To hear Vice President Lai Jianyan of Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd.—the world’s largest commercial property owner and operator—put it, the most his company derives from LEED is not the financial benefits, it’s the demonstration of social responsibility for a global company.
“It conveys a message to the society through the LEED platform that Wanda commits to sustainable development, environment protection and social responsibility... The social value is followed by financial benefit.”
Wanda’s position as a global player is showing no signs of slowing down. They are the only company in China with the largest number of certified green projects with 322 certified buildings as of this June. Currently, 14 projects are pursuing LEED certification, including eight commercial buildings, two office buildings and four hotel and service apartment projects totaling 2.5 million gross square meters of space.
Wanda’s scope goes beyond China, with projects now in Chicago, Los Angeles, Gold Coast, Sydney, London and Madrid. Wanda is targeting to have about 1000 Wanda Plazas in operation by 2025, a diversified apparatus that will include commercial property management, cultural and tourism industries among others.
Mr. Lai spoke with USGBC about green development being a core value of Wanda’s long-term strategy, the creation of intelligent management systems for their properties and, of course, LEED, what it means to a rapidly expanding company such as Wanda and it’s future use in their built environment. Hint: LEED will be incorporated into all of Wanda Mall projects and most of their overseas hotels.
1. Why are you pursuing LEED?
Green development and operation is the core value of Wanda’s long-term strategy. With Wanda’s business expands progressively global wide, Wanda’s brand image are getting more recognized around the world, how to implement green strategy in its development, how to convey Wanda’s corporate value to our guest and customers? LEED is a perfect option.
As a worldwide accepted green building rating system, LEED was developed about ten years earlier than China’s Green Building Label scheme. It provides excellent guidance to Wanda’s green sustainable development. Many Wanda’s oversea projects and some domestic projects will be certified by LEED, BREEAM, GREENSTAR and other internationally well-known green building standard in order to achieve the goal of environment protection, ecological friendly and resource conservation for Wanda’s development. The application of these green building standards greatly helps Wanda to learn the successful experience from others and develop its unique green development system based on the characteristics of Wanda’s projects.
2. How does LEED fit into your company’s overall sustainability goals and objectives?
First of all, Wanda has established a solid system to guarantee the implementation of green building practices and fulfill the company’s long-term goal of sustainable development. In 2011, “Wanda's Energy Conservation Guideline (2011-2015)” was put into practice. The guideline is a five-year plan that specifies the target of green building practice, the guarantee system and the technical and management process.
Second, Wanda makes LEED a compulsory in its key projects. One of advantages of LEED rating system is that it evaluates a project from a whole life cycle perspective, which is also very important to Wanda’s projects. The use of LEED in Wanda’s projects will bring rich experience to Wanda’s green development practice.
Third, Wanda tries its best to enhance corporate standards. Wanda has integrated those applicable green building technologies and strategies from LEED and “China Green Building Label System” into Wanda’s internal design standards, which is more stringent than national code. In this way, Wanda’s objective of sustainable development can be better fulfilled.
To Wanda, the most value of LEED is not financial benefits. It’s the demonstration of a social responsibility of an international company. It conveys a message to the society through the LEED platform that Wanda commits to sustainable development, environment protection and social responsibility. The social value is followed by financial benefit. In 2014, annual average electricity consumption of each Wanda Plaza is reduced by 3.6% compared to 2013. Meanwhile, annual average energy consumption of each Wanda hotel is reduced by 7.2% compared to 2013, which has generated positive social and economic benefits. Detailed information can be obtained from Wanda’s annual report.
4. What measures have you put in place to ensure your LEED project continues to perform highly and improve over time?
Wanda’s “Huiyun System” would be emphasized here. Wanda’s “Huiyun System”is a building intelligent management system developed for large-scale commercial buildings, with independent intellectual property rights owned by Wanda. Huiyun system is an integration of 16 subsystems, including BA system, lighting control, HVAC and plumbing, energy conservation and so on. It could monitor and manage the building through tens of thousands of sensors. This system also integrates with many green technologies such as auto-regulation of indoor CO2 and advanced chiller plant control system to guarantee a healthy indoor environment and reduce the energy consumption of the air conditioning system. The implementation of the Huiyun system will guarantee the building to perform efficiently on on-going basis, which is also advocated by LEED.
5. How might USGBC help you achieve your goals?
We hope we can further our cooperation in both research and application. In the research field, USGBC can help Wanda develop and enhance its corporate green building standards and management systems, and work together with Wanda to choose the key research subject annually. For application, we hope USGBC can get involved in our important project from the beginning of the design stage to the operation phase of the project, so as to integrate green building concepts and strategies fully into the project.