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More than 100 building tenants and occupants gleaned actionable insights into creating healthier and more productive workplaces through the inaugural Better Places for People Tenant Engagement Session.

Organised by the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) in partnership with City Developments Limited (CDL), the first-of-its-kind outreach session was held at CDL’s Tower Club to an audience comprised of tenants and occupants from CDL’s office properties. The participants were mostly senior management and key decision makers, cutting across a good mix of tenants from the different industries.

As a concise but powerful line-up of talks set-up by SGBC that is directed at enhancing workplace health and productivity through green building solutions, the Better Places for People Tenant Engagement session featured topics such as enhancing indoor air quality, improving lighting and instilling recycling practices. Although these were delivered by professionals in the building and construction industry, the content was tailored for the layman and devoid of heavy industry jargon. This allowed participants to directly relate to the subject matter at hand, and provided food for thought as to what they can do to immediately improve their workplace environment.
“Buildings are part and parcel of everyday life, and all Singaporeans spend the bulk of the workday in their offices,” highlighted Mr Chia Ngiang Hong, President of SGBC, “Therefore, it is imperative for office tenants and occupants to have an adequate understanding of how green building can help them to have a more conducive, productive time in the office.”

As one of the first property developers in Singapore to embrace green building and sustainability, CDL also invited one of its tenants, British Council, to share their experiences of working in a green office. From the temperature to personalised lighting controls, the tenants extolled the virtues of working in a healthy workplace and how it contributes to improved staff morale and lowered absenteeism rates.

Ms Esther An, CDL’s Chief Sustainability Officer, said, “Creating greener and healthier workplaces is a collective effort between building owners and occupants. As one of Singapore’s largest landlords and in line with our ethos of ‘Conserving as we Construct’, CDL has always strongly believed in actively engaging tenants and occupants in adopting sustainable practices. This not only helps them to achieve utility savings and lowers their carbon footprint but also enhances well-being and productivity. We hope that tenants will take away valuable and actionable insights and solutions from the session and spur more building users to create a greener and healthier work environment.”

Over the years, CDL has launched several eco-outreach initiatives to influence its tenants to adopt the good habits of reduce, reuse and recycle. Under the CDL Green Lease Partnership Programme launched in 2014, for instance, CDL has introduced an electricity rebate for tenants who attained savings over their energy bill, a digital monitoring portal to help them keep track of their energy usage, and a dedicated team of CDL Green Lease Ambassadors to advise them on how to ‘green fit-out’ their premises.

First rolled out by the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) to promote awareness and consciousness of healthier places through greener buildings, SGBC and its programme partners have brought the Better Places for People initiative to Singapore.
Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said: “Creating buildings that are not only good for the environment, but that also support healthier, happier and more productive lives for those who occupy them is vitally important, particularly in countries like Singapore with a dense urban population. By teaming up with CDL, one of WorldGBC’s close partners, to target business leaders and key decisions makers, the Singapore Green Building Council is playing a powerful part in making this goal a reality.”

In the coming months, SGBC will be organising more tenant engagement sessions to raise awareness of green buildings, dispel myths of greening offices as well as help create better workplaces for people.