CapitaLand sets up $50m fund to spur sustainable innovations, help green its buildings

CapitaLand group chief executive officer Lee Chee Koon at the Capitaland Sustainability Challenge on June 11, 2021. PHOTO: CAPITALAND

SINGAPORE - CapitaLand, one of Asia's largest real estate groups, is setting up a $50 million fund over five years to encourage more innovation and to achieve its 2030 sustainability targets, which include greening all its buildings in Singapore and around the world by 2030.

Group chief executive Lee Chee Koon on Friday (June 11) said the Capitaland Innovation Fund supports high-tech projects within the company aimed at making its buildings and facilities more sustainable.

He announced the fund at the grand finale of the inaugural CapitaLand Sustainability X Challenge (CSXC), another of the group's green initiatives, held at Raffles City Convention Centre.

The sustainability challenge was launched on a global scale to encourage green tech start-ups to come up with innovative solutions to help make the real estate sector more sustainable.

This is in keeping with the Singapore Green Plan, which has a target of greening at least 80 per cent of the nation's buildings by gross floor area by 2030.

Two companies, Singapore-based Climatec Corp and US-based Inovues, emerged winners among the six finalists announced on Friday, and both will receive $50,000 each to fund their pilot projects with CapitaLand.

A total of 270 entries spanning more than 25 countries were received for the challenge.

Climatec's innovation is a water treatment process using a technology that treats cooling tower water without the use of chemicals or power. This has been able to achieve 60 to over 90 per cent of water savings and 1 to over 5 per cent of energy savings.

Inovues' winning entry is an insulating glass technology that reduces heat gain inside a building, cutting the energy needed to heat or cool the building by up to 40 per cent.

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu, who was the guest of honour at the CSXC grand finale, said in order for research and innovation to lead to commercialisation, public and private sectors must collaborate as research can take a long time and involves high risk.

She added: "Innovation and commercialisation of products of research require entrepreneurial acumen and nimble responses.

"This is where many enterprises have strengths. Initiatives such as the CapitaLand Sustainability X Challenge help to uncover unique solutions that may offer the right competitive edge. It also gives innovators an opportunity to test-bed and refine their ideas, which can eventually be scaled up to benefit businesses, consumers and our environment."

In October last year, CapitaLand opened the Smart Urban Co-Innovation Lab at the Singapore Science Park in partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority and Enterprise Singapore, with sustainability as one of its focus areas.

The lab is a platform for various players, such as local tech start-ups and global corporate enterprises, to co-create solutions for smart cities.

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