[Sponsored Article] Kaisa Group（01638.HK）, one of China’s leading property developers renowned in urban renewal in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), has signalled a stronger corporate focus on sustainable development following the announcement of interim results. During the first six months, profit attributable to shareholders amounted to about 2.8 billion yuan, bolstered by strong new home sales, despite the adverse effects of Covid-19 pandemic. Double-digit growth in new home sales Total revenue for the six months ended 30 June 2020 grew 10.9 per cent year on year to about 22.3 billion yuan. Gross profit was up 12.4 per cent over the same period a year ago, reaching about 7.5 billion yuan as of end-June, according to Kaisa’s latest interim report. The board has proposed to make an interim payout of HK3 cents per share. During the first six months, revenue from sales of properties grew by 11.6 per cent year on year to about 21 billion yuan – a result of a 14% increase in the average selling price per square metres. In the face of unprecedented challenges, Kaisa remains committed to its organic growth strategy through sustainable urban redevelopment. In doing so, the group adopts a customer-centric approach to planning, designing and executing redevelopment projects in best efforts to create liveable communities. “With unwavering determination, we are confident that we will be able to meet the 100 billion yuan sales target set for 2020. In the months ahead we will accelerate the pace of sales to meet this target. Our sales pipeline now has about 6.6 million square metres of stock for the second half of this year, which is estimated at about 120 billion yuan in value” , said Mr Mai Fan, CEO of Kaisa Group. Renewed focus on ESG Sustainable development is embraced at every level of what Kaisa does and mirrors the group’s mission to raise the bar in the post-pandemic era, a watershed moment where environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are critical to building a resilient future for everyone. In working towards this mission, Kaisa focuses on sustainable community development through urban renewal, green construction and buildings, which highlight liveability while reducing direct and indirect impacts on the environment. On the external front, the group contributes to society and the local communities in which it operates, providing opportunities for employees to give back at the local level. Urban renewal For Kaisa, urban renewal as a holistic approach to improving environmental quality, rectifying the urban decay problem and meeting various socio-economic objectives. Over the past 21 years, the group has contributed to the impactful redevelopment and revitalisation of many dilapidated village-in-city, industrial, commercial and residential areas. To date, Kaisa has converted about 13.6million square metres of gross floor area through continued urban renewal as well as sustainable expansion. As a socially responsible developer, Kaisa has made affordable housing part of its urban redevelopment strategy for the creation of economically inclusive communities. Affordable housing now takes up about 8-12 per cent of the residential gross floor area of each of the group’s urban renewal projects. Working closely with local planning authorities, the group has also built a wide range of infrastructure and community facilities, such as public transportation, roads, parks, hospitals, public schools as well as other recreational facilities. Green construction and buildings Through green or sustainable construction, Kaisa aims not only to reduce damage and pollution but to create eco-friendly buildings that have a positive impact on the environment. To put this ambition into practice, Kaisa carries out an environmental impact assessment (EIA) on proposed sites in best efforts to minimise negative impact on the surroundings as early as the planning stage. During construction, proactive measures are taken to minimise noise and air pollution as well as nuisance to the public. Wherever possible, the group seeks to reduce construction waste by re-using construction materials from temporary facilities and utilises rainwater harvesting on construction sites to increase water self-sufficiency. While the emission of greenhouse gases and air pollutants is inevitable during construction, the group planted nearly 4,000 trees, which helped reduce 92 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission last year, to offset greenhouse gas emissions from construction activities. In 2019, Kaisa obtained five green building certificates, with green construction area of approx 977,208 square metres. One of them, Shenzhen Kaisa Financial Technology Centre, was awarded the LEED Gold certification by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). This achievement reflects Kaisa’s commitment to building and delivering greener spaces for a greener world. Designed for maximum sustainability, Kasia’s green building projects are focused on energy efficiency, emission reduction, efficient water usage, clean transportation and contributing to our overall quality of life. After completion, the Sustainable Finance Working Group is responsible for reviewing the performance of the green building portfolio annually based on a set of standardised processes. ESG integrated into Kaisa’s strategic planning For Kaisa, green buildings and social contributions are the priorities of its renewed ESG focus, which is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and Paris Agreement. Kaisa believes that while meeting Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing’s ESG reporting requirements is important as a listed company, ESG is more than compliance — it is now an integral part of the group’s long-term business strategy. Its vision of a sustainable, peaceful world is founded on societies living in harmony with nature.