AS a property developer, it means more than just a bricks-and-mortar company for Tanah Sutera Development (Sutera).
Prioritising sustainable development values, the award-winning township developer believes in nurturing communities, providing good quality homes and promoting green living.
Sutera is a joint-venture among Malaysian and Singapore-based companies, namely Keppel Land, Lee Rubber Co (Pte) Ltd, The Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) and Primesite, credited with past developments such as Sutera Mall and Sutera Square - a commercial centre.
“Sustainable integrated townships should be built with the community and environment in mind.
“This development principle resonates with Sutera’s vision in creating the best neighbourhood to provide a holistic living to its close-knitted community, which derives from the four Cs component – comfort, care, cultivate and cherish,” said Sutera sales and marketing assistant general manager Daniel Tan.
Committed to sustainability
Established in 2011, the Sutera Good Earth (SGE) initiative aspires to create a zero waste township and green living environment through various community involvement projects in Taman Sutera and Taman Sutera Utama townships in Johor Baru.
Among the projects is the SGE Farm started in 2018, a community space where residents can grow and harvest vegetables and fruits.
“The SGE farm is a community sustainable agriculture (CSA) effort focusing on collecting and turning food waste from Sutera Mall, Sutera business centre and the neighbourhood into composts for the farm as well as the townships’ landscaping.
“The farm also serves as an environmental awareness space for future generation learning,” said Tan.
Meanwhile, Kuru Kuru is another initiative under SGE to promote the reuse culture by collecting usable unwanted items for those who need it.
“Kuru Kuru means ‘re-circulation’ in Japanese and this concept originated from Kamikatsu, a zero waste-town.
“There are so many items going into the waste collection centre that are still usable so the Kuru Kuru shop is set up in Sutera Mall to put them on display for people to pick up and bring home,” explained Tan.
Playing its role in environmental education, SGE has a group of dedicated “green ambassadors” who regularly engage residents and associates to come up with green awareness workshops and programmes.
The green ambassadors also work together with non-governmental organisations and educational institutions within the community such as Kiwanis CareHeart Centre (KCHC), the International Association of Students in Economics and Commercial Sciences (Aiesec) of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Pusat Kebajikan Kalvari, Madrasah At-Tariq, Calvary Victory Centre as well as Hsing Ma Si Buddhist Education Centre, to support and co-organise green events.
One such example is the use of food waste compost and liquid fertiliser to replace chemical agents at KCHC’s vegetable farm.
“Sustainability is not just about the environment but it also involves the community. To promote communal living or the kampung spirit in the neighbourhood, the Home Owners Association was initiated to foster friendly ties among residents while tasked to manage its own precinct independently,” added Tan.
Demonstrating its commitment to provide a holistic environment for the community, other components integrated into the development include a private library in Sutera Mall – My Library, Sutera Education Hub, Sutera business centre and Sutera Sports World.
Towards being the first zero waste community in Johor Baru
To ensure the community continues enjoying an enhanced quality of life, conscious efforts have been put into upcoming sustainable plans for the townships.
The Seed aspires to be a zero waste community development which collects food waste, closes the food loop and reduces the waste to landfill. Garden plots are available in the SGE farm for all the residents to adopt, where they can grow and eat pesticide-free nutritious vegetables.
Additionally, Sutera has plans to enhance the farm to create a place for outdoor activities including biking trails, tree houses, camping sites, decking and gazebo area, natural wildlife sightseeing, jogging track and a mini fruit farm.
Sutera Mall is currently undergoing installation of solar panels which will cover 21,000sqm with a total of 10,526 panels. The installation is expected to be completed by the end of this year with an estimated annual savings of about RM1.7mil.
Sutera’s sustainability efforts have earned the EdgeProp Malaysia’s Responsible Developer: Building Sustainable Development Award 2020.
Tan attributed the recognition to the dedicated efforts of the residents and the community.
“We at Sutera are honoured to receive this award and it certainly gives us the motivation to go even further in championing sustainability development,” concluded Tan.
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