As one of the region’s leading international developers of urban real estate,
Swire aims to be the top global sustainable development performer in the industry by 2030
Swire Properties Inc, a South Florida international developer of urban real estate, continues driving ambitious corporate climate action through its SD 2030 Strategy to fulfill the goal of becoming the global sustainability leader in the industry by 2030.
The strategy is built on five pillars - places, people, partners, performance (economic) and performance (environment) - which underpin the company’s business activities. Swire Properties Inc adopted the Science Based Targets initiative (“SBTi”) in 2019 establishing a long-term decarbonization trajectory for its portfolios around the world, in line with the Paris Agreement. The publication of the SD 2030 Development Report released in April 2021 provides transparency to stakeholders on the progress made and demonstrates Swire’s commitment to operate in an environmentally, socially, and economically responsible manner.
In Miami, Swire Properties has partnered with entities including The Underline, Moffatt & Nichol, The Lotus House, and Overtown Youth Center respectively to take environmental action, educate, and inspire a more sustainable lifestyle throughout South Florida.
“Creative Transformation through sustainable initiatives is central to Swire’s business philosophy and company culture,” said Kieran Bowers, president of Swire Properties. “Miami has been our U.S. home base for over 40 years, and our goal to be the leading sustainable development performer in our industry globally by 2030 applies equally to all the geographies we invest in. Placemaking with sustainable development at the forefront of our thinking will deliver positive value over the long term for the stakeholders of today and future generations.”
Swire Properties Inc.’s notable recognitions include being listed in two prominent global sustainability indices – Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) and Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). The developer’s premiere mixed-use project in Miami, FL, Brickell City Centre, was awarded LEED Gold for Neighborhood Development, the highest honor of LEED certification. The company continues taking action with the following Miami-focused initiatives:
Advocating an Urban Lifestyle with The Underline
Swire’s $1.05 billion mixed-use development and “city within a city,” Brickell City Centre, has continued to catalyze the neighborhood, encouraging an urban lifestyle for residents, workers, and tourists who prefer walkability and an active lifestyle. With a shared ethos to revitalize public urban spaces, Swire joined The Underline team, who noticed a demand for more mobility opportunities and an underutilized land below Miami’s Metrorail near the Brickell City Centre neighborhood. To date, Swire has committed a total of $1.1 million to the organization and continues to be a major sponsor of this transformational project.
In February 2021, the park’s first section, “Brickell Backyard,” officially opened with over 30,000 native plants and trees, art installations, a sound stage, outdoor gym, meeting and dining tables, and gathering spaces. As an advocate of the project, Swire sponsors the “Flex Court,” a flexible outdoor space for recreational activities, and has a continued partnership with the organization, hosting annual programming that will underwrite the ability to service underserved youth communities and promote a wellness-driven and sustainable lifestyle. This additional programming will include subsidies up to $15,000 annually.
Taking Action to Preserve the Miami Coastline
In January 2021, concluding a three-year exercise, The United States Army Corps of Engineers proposed a plan to protect Biscayne Bay and the Downtown area from storm surge and sea level rise. While the proposal met the engineering criteria, the solution risked compromising the functionality of the waterfront.
Swire engaged the engineering firm Moffatt & Nichol to propose an alternative solution and design a long-term environmental solution that both protected and enhanced Miami’s urban coastline. Formally presented in February 2021, the plan envisions a series of barriers to dissipate wave energy including a combination of submerged oyster reefs and earthen berms in the bay. The output, which also meets engineering criteria, has provided a platform for municipalities to discuss viable nature-based solutions as an alternative to physical barriers.
In February 2021, Swire joined Miami Dade County’s “BE305 Challenge,” an initiative to reduce energy and water consumption by at least 20 percent in participating buildings across Miami-Dade County by 2026. The company entered Brickell City Centre entirely, including the residential towers Reach and Rise, EAST Miami Hotel, and office towers TWO and THREE BCC. Significant changes have already taken place including replacing all lights in the retail parking garage with LED lighting, reducing usage by 327% annually. LED lighting replacements will continue in the residential parking garage as well as common areas throughout the entire complex. Other upgrades to the green roof irrigation system, as well as landscaping, have already reduced water and energy consumption, while the company continues to implement additional methods to contribute to similar savings. New implementations that contribute to the BE305 Challenge complement the many sustainable elements already in place at BCC, such as the having 116 electric vehicle charging stations right on-site (23 Tesla, 86 Blink, and seven Lucid) as well as its architectural jewel, the CLIMATE RIBBON™, which spans 150,000 square feet and serves multiple purposes such as protecting visitors from rain and sunlight, creating air flow to optimize temperatures, and collecting rainwater for reuse.
PLANT: A Shift in Mindset Amongst Our Community
During Earth Month in April 2021, Swire Properties introduced PLANT (People, Lifestyle and Nature Together), an initiative that included a series of ongoing educational and interactive activations that inspire environmental action and a more sustainable lifestyle. PLANT included on-site events at Brickell City Centre such as a clothing drive, “Pop-Ins” highlighting ethically sourced brands and other themed activities. All fees collected for the “Pop-Ins” will be donated to One Tree Planted, a non-profit organization focused on global reforestation. With $1.00 per tree, a total of 10,500 trees will be planted because of this initiative. The clothing drive collected one ton of clothing and textiles, which were donated to three organizations: Dress for Success, Suited for Success, and American Textile Recycle Service. This effort equates to the reduction of approximately 6,000 to 8,000 pounds of CO2 and greenhouse gasses. The company will continue PLANT throughout the year by partnering with sustainability-focused organizations that will have the opportunity to propose initiatives that bring further awareness and educational tools to the local community. After evaluating and selecting the proposals, Swire will partner with these organizations, lending thought leadership, industry expertise, executive sponsorship as well as pre-determined financial subsidies to bring these impactful projects and co-sponsored programs to life.
Embracing the Community with ‘Home Grown’
To deepen its connection with the people of Miami, Swire Properties launched “Home Grown” – an ongoing program that partners with Miami-based nonprofits and community leaders to expand their philanthropic scope throughout South Florida. In partnership with The Lotus House, a foundation dedicated to improving the lives of women, youth and children experiencing homelessness, Swire Properties launched “Home Grown at The Village,” a program to instill knowledge and empower the women of Lotus House via culinary learning opportunities led by Miami’s top culinary talents. Swire Properties also partnered with Overtown Youth Center (OYC) to launch the "Gift a Connection" to aid underprivileged neighborhoods without access to the internet for online schooling required during the pandemic. In the first quarter of 2021, Swire supported over 40 families (180 individuals) in need with one year of fully paid internet/ Wi-Fi service. The developer will continue working with OYC to support the next generation.