Nowadays, companies have efficient property management practices in place to deal with the challenges raised by globalization (Robert, Parris, & Leiserowitz, 2005). The company put the environment first in developing new property management concepts. For integrating the SDGs into its practices, the company has adopted a series of strategies to make its business of property management inclusive and sustainable.
Their endeavor to create better conditions supports UN Sustainable Development Goals 7 and 11. For sustainably managing the property, the strategies include some practical measures such as installing a solar power system for public lighting and utilizing green materials for the property or facilities refurbishment.
The company has been actively using clean, renewable energy to work towards one target of SDG 7: to increase the use of renewable energy (SDGs, 2013). The way of installing the solar power system was adopted to balance the growing demand and environmental concerns. This renovation could reduce or eliminate associated greenhouse gas emissions. Further, the company planned to reduce the number of light fittings or make the most use of daylight, adopted throughout the properties, for significant gains in energy efficiency.
As a part of normal business, the company regularly refurbishes the facilities that Sinotrans operates in South China, such as river terminals, depots, warehouses, and so on. When some facilities need to be refurbished and updated, the company gives priority to the lifecycle of the materials to minimize the energy used to transport them, and also considers their potential impact on workers' health and the environment. This was aligned with SDG 11, to improve resource use and reduce pollution (SDGs, 2013).
The inspiration comes from global sustainability trends, which had increased the board’s awareness of the issues of sustainable development in every area of their business. In our interview, Zheng emphasized the sustainable ways of their property management business, which was not a widely known part. In this kind of business, the company first focuses on the consumption of energy and resources. To reduce the massive waste of electricity and materials, the company adopted the measures above, which have made a remarkable impact. It is worth mentioning that the use of renewable energy has also been supported and encouraged by the government. Moreover, the directors considered that renovations could be an opportunity to make the facilities more efficient and sustainable. Therefore, they tend to pay attention to the green materials chosen in refurbishment to ensure the positive impact on the environment.
The Sinotrans property management business has taken a significant position in its operations. As the company increasingly emphasizes “going green,” they enforce sustainability on their business, which could reduce energy use and waste. Zheng believes that effective use of energy and material resources could have a positive effect on not only the environment but also the relevant expenditures. To some extent, using renewable energy in combination with available daylight (natural resource), and using green materials could both lighten the company's environmental footprint. "By implementing sustainable management, it could make a deep influence for long-term development," Zheng added. Considering the long-term impact, operating the property management business in a sustainable way could retain the public’s trust in their business and services, and have a positive impact on their bottom line over time. The drive to sustainability enables the company to attract new stakeholders, clients, and staff members who share the same values. Further, in following the global trend to be sustainable, Sinotrans could have a better opportunity to cooperate with the worldwide partners that support the SDGs.
For the company itself, the business of property management has benefited a lot by implementing sustainable strategies. Their specific sustainable measures of saving energy and material resources enable a noticeable decrease in costs on the overall energy bills. Meanwhile, the value of their managed property has significantly increased through sustainable refurbishment. According to Zheng, “It proved that these ways are not only cost-saving, but also value-increasing for the property.” Based on the SDGs, the company might seek more sustainable partners to improve financial and investment opportunities. Overall, this kind of innovation unlocks new possibilities for property management.
Energy and resource use are the highlighted parts of nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today (Ma, Oxley, Gibson, & Li, 2010). Those specific measures, aligned with the SDGs, are related to SDG 7, Affordable and Clean Energy, and 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDGs, 2013). Especially concerning benefits on the environment, the use of the solar system for public lighting may be more energy efficient and less harmful to the environment (Loe, 2009). In addition, minimizing waste by employing renewable sources and materials could lower the environmental impact (Owusu & Asumadu-Sarkodie, 2016). On the other hand, another prime consideration for those measures is the threat of climate change caused by burning fossil fuels to supply energy, which also connects to SDG 13, Climate Action (SDGs, 2013).
“Although the public would consider Sinotrans only as a logistics service company, our business of property management has played an important role in profit-earning," Zheng reaffirmed at the end of the interview. "We hope our strategies could offer new ideas for the industry to practice SDGs."
Zheng Junfa, Manager
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Guangzhou, Guangdong, CN
Business Website: http://gd.sinotrans.com/
Year Founded: 2002
Number of Employees: 1001 to 5000
The company positions itself as an integrated logistics service provider in South China, and its responsibility is to provide tailor-made services such as logistics and shipping. Their commitment is to provide both local and overseas customers with reliable, efficient, effective, cost-saving, and convenient transportation and logistics services (Sinotrans South China Co., Ltd., 2019). The company also has a business in property management. The Sinotrans Group has adopted healthy and sustainable property management as their key to achieving the SDGs, and their primary mission is to create sustainable value (Sinotrans South China Co., Ltd., 2019).