Archive for December, 2010

Malaysian scientist a green trailblazer

Posted on December 31, 2010. Filed under: Forestry/Wetlands |

(Bernama) — When it comes to saving the world’s forests, Malaysian scientist Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor has probably done more than any other University of Adelaide graduate in the past 50 years, the university’s alumni magazine “Lumen” says in an article to mark the 2011 International Year of Forests.

The Colombo Plan scholar, who obtained a Bachelor of Science (Forestry) in 1964, is internationally renowned for his research work in tropical forests, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.

Since the late 1960s, when he oversaw Malaysia’s first national forest inventory and was later appointed the director-general of the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM), Dr Salleh has campaigned tirelessly for the conservation of forests, winning numerous awards along the way.

“Forests are amazing places. They are peaceful, safe, pristine, uplifting, and so essential to our ecosystems and our lives,” the magazine quotes Dr Salleh as saying.

Dr Salleh’s major contributions to forestry management include his role in creating a number of national parks in Malaysia; development of national policy on land use and forest conservation; and making governments accountable for actions that are not environmentally friendly or sustainable.

In a career spanning more than four decades, he developed FRIM to become the top tropical forest research organisation in the world, winning various awards, including the National Science Award.

In the 100-year history of the International Union of Forestry Research Organisations (the global umbrella organisation for world forestry research), Dr Salleh was the first president from outside the United States and Europe.

Dr Salleh was also instrumental in forming the Asia Pacific Association of Forestry Research Institutions (APAFRI), and was a member of numerous boards and committees of various global organisations.

Even in retirement he continues to consult on forestry management and the environment and heads up Malaysia’s only approved private contract research company, TropBio Research Sdn Bhd.

“There are so many challenges facing the forestry industry, particularly with new issues of climate change and loss of biodiversity,” he says.

“It’s important that we conserve our natural heritage in its pristine state and one of the most effective ways we can do this is to ban the production of all forms of greenhouse gases and plastic.

“We must also phase out logging of our natural forests because they have greater value as water catchments and for conserving our biodiversity.

“As for our long-term timber needs, trees can be grown as plantations and research by FRIM has shown that rubber wood and oil palm trunks are good timber substitutes, as well as being fast-growing tree species,” he says.

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Fight to save nature

Posted on December 30, 2010. Filed under: Bio-diversity |

-The Star-

AS we herald the New Year, it is my wish to see that in the next general election, every member of parliament and state assemblyman has a manifesto that includes the conservation of nature and the environment to ensure sustainable development for the future.

For too long, we have taken nature and the environment for granted.

In developed nations, all political leaders and elected representatives are champions of the environment and have key performance indicators (KPIs), related to conservation. Why not in Malaysia?

Hence, our leaders must buck up on their knowledge of the various United Nations internationally ratified environmental agreements of which Malaysia is a party to.

There has been lack of political will in this area that reflects on whether we are a caring society.

We must develop with our future generations in mind and it starts with knowledge of the dynamic environment, our living legacy and heritage. This area is wanting!!

In this respect, I hope Local Agenda 21 (involvement of the stakeholders) is utilised by the respective government departments especially the local authorities.

It is also imperative to emulate successful countries such as Japan, Australia and the Scandinavian nations in working closely with the NGOs in partnership.

The Government departments have the resources and manpower while the NGOs have the technical know-how and international expertise.

If the two parties can combine, it will be a potent force for the environment as the approach to development must take an innovative, sustainable and holistic approach.

The KPIs of the elected political representatives can include protecting fragile environments, conservation of valuable habitats namely the forests and wetlands, biodiversity protection, environmental education, combating poverty via permaculture (sustainable agriculture) promotion, initiating research initiatives and reaching out to all stakeholders.

With a population of about 27 million people, we have to start immediately before adverse climate changes engulf us and disrupt our future development plans.

ASSOC PROF MAKETAB MOHAMED,
President,
Malaysian Nature Society.

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Stop fluoridation of M’sian, Sabah water supply

Posted on December 30, 2010. Filed under: Water resource |

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is concerned that water fluoridation is to be re-introduced into Sabah’s public water supply next year as reported on Bernama on Dec 28, 2010.

Water fluoridation was discontinued in 1989 by the then-Sabah government which feared that inadequate supervision in the process of adding fluoride to the water could cause adverse effects. It is reported that the imminent water fluoridation project is under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) with an allocation of RM2.5 million.

The Malaysian government approved fluoridation of water in 1972 in an attempt to reduce dental cavities. Reportedly, 75.5 percent of the country’s population receives fluoridated water.

Fluoride is the only chemical added to drinking water for the purpose of medication, i.e. to prevent tooth decay. All other treatment chemicals are added to treat the water to improve the water’s quality and safety – which fluoride does not do. Thus, fluoridation is mass medication and it violates the individual’s right to informed consent.

Fluoride is a very toxic substance, which is why it is the active ingredient in a number of pesticides. Total fluoride exposure has increased substantially since the early days of fluoridation.

Besides fluoride in our water, people are exposed to fluoride from bottled drinks, toothpaste, fluoride drops and treatments, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and industrial discharges. As such there is a possibility of excessive intake of fluoride which would lead to health problems.

Depending on the level of exposure, a number of adverse health effects may be linked to fluoride ingestion. In humans, they include bone cancer, bone fracture, skeletal fluorosis, arthritis, impaired thyroid hormone status, impaired neurodevelopment in children, and calcification of the pineal gland. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data shows that dental fluorosis, caused by fluoride over-exposure, now impacts one third of American children.

The above findings and new scientific evidence show that fluoridation is ineffective and has serious health risks. However, the health agencies in Malaysia that advocate putting fluoride into our drinking water have failed to provide up-to-date, regular, comprehensive, and transparent re-evaluations of risks of fluoridating drinking water, based on the most current science and available alternatives.

Recent studies also strongly suggest that fluorides work primarily by topical means through direct action on the surface of the teeth via toothpaste, or gels used in dental treatments. Thus ingestion of fluoride through drinking fluoridated water is not essential or effective for caries reduction.

Hence there is absolutely no necessity to fluoridate our water. We hereby urge the Malaysian government to stop water fluoridation in this country and call on the Sabah government to not start fluoridating its water.

The writer is president of the Consumers’ Association of Penang.

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Hartalega: We are not polluters

Posted on December 29, 2010. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Star-

PETALING JAYA: An internationally-recognised glove manufacturer has denied allegations that its factory near Taman Suria, Batang Berjuntai, is causing air and water pollution.

Hartalega Holdings Bhd managing director Kuan Kam Hon, who called the allegations “baseless and a misrepresentation,” said he was disappointed that no clarification had been sought from the company over the claims.

“As a responsible public-listed company on Bursa Malaysia and a world-class manufacturer of nitrile gloves, we are compelled to put the record straight.

“We are very transparent and willing to clarify any doubt. We abide by local and international environmental regulatory standards.

“How can a company that receives so many international and local awards be in violation of environmental regulations?” he told reporters at a press conference here yesterday.

It was reported in the local media that the factory was allegedly causing air and water pollution. The factory had existed long before the residential area was built and there was a lack of a buffer zone between the two.

Kuan said officers from the Department of Environment, the Kuala Selangor Municipal Council, International Trade and Industry Ministry and the Malaysian Industrial Develop­ment Authority had visited Hartalega’s manufacturing facilities and confirmed its compliance with all building and environmental regulations.

He said this included the use of environment-friendly biomass boilers, its various corporate social responsibility initiatives in Taman Suria and it spending over RM5mil annually to treat effluents and emissions to ensure that these met requirements.

He also handed out copies of support letters from local residents and businesses, including several village development and safety committees.

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The case against nuclear energy

Posted on December 28, 2010. Filed under: Energy |

-The Star-

BEFORE the Malaysian government takes the country down the path towards nuclear energy, every citizen must decide if nuclear power is the right choice for the nation.For some, the threat of climate change and peak oil has produced a false choice between either going nuclear or suffering unabated global warming. But Malaysia, and indeed, the rest of the world, has an increasing number of clean and renewable energy options to choose from, such as solar, wind, tidal and wave.

The Malaysian government appears to have embraced the idea that the country needs to go nuclear to meet its growing energy needs. Little emphasis appears to have been given to green technologies in the government’s recently-unveiled Economic Transformation Programme.

Kudos to the government for recognising that we need to diversify the nation’s energy mix and decentralise power generation. This is achievable and affordable with the green technologies of solar, wind, tidal and wave. But nuclear energy, which is neither renewable nor clean, is not only potentially catastrophic to human lives, but also exacts a far higher cost economically, socially and environmentally than the green technologies, factors that led Britain’s Sustainable Development Commission to emphatically reject nuclear power as a solution to the country’s energy and climate change mitigation efforts in 2006.

Why the rush into nuclear now? Malaysia has more than 50% in reserve margin or excess power at the moment. In fact, today’s total installed generation capacity of close to 22,000MW is more than the country’s projected demand in 2020.

Perhaps the apparent haste to embrace nuclear energy is because a nuclear plant takes 10 to 15 years to build and the government is keen to plan ahead so the country’s future energy needs are met. Planning and foresight are to be applauded. But even the largest solar installations like Concentrating Solar Thermal plants (which uses mirrors to concentrate a large area of sunlight onto a small area) only require two to five years to complete, making it a far nimbler option, especially in terms of taking advantage of the widely expected reduction in the cost of producing solar energy.

And should the need arise, Malaysia can utilise its vast amount of palm biomass as an interim measure while it brings green technologies on stream. Let us consider the green alternatives to nuclear:

Solar power

Based on research by Universiti Malaysia Perlis and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), supported by data from the German Aerospace Centre, at today’s limited efficiency of just 20% – efficiency which is set to rise – solar photovoltaic technology would require less than 0.1% of Malaysia’s land surface to power the entire nation now.

Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) power is widely expected to come to cost parity with fossil fuel power generation by 2020. Conservative estimates by studies done for the US Department of Energy and by consulting firm McKinsey expect the Levelised Cost of Electricity (LEC) to be around 17 sen to 36s en/kWh in 2020.

These figures are supported by the research of the University of Melbourne Energy Research Institute, which expects a range of 15 sen to 24 sen/kWh for CST with molten salt storage for “better-than-baseload” performance. This is on par with or cheaper than the current cost of electricity of 31 sen/kWh once government subsidies are factored in.

The LEC for nuclear power is estimated at around 32.1 sen to 41.4 sen/kWh according to the US Department of Energy and financial consultants Lazard, and it is expected to increase. (The LEC factors all costs involved throughout the lifespan of a power plant per unit of total power generated. It must be noted that the LEC for nuclear is highly variable due to large risks and uncertainties as demonstrated by the most recent example in Finland’s Olkiluoto plant where costs have exceeded the original figure by 65%).

Tidal, wave and wind

Malaysia is also blessed with a long coastline that is exposed to the South China Sea, offering excellent potential for tidal, wave and marine current energy as confirmed by UKM and University Teknologi Malaysia.

There is a strong consensus in the energy industry and among analysts that green technologies such as solar, wind, tidal and wave will become considerably cheaper in the near future as economies of scale of manufacturing is achieved and the technologies mature.

Today, wind power has already reached cost parity with fossil fuel power in places like Germany and California, where subsidies have encouraged falling manufacturing and installation costs. The opposite is true for fossil fuels and nuclear power as reserves dwindle.

The price tag for Malaysia’s first nuclear power plant is estimated to be a staggering RM21.3bil, not counting the heavy cost of decommissioning (dismantling the plant), which slaps on another 9% to 15% of the original price tag and requires a few decades to be completed.

These billions would be better invested in truly clean power technologies that have a bright future. More jobs can be created with a renewable energy sector due to its decentralised nature and promising growth.

Green power technologies also ensure energy security because it does not rely on fuel imports. Although there is an emerging shortage of rare earths used in green technologies, this is not expected to worsen as new mines are currently being explored and commercialised.

With nuclear energy, on the other hand, Malaysia will likely be forever dependent on other nations to provide fuel and technology for any nuclear power plant. The European Free Alliance’s 2007 report entitled Residual Risk says “many nuclear safety related events occur year after year, all over the world, in all types of nuclear plants … and there are very serious events that go either entirely unnoticed by the broader public or remain significantly under-evaluated when it comes to their potential risk”.

A Third World Network article states: “There have also been many accidents that did not escalate purely out of chance, often involving the intervention of human operators rather than any technical safety feature. Such interventions cannot be taken for granted.”

Malaysians are rightly concerned about the safety of nuclear reactors on their shores, a matter that has the potential to have a massive impact not just on the country’s treasury and economy, but the environment and the health of its people for generations to come. Citizens can also scarcely be confident in the security forces’ ability to provide high-level security needed for a nuclear plant after the recent theft of aircraft jet engines from a military base.

And what about the storage and disposal of nuclear waste?

Residents of Bukit Merah and Papan in Perak have yet to see the end of the toxic waste produced some 28 years ago by a rare earth mining company, indicating the authorities’ inability to adequately handle highly toxic waste.

Nuclear power is also associated with a range of negative consequences that cannot be calculated purely in monetary terms. Nuclear’s dark potential as a weapon of mass destruction and its chequered past and potentially even more deadly future is not the sort of legacy we will be proud to leave for our children.

In today’s world of climate change and rapidly advancing green power technologies with their retreating costs, going nuclear would be sheer short-sightedness for a country blessed with abundant renewable sources of clean power.

The Economic Transformation Programme is supposed to be about investing for tomorrow and catalysing growth for the future, goals that truly clean and renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, tidal and wave can achieve.

Nuclear may be far cleaner than coal and gas, but that’s looking into the past, not the future.

Ken Yeong

Kuala Lumpur

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Sime Darby, Mitsui to Test Using Oil-Palm Waste for Bioethanol in Malaysia

Posted on December 28, 2010. Filed under: Environmental Science |

-bloomberg.com-

Sime Darby Plantation Sdn., a unit of Malaysia’s Sime Darby Bhd., said it is collaborating with Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. to “construct and operate” a bioethanol demonstration plant in the Malaysian state of Selangor.

The plant, which will convert empty oil palm fruit bunches into bioethanol, will have a processing capacity of 1.25 metric tons per day, Sime Darby said in an e-mailed statement today. The plant will collect operational data and confirm the technical feasibility of commercial-scale production of bioethanol from this source, the statement said.

“The empty fruit bunch can now move further up the value chain as a source of biofuel,” Franki Anthony Dass, executive vice-president of Sime Darby Plantations, said in the statement. “Successful commercialization will also help in managing solid waste produced in oil palm estates.”

The production of biofuel from non-food feedstock such as empty fruit bunches and other palm oil biomass will help to partially meet the global fuel demand without jeopardizing food supply, according to the statement.

Test production of bioethanol at the plant will start next year and the product will be sold in Malaysia as a raw material for plastics, and later possibly exported to Japan, the Nikkei newspaper reported earlier today.

 

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Selangor sticks to RM5.7b for water assets

Posted on December 27, 2010. Filed under: Water resource |

-themalaysianinsider.com-

Selangor will offer about the same RM5.7 billion to acquire remaining state water assets, and still intends to leave its present owners to pay off their own liabilities.

The Pakatan Rakyat government made the initial offer last February to take back the highly controversial utility, some of the present owners have links to Umno which leads the coalition running the federal government.

The Malaysian Insider understands that Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is keen to revert to the figure, subject to updated financial data, due diligence and negotiations on debts, and solve the issue which has even drawn the attention of the state ruler.

The offer will likely be made in January for private assets and equity owned by Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd (PNSB), Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor (Splash) and Kumpulan Abass, sources said over the weekend.

The companies’ outstanding bonds will not be covered under the proposed offer. All four players are expected to pay off outstanding debts using the proceeds from the sale of their assets.

It is understood, however, that Selangor is willing to negotiate with all four to help them settle their bonds, failing which any price dispute will be sent to arbitration.

Selangor, which already owns 80 per cent of the state’s water supply assets, is preparing to take over the remaining assets after Putrajaya said it did not object to direct negotiations between the state government and concessionaires.

The state plans to then sell the consolidated water assets — treatment plants, dams and pipes — to the Water Asset Management Company (PAAB) to fulfil a statutory requirement. The Finance Ministry’s wholly-owned PAAB has indicated it will cap the deal at RM9 billion.

Selangor intends to retain management of the water assets, which also cover the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. A project to get water supplies from Pahang has also been delayed because of the issue.

The state government has made two previous offers for the water assets. The first offer, RM5.7 billion for assets and equity, was turned down by all four players, while the second RM9.4 billion offer — this time including liabilities — was rejected by Syabas and sister company PNSB.

Both Syabas and PNSB are controlled by Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd (PNHB) which belongs to executive chairman Tan Sri Rozali Ismail, who is Umno Selangor treasurer and the 31st richest man in Malaysia, according to Forbes.

The two-year water restructuring saga has been characterised by finger-pointing by water players, federal and state governments keen on deflecting blame for the deadlock.

The impasse began soon after parties that formed the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) unexpectedly took control Selangor, Malaysia’s richest state, in the last general election. Since then, privatisation plans for the water industry have been put in deep-freeze as federal and state governments engage in what industry watchers have called “excessive politicking”.

Control of Selangor’s water assets is important to PR so it can set tariffs and fulfill its campaign promise of free water for all residents in the state. BN, however, appears bent on preventing PR from using water to score political points with the electorate.

Complicating matters is the water companies’ urgent need to repay their creditors in the face of maturing bonds. Several water bonds entered technical default in September after their ratings were slashed by Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd (MARC) and RAM Ratings.

Worried bondholders drafted a letter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak urging him to intervene in the matter to safeguard their bonds from being further downgraded.

The Malaysian Insider understands that major bondholders — including CIMB Principal Asset Management, Hong Leong Investment Bank and Great Eastern Life — drafted the letter to Najib asking the federal government to provide a soft loan worth some RM1 billion to Syabas.

Putrajaya bailed out Syabas once already last year when it gave a RM320.8 million soft loan to parent company PNHB in December to help settle its debts to water treatment concessionaires.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin also told The Malaysian Insider last month the government was considering swapping existing bonds with triple-A government-backed ones to buy stakeholders more time to break the current standoff, if no headway was made.

The potential debt repayment problem began after the state government prevented Syabas from hiking tariffs by 37 per cent, as per its concession agreement. The water distributor has since stopped paying the other concessionaires in full for treated water, leading to cash flow problems for those three companies.

Syabas sued the state government last month for RM471 million for reneging on the agreement. The Selangor government, however, is adamant that Syabas cannot raise prices until fulfils the conditions stipulated in the agreement, such as reducing leakages or non-revenue water.

Selangor, in turn, has threatened to revoke Syabas’ water distribution licence for initiating its Tabung Budi scheme, which it claims is an “insincere” public relations exercise done at the state’s expense.

The fund allows Selangor residents who wish to waive their right to free water, to pay for the 20 cubic metres they receive gratis from the state every month, valued at RM11.40. Syabas says the money collected is then used to help other residents who have no access to clean water.

However, the state government claims Syabas has no right to collect money for water that has already been paid for and accused the company of “double-billing” the state.

Splash is also currently going through the courts to recover from Syabas allegedly outstanding running account charges worth nearly RM600 million so far.

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Penang: Litterbugs face RM250 fine come Feb 1

Posted on December 27, 2010. Filed under: Laws and Regulations |

-The Sun-

Litterbugs beware as you may be slapped with a RM250 fine if you are caught littering in public places.

Penang Island Municipal Council’s (MPPP) financial management sub-committee alternate chairman Tan Hun Wooi said the summons for littering was previously RM50 and only those who throw large items like furniture are fined RM250.

“Now, we want to standardise everything so anyone caught littering, even it’s a piece of tissue or a cigarette butt, will be fined RM250,” he said.

The new summons rate will be effective Feb 1.

Tan also said there will not be any discount for those issued with this summons. “They will have to pay the full sum of RM250.”

The increase in summons will hopefully be more effective in deterring people from littering, he told a press conference after a full council meeting at the City Hall today.

On an unrelated issue, Tan said the council had to reject an application by Chew Jetty for an additional allocation of RM61,832.24.

“The council had earlier granted a special allocation of RM268,0000 to Chew Jetty for upgrading and restorating works on Chew Jetty so we are unable to allocate more funds,” he said.

The council also decided to call for an open tender for the commercial space consisting of 19 units at the council’s multi-storey carpark situated at Lebuh Pantai and Lebuh Victoria.

Those who submit their tenders for the project will need to submit a conceptual plan for the use of the commercial space and the rental for the space is RM10,000 each month.

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Educate public on 3Rs, say plastic manufacturers

Posted on December 26, 2010. Filed under: Waste |

Educating the public on the importance of the 3Rs (recycle, reuse and reduce) should take top priority instead of implementing the “No free plastic bags” initiative, said the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA).

MPMA Penang chairman Tan Wee Ming feels that plastic bags have been wrongfully portrayed as the major culprits in polluting the environment.

“Plastic bags are not bad for humans and if used wisely, it does not cause pollution,” he said.

He added that people still need to use plastic bags as garbage bags so the “no free plastic bags” initiative will only inconvenience the public as they have to pay the 20 sen for the plastic bags or buy garbage bags.

He told theSun that plastic manufacturers in Penang have suffered a drop of 30% in sales after the state government implemented the “no free plastic bags” initiative from Mondays to Wednesdays.

“We are expecting even worsening sales after Jan 1 when the initiative is implemented daily,” he said.

Tan said MPMA Penang had launched a 3Rs campaign together with the “Addressing the Myths on Plastic Bags” awareness campaign to educate the public about plastic bags.

“We want the public to know that plastic bags are not bad,” he said.

As part of the campaign, a total of 180,000 free plastic bags will also be distributed to the public through news vendors over the next six week period.

The MPMA Penang will also be going to schools to give talks on the 3Rs and present facts on the benefits of plastic bags.

“We are not launching a war against the state government or any party. We are just doing our part to educate the public on the 3Rs and on plastic bags,” Tan said.

The MPMA Penang has a total 155 members in Penang.

From Jan 1, all hypermarkets, supermarkets and chain stores will not be providing free plastic bags.

Consumers who ask for plastic bags will need to pay 20 sen for each bag and the funds collected will go towards the state government’s anti-poverty programme.

This is part of the state government’s green initiative for a cleaner, greener Penang. — theSun

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Demand for green buildings on the rise

Posted on December 25, 2010. Filed under: Energy |

-The Star-

WITH leading multinational corporations at the forefront to lease green office space, the demand for green buildings in Malaysia will continue to rise as environmental awareness grows and more companies embrace the practice of corporate social responsibility.

Another driver is the growing body of evidence demonstrating that green buildings make financial sense.

CB Richard Ellis (Malaysia) vice-president research, Nabeel Hussain says there is growing recognition that key participants in the country’s real estate sector have a responsibility to adopt sustainable building practices and related technologies in order to play a pro-active role in climate change mitigation.

The Securities Commision premises is a good example of a green building.

“Malaysia has introduced its own green rating system, the Green Building Index (GBI) in 2009. The Government is supporting the drive towards green buildings and technology and its Budget 2010 was the first one ever to give priority to the procurement of goods and services that are environmentally friendly,” he adds.

Nabeel reveals that studies by CB Eichard Ellis on mature markets such as the United States and Australia have found that developing green buildings can help landlords achieve higher values, fetch higher rents and enjoy higher occupancy rates than comparable non-green buildings.

In an ongoing study of national office portfolio in the United States managed by CB Richard Ellis, the company concludes that sustainable buildings are expected to generate stronger investment returns than traditionally-managed properties.

The study found that owners of sustainably-managed buildings anticipate 4% higher return on investment than owners of traditionally-managed buildings, as well as 5% increase in building value.

“Roughly 79% of owners surveyed believe that sustainable properties perform well in attracting and retaining tenants, yielding a 5% increase in building occupancy and 1% increase in rental income,” Nabeel says.

This is the second phase of a multi-year study initiated in 2009 by CB Richard Ellis and the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

The largest and longest-running study of its kind, the ongoing analysis benchmarks and measures green building benefits and economic results as a framework of investment criteria for retrofit activity.

According to the study, tenants in sustainably-managed buildings report increased productivity, satisfaction and health. Roughly 10% of tenant respondents have seen

increased productivity, 94% of tenant managers register higher employee satisfaction in green space and 83% of tenants believe their green space provides a healthier working environment.

The study defined a green building as those with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification at any level or those that bear the EPA Energy Star label. All Energy Star buildings in the survey group had been awarded that label since 2008. Most of the buildings included in the research cohort had also adopted other sustainable practices like recycling, green cleaning and water conservation.

CB Richard Ellis was recently ranked 30 among Newsweek‘s greenest companies in America, and occupied top spot in the financial services sector. The US Environmental Protection Agency has named CB Richard Ellis an Energy Star Partner of the Year for the past three years, including recent recognition for “Sustained Excellence.”

Nabeel says the US Green Building Council has awarded CB Richard Ellis its Leadership Award for Organisational Excellence and the industry group, CoreNet, recognised CB Richard Ellis with a special commendation for Sustainable Leadership and Design Development.

In Asia, CB Richard Ellis recently won a Merit Award for Interior Projects in an Existing Building at Hong Kong Green Building Council’s 2010 Green Building Awards, in relation to its office relocation in Hong Kong.

CB Richard Ellis’ new office premises in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Mumbai have been designed and constructed in accordance with LEED best practices.

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