AYER Holdings walks the ESG talk

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Bromelia @ Bukit Puchong, landed with gated and guarded Tropical living in the heart of Bukit Puchong.

Bromelia @ Bukit Puchong, landed with gated and guarded Tropical living in the heart of Bukit Puchong.

Malaysia’s longest-listed public company keeps its eyes on the future

In 1907, AYER Holdings Bhd, then Ayer Hitam Planting Syndicate Bhd (TAHPS), began its career cultivating rubber on the Bukit Hitam Estate, Selangor. The company celebrated its 115th year in 2022, boasting an enduring ownership record which had not changed throughout its legacy, expanding its business and diversifying into property development and construction in Bandar Bukit Puchong, Selangor. 

With the increasing calls for sustainable and green living in the wake of climate change, as well as the property industry’s impact on the environment, AYER Holdings stood alongside other developers in facing the new century with a dire new challenge.

However, unlike the rest, AYER Holdings held over a century of practice in resilience. In 2018, the Sustainability Working Committee (SWC) was born. Its enterprising agenda of sustainability ensured integrity in all its initiatives and exemplified its diligence to celebrate life. 

When it came to the importance of environmental sustainability, AYER Holdings acted in accordance with the United Nation’s twelfth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of responsible consumption and production, with its urban farms, which is currently in its initial planning stages and estimated to span two to three acres of land in Bukit Puchong. 

AYER Holdings’ Property Development building as well as the Bukit Puchong sales gallery saw the implementation of a solar system panel, reducing carbon footprint and electricity consumption.

Capping off energy efficient savings, AYER Holdings also invested in water efficiency, with its rainwater harvesting system at its BP Newtown shop lots and Bromelia semi-detached units in Bandar Bukit Puchong. Allowing for the conservation of rainwater also reduced the surface runoff and stress on any existing external drainage capacity. These would aid in flood mitigation purposes.

EPIC Residence represents luxury of space and location of convenience with forward thinking features.

EPIC Residence represents luxury of space and location of convenience with forward thinking features.

Social sustainability in action

Understanding that social sustainability is just as important as environmental sustainability, AYER Holdings regularly engaged with marginalised and special needs communities, taking the role of a responsible developer with passion and commitment. 

Its initiatives included breaking fast with Anak-Anak Yatim from Pusat Jagaan Mesra Limpahan Kasih, a Heroes of Humanity project in collaboration with Taylor’s International School students to build furniture as a donation to 10 underprivileged families, and a wide range of fundraising efforts in their goal of reducing inequalities.

These efforts were not contained to external operations. AYER Holdings also ensured that their initiatives impacted their staff, with a recognition that change could only start from within.

Encouraging decent work, the company practised a culture of a holistic, healthy work environment through bi-annual town halls, E-employee engagement surveys (EES) and market salary benchmarking exercises. The latter was conducted in 2018 and 2021 to ensure that employee remuneration at AYER Holdings remained competitive.

These were coupled with opportunities for knowledge enhancement through training programmes provided for all staff members. Going above and beyond, the company even held staff welfare initiatives which included food aid at AYER Holdings' plantations and relief initiatives for those affected by Klang Valley’s floods. 

AYER Holdings also initiated various partnerships with stakeholders to encourage health and wellness, building a sustainable community not just with their developments, but also with their people. As gender equality measures improve in Malaysia, seeing over 30% of women in senior leadership positions, AYER Holding took charge to enhance its senior management and board members.

Taking proactive steps to increase diverse participation in terms of gender and cultural background, AYER saw a whopping 51% of female participation across the company and 30% at the board level.

Andira Place, 2-Storey Shop Offices.

Andira Place, 2-Storey Shop Offices.

Justice and strong institutions

In its goal towards sustainable communities, the company held a firm belief in the aspect of governance, assuming responsibility for its role of guiding and nurturing the community. AYER Holdings is committed to a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption, with regulations that include an independent audit committee, an independent nomination and remuneration committee as well as an independent board chairman.

These measures act as safeguards to a sustainable and long-lasting business, providing the company with the necessary tools to ensure operational effectiveness with ample mitigation processes.

“AYER has survived 2 world wars, numerous economic downturns and a few global crises which impacted external demand and supply. It is the adaptability in the face of challenging and changing times that makes our company distinctive,” AYER group chief operating officer Jeannie Khoo said.

“We are able to achieve this award recognition as we are able to build upon the successes of the owners, guided by a strong and capable board of directors, thrive on the dedication and performance commitment of our people and enjoy the partnerships with our community, business partners and stakeholders,” she added.

AYER Holdings' current launches include Bromelia and Andira Place in Bandar Bukit Puchong, with upcoming launches Dahlia and Erica.

With its well-established commitment to celebrating life, Khoo noted that without a doubt, AYER would continue to move forward as a robust and influential Malaysian property developer. Its deep roots in the nation’s history remain a core pillar pushing AYER to listen, serve, inspire and live.


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