Leading Singapore-based luxury property developer Pontiac Land Private Limited (“Pontiac Land”) has converted US$180 million in bank loans for its Maldivian island archipelago Fari Islands (comprising of Patina Maldives, Fari Islands and The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands) into green loans, upon achieving EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) Advanced Certifications.
This is Pontiac Land’s first green loan and DBS, HSBC and UOB were the Green Structuring Banks. This also marks the first green loan in the Maldives for DBS and UOB; and HSBC’s first green loan for Maldives’ hotel sector. This significant milestone reaffirms Pontiac Land’s commitment to building a more sustainable future for generations to come.
(Mr) David Tsang, Chief Executive Officer of Pontiac Land Group said, “Pontiac Land takes a long-term view to our real estate developments and investments with core considerations towards responsibility, integrity and sustainability in every project. The Maldives is one of the world’s leading travel destinations and we hope to help lead and encourage the development of greater sustainability methods and practices in the region.”
(Mr) Chew Chong Lim, Group Head of Real Estate, Institutional Banking Group, DBS said, “We are delighted to work with like-minded partners like Pontiac Land, to enable the adoption of sustainable design features and green technologies that reduce the carbon footprint of a project. This is a prime example of how developers and the finance sector can drive collective action, and create a sustainable future together.”
(Ms) Regina Lee, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC Singapore said, “Pontiac Land’s green facility for the Fari Islands reflects the burgeoning commitment to sustainability in the hotel development space. We’re proud to be the primary lead arranger, facility, and security agent for the development of Pontiac Land’s two resorts in the Maldives. We are also honoured to be Pontiac Land’s key partner in their journey to achieve their environmental and sustainability goals. We expect to see more companies tapping into green finance to realise their low-carbon transition.”
(Mr) Leong Yung Chee, Head of Group Corporate Banking, UOB, said, “We congratulate Pontiac Land Group on achieving their first green loan through the Fari Islands project, and are pleased to have helped advise them on this achievement. To thrive in this evolving landscape, companies must begin to prioritise environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices and to ensure that these are integrated into their businesses. We look forward to more collaborations with progressive companies, like Pontiac Land Group, to help grow their business with green financing.”
With EDGE Advanced certification, an international green building standard developed by IFC (International Finance Corporation, member of the World Bank Group), Fari Islands is recognised as being zero carbon ready. From its inception to the day-to-day operations, Fari Islands had been built with sustainability in mind. Some key initiatives are highlighted below:
1) Sustainable Architecture and Design – Fari Islands was the largest hospitality project to benefit from the extensive use of offsite manufacturing technology known as ‘Mass Engineered Timber’ or ’MET’, that helped reduce carbon emissions by over 6,000 tonnes after production and transportation. The resorts’ biophilic designs support cross ventilation, while taking into consideration natural wave movements.
Instead of importing trees from foreign countries, the construction team conserved and transplanted trees from neighbouring Maldivian islands that were being cleared for development. Over 20,000 mature trees were rescued in the process. The team also eliminated single-use plastics and implemented strict waste management guidelines. These efforts set a strong foundation for sustainable resort operations post-opening.
2) Leveraging on Renewable Energy Sources – Departing from the conventional thatched roof structures prevalent in the Maldives, Fari Islands’ villas and amenities were designed with flat roofs, allowing solar panels to be easily mounted. This allowed Fari Islands to host one of the latest largest solar installations in the Maldives (>2MW) and to convert selected amenities to become 100% solar-powered. Pontiac Land is currently exploring other site-specific renewable energy solutions, and hopes to eventually achieve a future-ready integrated destination that is carbon-neutral without offsets.
3) Guest Experience and Education – The resorts at Fari Islands promote marine conservation and sustainability through partnerships and creative guest programming focused on coral propagation, ecological research, turtle rehabilitation and repurposing marine plastic. A strong emphasis was placed on kids-friendly activities to raise awareness amongst the next generation of champions for the ocean.
To further reduce import footprints, Fari Islands houses an organic permaculture garden that cultivates fresh pesticide-free produce, while food wastes are turned into organic fertilisers through bio-digesters. Guests are also treated to a range of sustainable amenities by Bamford and Haeckels.
Roots, a signature plant-based restaurant on Fari Islands, operates on the nose-to-tail, root-to-leaf principle that they share with guests to encourage them to adopt a more conscious and conscientious lifestyle.
1) Overcoming Developmental Challenges – Fari Islands was delivered on-schedule despite the Covid-19 pandemic, while a majority of the global supply chain were under lockdowns. To safeguard the construction team’s health, Fari Islands implemented strict protocols. However, wellbeing and social integration continued to be a priority. Apart from a calendar of regular recreational activities, cultural celebrations were observed and authentic hometown cuisines were served at mealtimes.
2) Fari Campus – A first in the Maldives, the island archipelago features Fari Campus, an entire island dedicated to employee wellbeing and personal development. Fari Campus hosts comfortable living quarters as well as a full suite of recreational facilities and amenities to foster a sense of belonging and community. This includes a full-sized soccer pitch. In partnership with leading hospitality institution Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), Fari Campus provides high quality Swiss education to employees.
About Fari Islands:
Fari Islands is an elevated Maldivian resort experience that celebrates nature, craft and connection. Anchored by three world-class hospitality brands, Fari Islands is located in the North Malé Atoll of the Maldives, a 50-minute speedboat journey from Malé International Airport.
The archipelago also features the picturesque Fari Marina, built around a vibrant Fari Beach Club, charming boutiques and a selection of handpicked, upscale food and beverage options. Spaces have been masterfully designed by renowned architects from Studio Mk27 (by Marcio Kogan), Kengo Kuma & Associates, and Kerry Hill Architects, to bring about a delicate balance of serene and social.
One of the islands is home to a thoughtful hospitality campus; Fari Campus is a dedicated island for staff with a focus on community, education, and engagement, and is the first of its kind in the Maldives.
For more information, visit fari-islands.com.
About Pontiac Land:
Pontiac Land is a privately-held property developer, owner, and operator based in Singapore. The Group’s collection of properties includes mixed-use developments with hospitality, commercial and residential components. Leveraging on sixty years of experience in luxury property development, Pontiac Land seeks to better the built environment through thoughtful architecture and design. Each development is curated with art and spaces are maintained by the Group’s in-house property management team to deliver hospitality to our guests and tenants. The collection spans Singapore, New York, Sydney and the Maldives.
In 2006, Pontiac Land co-founded Capella Hotel Group in Asia. The Group subsequently acquired Capella Hotel Group as a wholly-owned subsidiary in 2017, extending Pontiac Land’s presence to over 20 destinations globally.
For more information, visit pontiacland.com.
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