Sino Group Celebrates 10th Anniversary of ‘Mission Green Thumb’
10-year collaboration with Hong Chi Association provides job opportunities for the less privileged while promoting gardening and care, building a better community together
On the heels of the well-received Mission Green Top programme, Sino Property Services, the property services arm of Sino Group, collaborated with Hong Chi Association again in 2009 on Mission Green Thumb, a seedling adoption scheme and the second programme under the ‘Mission Green’ series.
To commemorate the tenth anniversary and the World Environment Day, a ceremony was held today, officiated by Mr Alfred Sit, JP, Director of Electrical & Mechanical Services; Mr Edwin Lam, PDSM, General Secretary of Hong Chi Association; Mr Edwin Lau, MH, Founder and Executive Director of The Green Earth as well as like-minded tenants and supporters. The distinguished guests unveiled an impressive Kokedama Earth, symbolising the importance of collective effort in building a better world together.
Speaking at the ceremony today, Mr C W Kwan, Associate Director, Sino Property Services, remarks, ‘We are delighted to have the opportunity to work on “Mission Green Thumb”, and would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to our colleagues, tenants and Hong Chi Association for the great support. The tenth anniversary is an encouragement for us to promote sustainability and more environment-friendly initiatives. Thank you for being with us on this green journey, the best is yet to come’.
The multifaceted programme combines gardening, social inclusion and community engagement. Tenants can adopt and name the seedlings tended by Hong Chi Association, bringing them closer to the less privileged. Sales proceeds, without deduction of costs, are pledged to Hong Chi Association to support gardening training with the objective of enabling them to take up gainful employment opportunities in the open market. Members also get better prepared for prospective employment opportunities and receive recognition for their gardening know-how. Twelve Hong Chi Association trainees have participated in the programme and half of them have found jobs in the open market, demonstrating the significance of this meaningful initiative.
Mr Sunny Yeung, Executive Director of Sino Group and Convenor of the Group’s Sustainability Committee, who initiated the programme ten years ago, adds, ‘Plants have proven, wonderful effects on the environment and individuals. This is the reason we initiated the seedling adoption programme to promote green message and offer help to those in need. Every plant in this project signifies the close connection between Sino Group and Hong Chi Association. It’s a joint harvest for us.’
Mr Edwin Lam, PDSM, General Secretary of Hong Chi Association, expressed his appreciation of the programme, ‘“Mission Green Thumb” is our second collaboration with Sino Group, which enables full play of our members’ talent. Trainees’ communication skills, concentration and EQ have significantly improved after joining the project. We are glad to see the improvements in self-confidence and satisfaction.’
Ah To, a former Hong Chi Association trainee who joined the ‘Mission Green’ programme ten years ago, talks excitedly about his very first job in the open market as a gardening assistant at a private housing estate. He is grateful for Hong Chi Association’s tutelage and most importantly, the recognition of his gardening talent.
‘I would like to congratulate Hong Chi Association and Sino Property Services colleagues on this memorable milestone, and it holds special meaning as today is the World Environment Day. At Sino, sustainability is central to our business as we seek to create a better community. We work with our people, customers and partners to support the less privileged while engaging the broader community to make our society a better place to live, work and play. “Mission Green Thumb” is a good example of a joint effort programme, through which a corporation, an NGO and the community are all working together to create a better future,’ commends Mr Daryl Ng, JP, Deputy Chairman of Sino Group.
A brand new seedling adoption scheme kicks off
The initial phase of ‘Mission Green Thumb’ was launched at Exchange Tower and Skyline Tower, and subsequently extended to other properties under the Group’s management. The seedlings, tended by trainees weekly under the tutelage of instructors, flourish and help create green oasis in the heart of bustling commercial precincts in addition to enhancing the environment. Over the years, more than 400 seedlings have been adopted by kind-hearted tenants.
In honour of the tenth anniversary, Sino Group colleagues made some 250 kokedamas for adoption and charity sales at 20 residential and commercial developments as well as malls. The response has been encouraging with about 200 kokedamas sold or adopted. Kokedama is a form of Japanese garden art where a plant’s root system is covered with a ball of soil and moss rather than planting in a pot, combining garden art and plastic reduction to protect our environment. For HK$360 a year, donor can adopt and name the kokedama. The adoption programme will be extended to Sino Plaza, The Hermitage and other Sino properties.
The Group’s ‘Mission Green’ series started with ‘Mission Green Top’ in 2008, a multifaceted programme combining urban farming, environmental protection, supporting the underprivileged and engaging the broader community.
A 1,000-square-foot rooftop space at Skyline Tower was converted into an urban roof garden to grow seasonal vegetables and fruits. They are cared for by trainees of local NGO Hong Chi Association. Produce is regularly harvested and sold to tenants, with sales proceeds channelled to Hong Chi Association. Tenants and colleagues engage with Hong Chi Association trainees to share gardening experiences and tips. Since the launch, 12 trainees, 130 colleagues and over 3,500 tenants have participated in this meaningful programme.
The ‘Mission Green’ series has blossomed into a wide range green activities, making strides in a wide spectrum of areas, from plant adoption, hydroponics, recycling, upcycling to art and green education.