Revolutionizing waste management: Sino Land’s circular innovation in Hong Kong

About Sino Land Company Limited

Sino Land Company Limited (HKSE: 083) is one of the leading property developers in Hong Kong. Its core business includes development of properties for sale and investment and is complemented by a full spectrum of property business ranging from hotel operations to property services, encompassing property management, car park management, cleaning and environmental services, security services as well as hospitality services.

Business type: Property company and real estate developer

Reporting region: China – Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Market capitalization: HKD 78,695 million (as of June 30, 2023)

Use of GRESB: GRESB Real Estate Assessment (Standing Investment & Development)

Focus on ESG

Sino Land’s sustainability objectives include achieving net-zero carbon by 2050. To achieve this, Sino Land has:

  • Developed GHG targets following SBTi methodology to drive decarbonization while exploring further reductions in its carbon footprint
  • Established a Decarbonization Blueprint outlining the company’s long-term strategies and approaches to carbon reduction
  • Incorporated 15 new sustainability objectives into its Sustainability Vision 2030 framework, with goals spanning diverse material topics continuously reviewed by the company’s dedicated ESG Steering Committee

Pioneering circular solutions in waste management

Sino Land, a leading property developer in Hong Kong, began its GRESB journey in 2019, achieving many milestones along the way and improving its sustainability performance year after year thanks to its steadfast commitment to ESG progress and environmental stewardship initiatives.

Notably, among its sustainability initiatives, Sino Land has prioritized waste management, a critical concern for the real estate sector in Hong Kong. With three landfills approaching capacity, the government’s “Waste Blueprint for Hong Kong 2035” aims for a 40-45% reduction in waste disposal and a 55% recovery rate. Additionally, the impending Municipal Solid Waste Charging starting August 1, 2024, signals imminent financial implications, highlighting the need for proactive waste management strategies.

In response to the pressing waste challenges facing Hong Kong, Sino Land has taken substantial strides towards a sustainable future by embracing a circular economy approach. Partnering with local startup EcoBricks, the company pioneered a breakthrough solution in waste management, transforming all seven types of plastic, including mixed and composite plastic, into durable construction materials.

The resulting material, lightweight and locally produced, significantly reduces transportation costs and associated greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional imported bricks. By converting plastic waste into “green concrete,” these sustainable construction materials adhere to both local and international standards.

With the vast amount of waste plastic ending up in Hong Kong’s landfills every year, Sino Land’s collaboration with EcoBricks presented a game-changing solution. Since the launch of this initiative, Sino Land has deployed over 73,000 EcoBricks across eight managed projects, effectively upcycling more than 22 tonnes of plastic waste.

Driving sustainable practices forward

The company is actively exploring collaborations with local community recycling centers to potentially support local EcoBricks manufacturing, fostering a sustainable circular economy ecosystem.

“Addressing the critical concern of waste management in Hong Kong has been a pivotal focus for Sino Land,” noted Melanie Kwok, Assistant General Manager (Sustainability) at Sino Land. “With three landfills reaching capacity, our collaboration with local startup EcoBricks epitomizes our commitment to pioneering sustainable solutions. The transformation of diverse plastic types into durable construction materials not only aligns with our sustainability goals but also significantly mitigates environmental impact, exemplifying our belief that sustainability fuels business opportunities.”

Moving forward, Sino Land remains committed to deploying EcoBricks across suitable properties while fostering deeper engagement with tenants and customers, advocating for plastic recycling and upcycling into EcoBricks. Furthermore, the company’s ongoing stakeholder engagement and periodic materiality assessments serve as business pillars, enabling continuous refinement of their strategy and reporting, ensuring alignment with evolving sustainability goals and stakeholder needs.

Sustained leadership through compliance

Sino Land’s commitment to environmental excellence and sustainability is reflected in its GRESB performance, resulting in first place in the “Diversified – Office/Residential” peer group in Asia Pacific in the GRESB Development Benchmark and culminating in a GRESB 5-star rating in 2023.

“Sino Land is honored to have secured a five-star rating in the GRESB 2023 assessment, a testament to our unwavering dedication to embedding sustainability in every facet of our business,” remarked Kwok. “This recognition validates our sustained progress since our inaugural participation in 2019, reinforcing our pledge to forge a sustainable future.”

The company’s Sustainability Report 2023 further solidifies this commitment, aligning business practices with eight prominent local and global sustainability reporting standards and frameworks. In fact, Sino Land was one of the first developers in Hong Kong to publish a report with reference to the International Sustainability Standards Board’s recent IFRS S1 and S2 standards and the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures beta v0.4 framework.

Moreover, the company’s latest Climate Action Report, in line with TCFD recommendations, showcases proactive measures to mitigate climate-related risks and capitalize on opportunities, reinforcing its resilience against environmental challenges. These collective efforts and compliance with local and international frameworks, along with a set of novel sustainability initiatives, help Sino Land ensure consistent ESG advancement and create shared value for its stakeholders.

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