A Background in Architecture and Passion for ESG Inform this Development Professional’s Focus on Sustainability and Innovation
Senior Vice President, Development Management
Grace Leung is Prologis’ SVP of development management in China. A member of the China team for nearly eight years, Grace is an architect by training and a true pioneer in spirit. Learn more about how she’s advancing the company’s sustainability goals to help the environment and bring even greater value to our customers.
PLD Communications Team: Grace, please tell us about your experience and how it informs your work at Prologis.
Grace: I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with an architecture degree and spent seven years in the architecture and construction management fields in the U.S. before returning to China. Before Prologis, I was in charge of design, construction and facilities management for Walmart China and have developed more than 400 stores across China. I pioneered the use of LED for general lighting in their stores and established a mobile regional maintenance team to streamline the in-store technician headcount while improving technical support to better serve customers during my tenure there.
PLD Communications Team: How has your role at Prologis evolved since you joined the team?
Grace: Prologis’ commitment to ESG [environmental stewardship, social responsibility and governance] and continuous improvement is the driving force behind how my team and I conduct business in a more service-oriented and cost-effective manner. We are pleased to have received LEED recognitions, including LEED Silver, and we are the first in our sector to install solar bicycle stands and EV charging stations in our parks to support a sustainable environment and provide better service to our customers. [Note to readers: Prologis’ 2019 ESG Impact Report was released in late June; view it here.]
PLD Communications Team: Please tell us more about your sustainability work.
Grace: In 2019, we installed our first mobile energy storage system in one of our properties to increase power capacity—and to meet the needs of the customer today and in the future. This year, our new buildings under construction are being equipped with mobile energy storage systems instead of diesel generators for emergency power to reduce carbon emissions and to store power at night so that we can take advantage of lower rates. And, we are in the final stage of patenting our innovative mobile energy storage system.
PLD Communications Team: How do you connect your role to the company’s strategic long-term goals?
Grace: Customer centricity is particularly important, and my retail background gives me invaluable insights into the importance of customer service. Our success with EV charging stations is based on a nationwide survey to understand what our customers need and want. Change through innovation and operational excellence is a must, too. Two examples stand out: Our mobile energy storage system and using solar panels as the roofs of our bicycle stands represent the innovation that our team is so passionate about. This year, we will offer virtual tours of our new projects and have started implementation of smart meters, which can provide remote real-time data acquisition, processing, analysis and display for park users, make users’ power systems transparent and intelligent, and generate reports that we can use to create energy-saving measures and reduce operating costs.
PLD Communications Team: How would you describe your approach to effective and inspiring leadership?
Grace: Prologis’ focus on culture and talent is of utmost importance if we are to stay ahead of what’s next. I therefore have been encouraging my team to embrace change, and I have to thank my team for their tremendous effort in the successful implementation of the projects I mentioned above. I enjoy empowering my colleagues to take on additional responsibilities in order to groom our future leaders.
PLD Communications Team: Your job is not only very technical but also very detailed, with a reliance on creativity that turns ideas into reality. How do you balance your professional and personal life?
Grace: I love painting and calligraphy—they are a great way for me to unwind and “exercise” other areas of my brain. I also like small animals and enjoy playing with my dog.