JLL revolutionizes rooftop farm operating model

Revitalizing an industrial building through a one-stop solution integrating recycling, rooftop greenery, interaction and sharing

March 25, 2019

HONG KONG, 25 March 2019 – JLL is pleased to announce that its “Urban Farm” has reaped another good harvest. The rooftop farm atop YKK Building II in Tuen Mun is operated in an innovative self-financing model, and is designed to integrate rooftop greenery into a sustainable lifestyle. By encouraging healthy interaction between the landlord and the tenants as well as fostering a cooperative community, the programme has fully utilized the idle space in the industrial building to add green elements and a new image to the property.

The rooftop farm was launched by JLL in collaboration with the property owner YKK (HK) Limited with an area of 9,000 sq ft and is JLL’s second “Urban Farm” project. Being creative and innovative in how it is run, the farm offers a one-stop solution that combines self-financing, farming and harvesting with food distribution. With the full support and participation of the property owner and its tenants alike since its preparatory stages, the project features:

·         A unique self-financing model: working closely with the property owner and its tenants, JLL has established an exclusive fund for the “Urban Farm” project with money made by recycling and selling cardboard boxes and related materials discarded by the tenants. The fund is used to purchase seeds, equipment and soil needed to cultivate the farm and support the project’s day-today operations and maintenance.

·         A rooftop farm that promotes skyrise greenery: the immense rooftop farm is managed with the backing of social enterprise Rooftop Republic. Through an array of gardening workshops, events and guided tours, the project uses urban organic farming to encourage a closer human-nature relationship, and support sustainable development – all the while improving air quality and sprucing up the environment. Last December, the farm produced 400 kilograms of a wide range of fresh produce for its first harvest.

·         Interactive activities and food distribution, bringing the community together: the property owner and its tenants’ employees take an active role in the farming activities, and the restaurant adjacent to the farm has helped to cook the produce harvested for these employees free of charge. Through this project, the building has become a gathering hub for people to carry out recreational activities. In addition, half of the produce harvested from the farm is donated to food recycling organizations such as Food Grace, in order to support needy families and groups in the community.

JLL rolled out its first “Urban Farm” project as early as 2014. Upholding the philosophy of sustainable development, the firm is committed to promoting the sustainability of both the firm itself and the real estate industry by focusing on four aspects in line with the firm’s vision of “Building a Better Tomorrow”: customer service, employee management, office construction and community development.

Chan Chi-keung, Senior Director of Property Management at JLL, commented, “JLL stays steadfast in driving the transformation of the real estate industry. As such, we are the first property management company in Hong Kong to involve its buildings in an urban rooftop farming initiative. Our ‘Urban Farm’ projects serve as an eloquent example that showcases to the public what sustainable city living looks like through a flexible operating model. We are proud to play a part in creating a more inviting community in a city regarded as one of the most densely populated places in the world, and helping to improve its urban landscape.”

Sotomi Funasugi, Director & Factory Manager at YKK (HK) Limited, said, “We have always been a strong supporter of green initiatives. The rooftop farm atop YKK Building helps turn the building’s underutilized space into a place where our tenants can come together, hence strengthening our community bonds. It also allows us to enjoy the fun of farming, offering an opportunity to learn about growing food despite the hustle and bustle of city life. We find it rewarding to work together in growing the produce, and then sharing the harvest with local charities and those in need.”

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About YKK (Hong Kong) Limited

YKK (Hong Kong) Limited was established in 1966 as an overseas subsidiary of Japan-based YKK Corporation. The company produces and sells zippers, plastic parts and tape notions, among others, under the brand name of YKK. Our Tuen Mun factory building serves as a production base in Hong Kong for the parent company, and is also available for rental to private tenants as a rental building. In 1992 we acquired ESBI, a company that produces and sells plastic buttons, to achieve the goal of becoming a general manufacturer of apparel accessories. We set up YKK Zipper Shenzhen Company Limited in 1998, in order to serve the emerging China market more effectively. 

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.3 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of over 90,000 as of December 31, 2018. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit

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