Uplifting communities to fight climate change

The KITACycle Recycling Centre was launched in 2021 at IOI Mall Puchong in Selangor in line with the group’s mission to safeguard the environment and build sustainable communities.

IOIPG leverages on meaningful collaborations and partnerships to create positive impact on a larger scale.

WITH aspirations to build a sustainable future, IOI Properties Group (IOIPG) remains cognisant of the impacts of climate change on communities and the environment.

As part of its corporate responsibility initiatives, the group has continued to raise awareness and encourage communities and stakeholders to join the fight against climate change to minimise its effects.

In efforts to take ownership and lead the charge, environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations have been built into the business strategies of IOIPG, which are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Case in point is the group’s four sustainability goals, which achieves the core purpose of creating a sustainable future as part of its business strategy.

To further support the realisation of these goals, IOIPG has created four sustainability strategic themes to guide all of its following programmes and initiatives aimed at changing mindsets, inspiring women, grooming young urbanites and promoting urban green to protect the environment.

Raising awareness on climate change

In order to create awareness and generate conversation on waste minimisation, biodiversity appreciation, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation, IOIPG rolled out the IOI Connects to Earth campaign.

The inspiration behind the campaign emanated from the group’s belief that waste minimisation and the loss of biodiversity played a crucial role in addressing climate change.

Therefore, IOIPG placed a strong emphasis on generating awareness, increasing public participation and promoting a sustainable lifestyle to encourage Malaysians to be a part of its journey in fighting climate change.

This campaign is aimed at inspiring sustainability ownership and encouraging sustainable lifestyles as every small step makes a big difference.

IOI Connects to Earth also invests in community programmes that are aligned to its campaign in schools and neighbourhoods within its townships, in which many of its community investments are focused on youths.

Involving communities to join the fight

Realising that mentality and mindset are key drivers for change, IOIPG took on its first few efforts to combat climate change by learning the best practices within the industry via collaborations with like-minded partners to drive lasting, large-scale impact within the communities they operate in.

Talks, as well as sharing and networking sessions with local and international business partners, were organised to gain insight and to share experiences on the successful incorporation of sustainable practices in business strategies and day-to-day operations.

Annually, IOIPG celebrates Earth Hour across the group to encourage conversations to drive a collective effort towards climate change adaptation and mitigation.

As part of these events, it has organised webinars, workshops, park exploration and social media competitions to educate and empower its communities to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.

For 2022, its Earth Hour theme was Fight Climate Change with #TeamIOI, whereby it conducted a competition to encourage its social media followers to take photos of themselves fighting climate change, such as planting trees, recycling or reducing electricity consumption.

Also held in conjunction with Earth Hour 2022 was the Appreciating Urban Biodiversity webinar, which had over 240 participants from both the public and team IOI from its offices in the Klang Valley, Johor, Bahau, Penang and Xiamen, China.

Taking it a step further, the group’s Rainwater Harvesting Project created awareness about the importance of conserving natural resources and instilled a green mindset within its communities. The project was implemented in its integrated developments via collaborations with its business partners, such as contractors and vendors.

Rainwater harvesting systems were installed in SJK(T) Sungai Ara in Penang; Rumah Shalom, Bandar Puchong Jaya; Surah Al-Munawarrah in Bandar Putera Klang; Rumah Orang Tua Sungai Siput, Segamat, as well as Kampung Orang Asli Kuala Masai in Johor.

On top of that, the group collaborated with a local university in the International Youth Development Virtual Conference (IYDVC). The virtual conference, which was fully sponsored by IOIPG, centred around the theme of sustainable urban development.

The conference aimed to inspire and empower young leaders to achieve SDGs by bringing together stakeholders to share and exchange ideas to move forward to a more inclusive and sustainable development within communities.

All in all, IYDVC drew the participation of undergraduates from nine Malaysian and overseas universities.

Reuse and recycle to minimise waste

In conjunction with Earth Hour 2022, 60 employees of the group’s Johor division collaborated with the Mersing District Council to collect trash along the beach at Pulau Mawar, Mersing.In conjunction with Earth Hour 2022, 60 employees of the group’s Johor division collaborated with the Mersing District Council to collect trash along the beach at Pulau Mawar, Mersing.

IOIPG believes that waste minimisation, at its source, is key to reduce waste going to landfills. Landfills release greenhouse gases that significantly contribute to climate change.

An initiative that exemplifies this is IOIPG’s 2021 launch of the KITACycle Recycling Centre at IOI Mall Puchong.

In line with the group’s mission to safeguard the environment and build sustainable communities, KITACycle station set up in IOI Mall Puchong provides a weigh-and-pay system that enables cashback to be earned for recyclables.

In conjunction with Earth Hour 2022, 60 employees of the group’s Johor division collaborated with the Mersing District Council to collect 65kg worth of trash along the beach at Pulau Mawar, Mersing.

Another initiative worth mentioning is IOIPG’s 2020 Christmas display at South Beach in Singapore, where the group partnered with EcoBank to collect close to 3,000 pre-loved clothes, accessories, toys and books, which were creatively repurposed and displayed across the development.

The items were repurposed in an actual spinning ferris wheel, Christmas trees and display boxes – earning it the title of the Largest Christmas Decoration of a Building Using Recycled Materials by the Singapore Book of Records.

Creating positive impact on a larger scale

IOIPG’s efforts go beyond just internal initiatives and programmes, extending to external undertakings to better the communities it serves.

The Waste-to-Treasure initiative, which was launched in November 2018 under the IOI-Active Citizens Programme in collaboration with the British Council, aimed to encourage people to take more active and participative roles in creating impact on society.

This year, IOIPG ran a recycling campaign in which waste minimisation webinar sessions and collection drives for recyclables were organised. 1,250kg of recyclables comprising paper, plastic, aluminium, cardboard and steel, as well as e-waste were collected.

Puteri Mart, a wet market in Puchong, Selangor, managed by IOIPG, upcycled fruit peels to be turned into cleaning enzymes, which are natural and chemical-free cleaning agents.

It has since upcycled around 700kg of fruit peels into approximately 2,000 litres of cleaning enzymes, which are then given out to its patrons.

IOIPG also works closely with Yayasan Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng’s social enterprise and retail store called Bargain Basement, where preloved items are sold, with net proceeds channelled to charity organisations.

Bargain Basement has since donated in excess of RM500,000 from the store’s proceeds to beneficiaries such as the Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia, the Autism Cafe Project and Dignity for Children Foundation, among many others.

Meanwhile, with the objective of nurturing promising start-ups in the fields of PropTech, AgriTech and green solutions with initial financial support and business know-how, IOI Kickstart is a three-year accelerator and collaboration programme that offers a springboard for inspiring entrepreneurs.

Among the six entrepreneur mentees under the IOI Kickstart programme, initiated by IOIPG in 2020, is Arus Oil, which converts collected used cooking oil into biodiesel.

Through joint efforts with Arus Oil, a total 2,113kg of used cooking oil has been collected from the IOIPG townships.

This is in addition to its collaboration with B’dari to create a one-of-a-kind colourful art piece made from 1,800 used plastic mineral bottles to represent the beauty of the underwater world.

As one of IOIPG’s key themes focused on inspiring women, the group collaborated with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Faculty of Pharmacy in a programme to empower B40 women to upcycle used cooking oil into eco-friendly multi-purpose detergent.

Preserving biodiversity

Preserving biodiversity is a priority for IOIPG.Preserving biodiversity is a priority for IOIPG.

IOIPG recognises the importance of conserving the habitat of flora and fauna to preserve its ecological functions of regulating temperature, improving quality of air and oxygen production, reducing surface run-off and promoting carbon sequestration.

The group has been maintaining Bandar Puteri Puchong Town Park, Oasis Park at Bandar Puteri Bangi, Central Park at 16 Sierra and a 100-acre Hutan Bandar Kulai in Johor.

Looking ahead, IOIPG will also be revealing its upcoming IOI Resort City Central Park, a 10-acre park anchored by a lake and various features that enables communities to thrive harmoniously with nature.

In December 2021, the group transplanted 55 trees over 10 years old under its Kulai Tree Transplanting project, among which included the Millettia Pinnata and the Samanea Saman, which are listed as “endangered” and “heritage” respectively on the Singapore Red List.

In order to bring about change to the daily routines and lives of people towards living a sustainable lifestyle, it is necessary to first make people care about their carbon footprint and understand the importance of their actions – and how they can make a difference.

In line with the global biodiversity initiative, City Nature Challenge (CNC), the group held the IOIPG CNC 2022, which featured safe and family-friendly activities.

The programme aimed to raise awareness on making meaningful scientific contributions through citizen science, the practice of public participation and collaboration in scientific research to increase scientific knowledge.

IOIPG organised a competition where participants took part in a social media blitz to contribute towards citizen science, by making and uploading their observations on the iNaturalist website or app.

To date, the participants managed to record 6,123 nature observations and identified 1,641 species across Malaysia, Singapore and Xiamen, China.

Reinforcing awareness and educating communities on the need to adopt more sustainable lifestyles, IOIPG continues to lead the way towards a greener future through both internal and external actions, for the benefit of the generations to come.

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