The Edge Malaysia

S P Setia champions the green agenda

AS A BUILDER of both homes and communities, S P Setia Bhd is cognisant of the immense influence it wields over society and the environment. Best known for projects such as its flagship Setia Alam township and its role in the redevelopment of London’s iconic Battersea Power Station, the award-winning property developer is dedicated to taking the lead in the planning and management of sustainable communities by prioritising sustainability in every stage of its properties’ life cycle.

S P Setia President and CEO Datuk Choong Kai Wai says it is important for the company to go green while meeting its bottom line. “Sustainability resonates with S P Setia and its values because it aligns with S P Setia’s commitment to environmental and social responsibility, which are in line with the company’s vision to be the leader in creating sustainable communities and enriching lifestyles”.

It is this dedication that prompted S P Setia to refresh its corporate vision and mission to better reflect its ambition to transform from within and ensure that it not only safeguards the well-being of its residents, but also upholds the rights and interest of its workforce and maximises shareholder value. This is also reflected in the developer’s sustainability framework, which lays out its key material matters and focus areas under its economic, environmental and social pillars. The framework also outlines its underlying key principles and business processes in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Designing environmentally responsible neighbourhoods

Coming up with a plan is one thing; transforming words into action is another. S P Setia has taken concrete steps to put its purpose to work. Setia prides itself on its efforts to make its projects more livable for residents while preserving resources and sustaining the natural ecosystem in which these homes are built.

“In response to the growing concern for sustainable living, S P Setia has taken additional proactive steps to incorporate green and sustainable features into all its new developments,” says Choong in reference to its Setia eGreen Living initiative. These features include a built-in smart home system, centralised Green Switch, contactless food and parcel drop box called Box 366, smart door lock and rainwater harvesting system. Its homes will also be solar photovoltaic (PV) conduit-ready and electric vehicle (EV) port-ready.

These are in line with S P Setia’s commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. As part of its efforts, the developer is in the process of installing rooftop solar PV systems on 16 designated assets under its strategic partnership with Tenaga Nasional Bhd. This is to address its Scope 2 emissions from the generation of electricity. It has also implemented inherently energy-efficient rainwater harvesting systems along the general traffic areas in its developments, which help reduce the pressure on freshwater resources and decrease surface runoff that could otherwise result in soil erosion or flash floods.

S P Setia recognises its Scope 3 emissions — discharged indirectly in a company’s upstream and downstream activities. It is focused on tackling this through measures such as its landscape strategy, while maintaining its strict preservation and adherence to biodiversity. The developer has mapped out how best to carry out strategic tree planting and carbon sequestration.

Empowering the socially and economically disadvantaged

The environment aside, S P Setia has also put a lot of thought into ensuring that it uplifts its communities and the economic health of its neighbourhoods. The developer has conducted fabric recycling programmes with social enterprises Komuniti Tukang Jahit and Kloth Cares, both of which help disadvantaged women achieve financial independence by upskilling them with tailoring skills.

Meanwhile, its charity arm, S P Setia Foundation, has been giving a leg up to underprivileged Malaysians since 2000. The foundation aspires to create a brighter future for its communities by supporting the UN SDGs. Its priorities are to help advance education among disadvantaged students, and provide assistance to Malaysians who are underprivileged, disabled, poverty stricken or critically ill. It has also set out to aid those who are affected by epidemics, natural disasters or other similar emergencies, as well as organise activities to promote national harmony through education, sports, culture or the arts.

Its initiatives include the Sincerely, Setia Healthcare & Well-Being Assistance Programme, which provides funding to assist families of B40 patients who require long-term treatment at hospitals. It also runs the Sincerely, Setia Youth Unity Programme, which empowers youths by encouraging them to pitch ideas that can create a positive social impact, and supporting the selected proposals with grants.

There is also the Sincerely, Setia Volunteer Weekend programme, which aims to engage and support the country’s underprivileged communities, particularly members of the Orang Asli community, the B40 group and people with disabilities.

Building a better, more sustainable future

As the world grapples with pressing concerns over climate change and social injustice, it has become apparent that players in the property sector like S P Setia have a pivotal role to play in promoting sustainability, and it is clear that the company has already taken up the mantle to ensure a positive outcome for the communities and ecosystems in which it operates.

“Over the years, S P Setia has consistently introduced cutting-edge technology and innovative sustainability solutions into our developments. S P Setia firmly believes that through these efforts, we can achieve sustainable and vibrant communities that positively impact the environment, enhance energy efficiency, foster social cohesion, improve community health and promote overall well-being of the community that we have built.”