When committing to something as costly and permanent as the built environment, ignoring sustainability factors is “penny-wise and pound-foolish”, says Wong Heang Fine, CEO of Surbana Jurong Group. “Everybody thinks sustainability is costly, but the fact is: If you don’t spend now, you’ll pay for it later.”
Wong points to the recent floods in Australia. “Both at the government and individual level, the cost can be tremendous, along with the disruption and threat to life,” he tells The Edge Singapore.
“Climate — how do you post a cost on that?” Wong asks. Faced with the threat of climate change, the goal is to minimise the impact on the environment when constructing buildings and cities that consume less in the long run.