscott’s Earth Hour campaign.

Long-term commitment

CapitaLand is the top-ranking real estate development and management company in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World, compiled by Corporate Knights Inc. The list represents the top 2 per cent in the world regarding sustainable performance and the ranking is widely regarded as the global standard in corporate sustainability analysis. In Vietnam, the company remains committed to being a good corporate citizen and building a greener future for the many generations to come.

“CapitaLand is committed to minimising its environmental impact as a real estate developer,” said Chen. “We believe that lowering the environmental footprint of our buildings through innovation creates value for our stakeholders. We incorporate environmental sustainability in life cycle management in all stages of a project, from feasibility, design, procurement, construction, and operation to redevelopment.”

He also said that Vietnam is a key growth market for CapitaLand and it remains committed to contributing to the country’s urbanisation journey. “We recognise that the long-term success of CapitaLand’s business is closely intertwined with the health and prosperity of the communities in which we operate,” Chen said. “We seek to improve not just the economic but also the environmental and social well-being of the community, in line with our credo.”

In being ranked 57th among the top Southeast Asian companies in Forbes’ 2018 Global 2000: Top Regarded Companies listings, the group moved up eleven spots from the previous year’s 68th place. Lee Chee Koon, President and Group CEO of the CapitaLand Group, said Vietnam is one of its key markets in Asia and which is supported by the country’s strong economic growth, rapid urbanisation, and young and growing population. CapitaLand is committed to being a long-term and sustainable real estate developer in the country.

CapitaLand’s current portfolio in Vietnam comprises two integrated developments, close to 8,600 quality homes across 15 residential developments, two retail malls, as well as more than 6,300 lodging units in 24 properties across seven cities and provinces: HCM City, Hanoi, Hai Phong, Ha Long city, Da Nang, Binh Duong, and Nha Trang.


Category: Business, Vietnam

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