4th anniversary of Green Building Index

Speech by Penang Chief Minister YAB Lim Guan Eng
At the 4th anniversary of Green Building Index
At Auditorium F, Komtar on 12 October 2013

First and foremost, I wish to thank the organizers, Green Building Index, GBI, for inviting me to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the launch of GBI in Penang.

Secondly, I would like to thank all the owners and developers who have made time to come and receive the Certificates of Appreciation. Penang is the first state to acknowledge and appreciate the effort put in by them to make their buildings green, and in the process, promoting sustainability in the state.

On the back of the recently concluded Penang Green Expo, with the theme “Heal The Earth, Count Me In”, I am delighted to be here to commemorate GBI’s fourth anniversary, as I am pleased to know that both GBI and our own PGC are working very closely to help transform Penang into a green state.

The rakyat knows that we have a “No Free Plastic Bags Everyday” policy in this state. It was not a popular decision, but we have overcome the criticisms. As you can see, we choose to do those things not because they are easy, but we can make a difference.

For short years ago, on 22 October 2009, in this very building, I launched the Green Building Index. At that time, the concept of green buildings was very new. It is based on a very simple idea – the pursuit of sustainability in the built environment. In October 2011, we established the PGC. Whilst PGC concentrated on the many new initiatives to position ourselves as a green state, we are delighted to have GBI and the Malaysia Green Building Confederation, MGBC, helping out to promote green buildings in the state.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are satisfied that GBI meets all the requirements of the state. GBI is developed by passionate volunteers who have integrity, who are not driven by profit or selfish intents, but by a simple desire to spread the awareness of sustainability in the built environment. GBI complements the country’s building bylaws and other relevant national codes of practices. GBI’s accreditation process is independent, transparent, and is managed by local building professionals who are competent and accountable.

Penang is the first state to prioritize green growth in order to maintain a robust green economy for the state, and to secure the state’s international competitiveness in manufacturing, tourism, services and building sectors. Penang is one of the top three governments that have the most projects registered and certified by GBI.

Today, I am delighted to present Certificates of Appreciation given out by PGC to the 16 projects that are based in Penang that have achieved GBI certification. I am told that, as at 8 October 2013, there are 38 Penang based projects registered with GBI, which is about 8% of the national total.

Out of these 38 registered projects, 16 projects have received GBI certification, and the remaining 22 are pending submission of their design to GBI. The 16 projects represent 11% of the total projects certified by GBI nationwide.

All the 16 projects have achieved GBI ratings of Gold, Silver or Certified. The majority of them, twelve, are residential developments, houses and apartments. Each and every one of them stands out because they are recognized as green buildings, and contributing to the greening of Penang. Three developments, Hotel Penaga, Lam Soon and Osram warehouses are already completed and are in operation. They all have interesting green building features.

I am told that GBI is recognised by the World Green Building Council, and to date, on its fourth anniversary of its launch in Penang, GBI has certified more than 70 million square feet of Gross Floor Area of buildings in Malaysia. More than 5.4 million square feet or 8%, came from projects based in Penang. To achieve 70 million square feet of Gross Floor Area in four years is indeed a clear sign that GBI is widely accepted by the industry.

I thank GBI for putting in a huge effort in Penang. There is so much PGC, GBI and MGBC can do together. As such, I am pleased to announce that we are developing three joint initiatives with GBI.

One, GBI has offered to certify the interior works of the PGC offices, located in Komtar, as a Pilot Project for their new tool currently in development, the GBI Interiors Tool. GBI has confirmed that being a Pilot Project, the registration fee will be waived.

Two, we are working with GBI on the possibility of certifying the Batu Kawan housing project using GBI. This is a challenge, because it would be the first large scale public housing project in the country to be certified green.

Three, we are exploring with GBI on how we can accreditate our new and existing PDC factories using the GBI Industrial New Construction and Industrial Existing Building tools.

We can implement it for new factories, and do the same for existing factories when the time is ripe for renovations. This will place Penang as the green industrialized manufacturing hub of the region, improves our efficiency and attracting even more investments.

As I had mentioned in my speech on Penang Green Report Card earlier this year, the Penang PR government is serious about making Penang the No. 1 in Malaysia in creating a cleaner, greener, safer and healthier state. With the cooperation of sincere organizations like GBI and MGBC, we are closer to achieving that.

Finally, on behalf of the Penang State Government, I would like to thank GBI for organizing today’s event, and PAM and MGBC for giving your support. There is a lot to do, and I hope to see further collaborative effort amongst PDC, GBI and MGBC.

Thank you.