Cover Daryl Ng is making it his mission to incorporate greener policies (Photo: Supplied)

Daryl Ng, AMI honouree and deputy chairman of Sino Group, looks back on his family business’s journey towards going green, and describes how reading to his children helps instil in them a sense of responsibility towards the planet

How did your eco-journey begin?

My grandfather, Ng Teng Fong, and father, Robert Ng, instilled the core values of moral discipline and corporate social responsibility into our company. I took their lessons to heart. Our commitment to community spirit and sustainability guides us and remains at the heart of what we do today.

What are some of Sino Group’s key green projects?

We spend most of our time indoors and this has a profound impact on our health and wellbeing. At Sino, we incorporate wellness and sustainability principles into the design, construction and management of the group to create sustainable environments. One example is 133 Portofino, Sino’s residential development in Sai Kung, which has been awarded the Well Core v2 pre-certification [a rating system that evaluates a building’s impact on human health], becoming the first Hong Kong residential project to be accredited.

Our Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel is also the first hotel in Hong Kong or mainland China to attain this pre-certification. The Grand Central in Kwun Tong was designed with sustainability in mind. The project has a green ratio of 30 per cent and landscaped area spanning over 94,000 sq ft. Ecology was considered too, and it is home to more than 120 plant species, which attract birds and butterflies, supporting biodiversity. Another highlight was the Kwun Tong Town Centre project, which saw the relocation of a 300-tonne Chinese banyan tree in 2011. The project team made the best effort to preserve this iconic natural feature, which involved installing a temporary railing system on the road to move and replant the tree 73 metres away.

When did you turn your attention to sustainability and why?

I established a sustainability committee in 2010. While sustainability was not quite a buzzword yet, the commitment of the team was strong. We have grown awareness around sustainability and wellness in the market. The issues we face are real and have a far-reaching impact on our future generations, and it will take collective effort if we want to repair Earth. When the sustainability committee reached the ten-year mark in 2020, it was restructured and rebranded as the Environment, Social and Governance Steering Committee, which provided a more systematic approach to our sustainability efforts. In the same year, we announced our Sustainability Vision 2030, which encompasses sustainability KPIs across the group’s operations, charting the course towards 2030 and beyond

What are some key facets of this 2030 vision?

The vision aligns with our ethos of “creating better lifescapes” for the community. It involves crucial areas such as green building certifications and solutions for a more sustainable future. The goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent from the 2012 level, generating renewable energy through solar panels, and generating 8 million kilowatts per hour of renewable energy by 2030 by installing more than 3,200 photovoltaic panels at our properties. We have made steady strides. For instance, our greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 27 per cent compared to 2012. We are working on new targets, including [reducing] water and electricity consumption, and are looking at ways waste can be diverted from landfill. We aim to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050 through more energy-efficient design, green construction and procurement, renewable energy usage, reduction of waste and carbon emissions, and promoting sustainable living in our properties.

Are you on track to reach your 2017 goal of halving Sino’s entire single-use plastic use by 2022?

Thanks to the effort of all colleagues, we reduced single-use plastic consumption by more than 50 per cent from our 2017 level, one year ahead of target.

What is the company’s current focus within sustainability?

We are working with a consultant to conduct a climate risk analysis on our property development. By assessing risks, we enhance our resilience. We are doing our part to inspire, reimagine and build a sustainable future for ourselves and our future generations. We will protect the environment by incorporating sustainability into all decision-making and operations. We are also looking at adopting Eco Bricks [a concrete made from plastic waste] in our properties.

As a father, what are you teaching your own children about sustainability?

When I read Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince to my children at night, the quote “Looking after the planet is just a question of self-discipline” strikes a chord. The book teaches them important lessons of kindness and caring for our environment and that, ultimately, we are the custodians of the planet for future generations.

 

© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.