Property giant City Developments Limited (CDL) unveiled its new luxury hotel W Singapore - Sentosa Cove on Tuesday. Experts said the hotel, which claims to be Singapore's greenest new hotel, offers, will reinforce CDL's corporate sustainability efforts.The developer of W Singapore - Sentosa Cove said this is the first new hotel in Singapore to be awarded the Green Mark Platinum Award.The Platinum Award is the highest rating tier for green buildings in Singapore by the Building and Construction Authority. Green features at this new hotel took up 3.5 per cent of the total construction cost.
CDL typically spends two per cent to five per cent of construction costs on green features. "Corporate social responsibility is increasingly no longer nice to have, but a must-have for is long term sustainability and new growth opportunities for companies," said CDL's managing director Kwek Leng Joo.
"It is indeed a global business trend for companies to deliver - not just good financial bottomline, but also social and environmental results, as businesses are increasingly assessed by investors and stakeholders on their triple bottomline," added Mr Kwek.
CDL believes in developing the right balance between financial performance, environmental stewardship and social engagement, for continued growth, business excellence and sustainability. CDL views its green efforts as a necessary investment which offers environmental benefits and significant operational savings. When it rains, water is collected through a rainwater system, for the watering of some 5,700 square metres of plant area at the hotel. This saves some 15,000 cubic metres of water and some S$22,000 of operational annually. Energy efficient air-conditioning systems installed at the hotel are also estimated to save S$560,000 a year. Sustainability experts said investors must go beyond green and cost-saving features when looking at benefits from a company's sustainable practices.
KPMG's director for climate change and sustainability, Graham Owens, said: "Getting an investor to understand that is part of the process. I don't think they fully understand the aspects now. The cost savings are the simple one. There are other aspects like reputation when these companies go abroad. The kind of quality expectations demonstrating that they understand their business well, and that they are not there for short-term profits."
Besides investors, experts noted that larger developers with diversified properties like hotels are reporting on sustainable practices to attract corporate customers keen to further the sustainability cause. This means that smaller residential property players will take a while to catch up as homebuyers may not be willing to pay more for built-in green features.