16 Oct 2023
16 October is World Food Day. Every passing year presents a stark reminder that world hunger and food insecurity remain an unpalatable reality for millions worldwide.
According to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2022 report, the number of people affected by hunger globally rose to as many as 828 million in 2021, an increase of about 46 million since 2020 and 150 million since 2019.
As a multinational real estate company, Frasers Property recognises that real estate goes beyond just buildings and capital investment. We also take into consideration many community-focused elements in designing, planning and managing spaces. We adopt a purpose-led approach to ensure buildings provide meaningful spaces for good, fostering human connection and resilient communities.
There are many opportunities across our operations and real estate value chain that allow us to address the matters of food waste and food insecurity. We address these in two main ways: managing food waste and supporting food donation and distribution drives.
Food insecurity refers to a lack of regular access to safe, nutritious food for normal growth and development, and an active and healthy life. We actively partner or volunteer with other organisations to support broader efforts at alleviating food insecurity, such as food distribution drives.
One of them is Providence Row, our charity partner in the United Kingdom. The charity is focused on ending homelessness in East London. Since March 2023, our employee volunteers helped to support the growth of over 100 edible plants to provide food for their hostel through different tasks, from weeding and pruning to planting new seeds and harvesting crops. On top of that, they separately prepared, cooked and served food to people living in temporary accommodations without access to food or cooking facilities.
Volunteering with Providence Row in the United Kingdom to grow foods for the needy.
Our employee volunteers supporting Foodbank Australia’s meaningful cause.
In Australia, our employees from the Ed.Square Town Centre and Eastern Creek Quarter (ECQ) teams volunteered at Australia’s largest food relief organisation Foodbank at their warehouse in Glendenning, just down the road from our ECQ retail complex. There, they manually processed almost 10,000kg of food – minced beef, oranges, grapefruits, potatoes and more – to prepare almost 17,500 meals for various charity beneficiaries.
Besides donating food, we also help with and facilitate the redistribution of food to those who need it most. Redistribution can also be creatively used to reduce food wastage at both the industry and household level.
Food waste remains one of the biggest waste streams, accounting for about 12 per cent of total waste in Singapore. Most of it ends up in landfills. We have partnered The Food Bank Singapore since 2019 as part of our community investment efforts. Through our “Don’t Let Good Food Go to Waste” campaign, we have collected more than 21,500kg of non-perishable food donations to date from the public via our network of commercial and retail properties and redistributed them to households in need.
Accessible food donation bins can be located across Frasers Property malls in Singapore.
Partnerships for a more sustainable future: Group CEO of Frasers Property, Mr. Panote Sirivadhanabhakdi, is pictured alongside Mr. Nithi Patarachoke, President, Cement-Building Materials Business, SCG, for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding
We also tap on technology to reduce food waste, applying the circular economy principle where food waste is converted into other valuable resources. At One Bangkok in Thailand, our upcoming integrated development located in the heart of Bangkok, we have installed 13 units of high-efficiency composters that turn food waste collected from businesses in the district into fertiliser within just 10 hours. When fully operational in 2026, it will reduce food waste by around 12,000kg per day.
In 2020, Burwood Brickworks Shopping Centre in Melbourne partnered with Green Eco Technologies to manage the entire site’s food waste with the innovative WasteMaster system. This technology converts food waste into a virtually odour-free and nutrient-rich residue that can be used for a variety of other purposes, including plant fertiliser. In just the first two years of operation, more than 66,000kg of food waste has been diverted from the landfill. This success subsequently led us to introduce WasteMaster to our Ed.Square and ECQ retail centres.
The WasteMaster system, reduces the weight of organic waste by up to 80%, making transportation processes much more energy-efficient.
Alleviating food insecurity and managing food waste remains a multi-stakeholder endeavour, and real estate provides many opportunities to help accelerate and scale-up efforts. Our journey in managing food waste and supporting food insecurity alleviation initiatives demonstrate that through the meaningful use of spaces and innovation, the power of partnerships and the engagement with communities, real estate can be a force for good.