Sustainability is not just a goal, it is a mere necessity, but Indian Mall developers and retailers are only just starting to think green whereas their counterparts across the world have already put their sustainable strategies in place and are working to save the planet. In conversation with IndiaRetailing.com, Yogeshwar Sharma, COO, Select CityWalk mall, which is one of the leading malls in Delhi, talks about the initiatives taken by them to make their mall green and environment friendly.
How Green is your mall and do you think it’s just a passing fad or a ground reality?
One of the major initiatives that we have started is that we do not waste water at all, 100 percent water is recycled. We have ETP and STP plants, so whatever waste we generate we convert it in to manure and then the manure is used in the horticulture department of the mall. Another thing we do is we don’t sell our garbage, we have tied up with an agency which takes it out.
It is not practically possible to generate electricity from solar these days as the requirements are huge but to some extent however way it is possible we use solar energy. We also have many plants in and around the building so that the heat load is less.
Also, please share the eco-friendly measures that your mall has taken or will take in future.
We have a building which is double glazed just to restrict the heat load in the building. All our glasses in and around the building are heat insulated. We use the free food in the mall just to generate in to manure. For creating awareness amongst the consumers about the long-term benefits of patronising green developments, malls can participate in eco friendly events or programmes happening, like earth day. We show our concern and request people to participate in these types of events. If any body comes to us that we want to do some eco friendly event or promotions in the mall we happily participate in that.
Do, you think it’s high time for us to start thinking green or is it still a long road ahead for Indian malls to turn green.
In India solar panels are cost effective so they dont use it. Huge surface tarrif is required to put the solar panel which is not practical these days. When we talk about the upcoming malls there can be certain things that can be done in order start thinking Green.
There are many advantages to green sustainable architecture as it helps sustain environment, but does it prove beneficial to the owners too by reducing day-to-day operating expenditure?
Now days new technologies are helping in a great way where the owners are happy. The technology advancement in the industry are very strong and fast. Earlier the cost was very high or technology was not available, today the gap is being built very quickly.
According to you is the cost of green building much higher than regular development projects?
At the moment yes, but with the new advances in the technology cost of green building is becoming reasonable. When you see long term horizon then the day to day cost will come down. So the developers with the long term horizons will be able to do justice.
Do, you think that it should be a mandatory measure for the retail real estate developers to make their buildings green and environment friendly, do you think that should be the way forward in the Indian mall development industry?
Certain things should be mandatory but where the technology is not available there has to be recommendatory. So I think if it becomes a law then it becomes mandatory. Mandatory is the only way to make real estate developers will make their buildings green and environment friendly, else people will not understand going forward. For the new building it should be made mandatory. The rules should be such that it should be practical in day to day life. If technology is available at a very high cost then developers will try to avoid it.
Do you think that government should give some tax rebate to the mall developers those who are adhering by the green/ environmental friendly laws.
Anybody who is doing a good job should be appreciated.