Meaningful programme in collaboration with Hong Chi Association to green rooftop while supporting the less privileged and promoting urban farming, paving a win-win, green path for all
HONG KONG, June 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Upholding corporate social responsibility and promoting sustainability, Sino Group initiated "Mission Green Top", an innovative programme combining urban farming, supporting the less privileged and engaging the broader community, ten years ago at Skyline Tower, a Grade A office building in the vibrant commercial district of Kowloon Bay.
The rooftop garden on 9/F Skyline Tower.
The ‘Mission Green Top’ 10th anniversary ceremony was graced by officiating guests, who watered the art piece upcycled from used bottles. It breathed new energy into the green project for continuous growth.
Through collaboration with Hong Chi Association, a local NGO, its members are hired to care for the garden. Produce is regularly harvested, and sold to tenants of the building at a scheduled marketplace at the tower. The sales proceeds generated are channelled to Hong Chi Association. Tenants are also encouraged to share with Hong Chi Association members on gardening experiences and tips. Over the past 10 years, 12 trainees and over 3,500 tenants have participated in this meaningful deed. More than 1,000 kg of vegetables have been harvested, generating over HK$2 million of sales proceeds for Hong Chi Association.
In celebration of this meaningful milestone, a kick-off ceremony heralding a series of festivities was held today. Officiated by Mr Sunny Yeung, Executive Director and Convenor of the Group’s Sustainability Committee, the ceremony was enthusiastically supported by the government, Hong Chi Association, tenants and respected partners. Officiating guests included: Mr Vincent M K Liu, JP, Deputy Secretary of the Environment Bureau (Energy and Sustainable Development Branch); Mr Edwin Lam, PDSM, General Secretary of Hong Chi Association; Ms Skye Chan, Ambassador of Hong Kong Associations; Mr Wai-To Law and Mr Hon-Man Cheng, trainee representatives of Hong Chi Association; Dr Rebecca Lee, the first female explorer having visited Mount Everest, the South Pole and the North Pole; Mr David Tse, Chairman of King of the King Group and Mr Stefan Ulrich, Finance Director of METRO Sourcing International Limited, both having lent great support to Mission Green Top and other green programmes.
"I would like to commend and congratulate the team on this important milestone. ‘Mission Green Top’ combines urban farming, supporting the less privileged and engaging the community. It breathes meaningful life into the rooftop space, turning it into a flourishing garden. This multifaceted programme brings benefits to our tenants as well as the community. It highlights what we strive to achieve with our CSR efforts — working with our people, partners and customers to make our community a better place to live and work," remarked Mr Daryl Ng, Deputy Chairman of Sino Group.
A win-win green path for all
"Mission Green Top" project brings green inspiration to commercial buildings. The 1,000-square-foot roof area at Skyline Tower has been transformed into an organic farm with verdant plants and colourful flowers while tenants can refresh every time they visit the rooftop garden.
The organic farm has been designed and cared for by Hong Chi Association members in conjunction with the Sino Green team. They take care of the full farming cycle, from preparing the field, to planting seeds, tending the crops and harvesting. The trainees visit the garden once a week to irrigate plants, remove weeds and apply organic fertilisers, on sunny or rainy days. A wide variety of plants are grown, including seasonal plants such as Romaine lettuce, basil, beetroot, tomato, sweet potato and radish; herbs include lavender and rosemary.
In addition to learning horticulture, Hong Chi Association members acquire etiquette and social skills under the tutelage of instructors. Twelve trainees have been hired for the programme since launch, and half of them have found jobs in the open market.
This multifaceted project, first launched in Skyline Tower and among the first rooftop gardens in a commercial building in Hong Kong, has been expanded to other properties of the Group, including Hong Kong Gold Coast, Pacific Palisades, Vision City and The Hermitage. It also heralds the ‘Mission Green’ series, covering plant adoption (Mission Green Thumb (2009)), recycling (Mission Green Rainbow (2012)), art (Mission Green Art (2012)), hydroponics (Mission Green Hydroponics Farm (2015)) and education (Mission Green Parent (2012), Mission Green Library (2012), Mission Green Academy (2018)).
Mr Sunny Yeung, Executive Director of Sino Group and Convenor of the Group’s Sustainability Committee, who initiated the project in 2008, recalled fondly, "’Mission Green Top’, launched ten years ago, has become a catalyst for other similar environmental projects. The pots represent the great work done by Hong Chi Association over the past ten years, the big heart of our tenants and the collective contribution from the Group. In addition to supporting the community, our people benefit from supporting those in need too as we have seen personal growths in Hong Chi Association members as well as our staff."
Mr Edwin Lam, PDSM, General Secretary of Hong Chi Association, expressed his appreciation at the ceremony, "The Mission Green Top project has given a full play of our members’ talent. Gardening, which requires patience and regular cycles, is manageable for trainees with mild to moderate intellectual disability. Trainees’ communication skills, concentration, and EQ have significantly improved after joining the project. The regular Sales Day organised in the commercial buildings enable trainees to practise communication skills by interacting with tenants. Some of them can now answer tenants’ questions on gardening, significantly increasing their self-confidence and satisfaction. Half of the 12 employed trainees have found jobs in the open market. One of the trainees, Ah To, who joined the ceremony today, has been promoted to senior trainee after joining the project for ten years and is now passing on his knowledge and experience to new fellows."
Wai-To Law, called Ah To by others, has been caring for potted plants for the rooftop garden at Skyline Tower since 2008. In 2015, he joined the Mission Green Top maintenance team to provide gardening maintenance services for Skyline Tower and Exchange Tower on a weekly basis. Years of horticultural experiences have equipped him with gardening knowledge and skills, in addition to enhancing communications and interpersonal skills. He is very confident about employment in the open market in the near future.
A greener future for all
To further promote green living, Sino Group announced at the ceremony the launch of ‘Mission Green Academy’, a structured programme to share green knowledge. Green-minded families will be recruited as ‘Mission Green Ambassadors’ to spread the messages to residential areas, workplaces and the broader community. Shortlisted families will join a two-day-one-night camp at Hong Kong Gold Coast Hotel in August 2018, during which will they learn green tips, go on visits and create an upcycled art piece for education and promotion.
"’Mission Green Top’ helps raise awareness of green living and social inclusion. It is well received by our people, tenants and the community, it will continue to sow the seeds for a green and caring environment for all. We look forward to many more milestones in the years to come," concluded Sunny.
About Sino Group
Sino Group is one of the leading property developers in Hong Kong with core business in developing residential, office, industrial and retail properties for sale and investment. The Group is also a major player in hotel investment and management, club management, property management, car park operations as well as environmental and security services. With a team of over 10,000 dedicated professionals, Sino Group strives to consistently deliver quality properties and services that surpass the expectations of customers.
As a committed corporate citizen, Sino Group has been actively participating in community services and green activities as well as art and culture events over the years. The Group focuses corporate social responsibility efforts on four areas: Sino Care, Sino Green, Sino Art and Sino Heritage. Sino Land Company Limited (083) has been a constituent member of the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Index Series since September 2012 for its continual efforts in promoting sustainability.
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