Contributed by Kenny Phang.
In collaboration with Defy Media.
Every now and then a simple initiative makes all the difference. This is what 1 Utama’s Go Green Community Projects aspire to achieve. From promoting the use of furoshiki cloths in place of wrapping paper, to providing reusable tote bags for shopping, 1 Utama has throughout the years incorporated various eco-activities to promote sustainability and elevate the consumer experience.
Among these is 1 Utama’s longest running Feed-The-Fish Charity Campaign introduced back in 2004 as a testament to the mall’s dedication to environmental stewardship. The unique campaign was conceived in line with the creation of 1 Utama’s multi award-winning Rainforest – Malaysia’s 1st indoor tropical rainforest, an extraordinary tourism attraction flourishing within the heart of the shopping centre.
Meticulously cultivated by a team of experts comprising botanists and landscape architects, this living ecosystem has a functional microclimate. Key factors such as sunlight, nutrients and water are thoughtfully planned for long term growth, so much so that this amazing enclave resembles an actual rainforest at about 1,000 metres where trees grown to full heights form a forest habitat. These include some very rare species of trees sourced from Sabah and Sarawak transported into the Rainforest by cranes. Needless to say, the Rainforest is a costly project from its very conception, but the commitment to build, educate and create environmental awareness remains 1 Utama’s promise.
Today, more than 100 forest trees, koi fishes, and even tortoises reside here with other interesting sights and features such as a giant freshwater fish aquarium, waterfall and Rainbow suspension bridge. Spanning 4-storeys, the Rainforest has become a haven for tourists and shoppers alike, offering a serene green respite from the urban hustle and bustle. Bringing the outdoors indoors, the Rainforest also doubles as a cool alfresco dining zone with F&B outlets surrounding it.
Cashless Vending Machine
At the core of the Feed-The-Fish Charity Campaign lies a noble purpose – to raise funds for wildlife by supporting various non-profit organizations in their conservation efforts, while at the same time keeping fishes at the Rainforest happy and well fed.
At Lower Ground Rainforest, 1 Utama sponsors and packages fish food for sale at RM1 per capsule, available daily from the mall’s brand new Feed-The-Fish Vending Machine. Shoppers will find it convenient to purchase fish food via their 1PAY E-wallet and credit/debit cards, seamlessly connecting the act of contributing to wildlife conservation with the ease of modern digital cashless transactions.
Feeding Fishes For A Good Cause
100% of sales proceeds are donated yearly by 1 Utama. To date, a total of RM202,359 has been channeled to promote environmental awareness and wildlife conservation through the meaningful Feed-The-Fish initiative.
Over the years, 1 Utama has established partnerships with esteemed organizations, directing donations to the Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sandakan, Malaysian Nature Society to preserve Perak’s Temengor forest habitat, HOPE (Help Our Penyu) for sea turtle conservation, Zoo Negara’s animal adoption programmes, MARECET for dolphin and marine research, and WWF Malaysia to help re-establish the fish population in Sabah’s Molleangan Island.
In December 2023, 1 Utama has forged an alliance with TRAFFIC, a global leading non-governmental organization committed to combating animal trafficking. Animal poaching stands as one of the most profitable criminal enterprises, fueling biodiversity loss and environmental damage. South East Asia is very much a centre, acting as a source, transit and consumer for thousands of animals. This includes Malaysia.
“Illegal trade of animals is a conservation crisis. Global trafficking threatens the survival of many endangered species driving many animals to extinction. Through our partnership with TRAFFIC, we aim to directly aid in safeguarding the Malayan Tiger, Orangutan, Radiated Tortoise and White Rhino, all facing critical threats from illegal wildlife trade,” emphasized Lee Li Lian, 1 Utama’s Public Relations and Sustainability Senior Manager.
“Our commitment extends beyond the mall; it’s a commitment to preserving our planet’s biodiversity. The generous contributions of our shoppers supporting 1 Utama’s Feed-The-Fish charity drive enables us to play a significant role in protecting animals as we take meaningful steps to restore the ecosystem towards a more sustainable future,” continued Lee.