In recent years, both the public and private sectors have increasingly recognised the strategic connection between sustainability and financial performance.
There has been greater investor demand than ever for environmental, social and governance (ESG) data, which influence investment decisions.
Sustainability reporting has also become mandatory for listed companies in many Asian markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan. Businesses that do not adopt sustainable practices may face reputational or operational risks that will impact their license to operate, and be exposed to higher operating costs, such as the upcoming water price increases and carbon tax in Singapore.
With the rising prominence of and demand for sustainability – especially in relation to financial performance – and the increasing regulation on sustainability reporting, companies need to communicate their sustainability strategies, practices and performance.
Among those miles ahead of the curve is real estate giant City Developments Limited (CDL), a Singapore-listed eco-developer and recognised leader in sustainability.
Since adopting the ethos of “Conserving as we Construct” in 1995, CDL has integrated ESG principles into its business practices, making sustainability an integral part of its corporate strategy. Through championing groundbreaking innovations and setting new ESG benchmarks for responsible practices, CDL is committed to creating lasting value for its business, stakeholders, community and the environment.
Testament to its sustainability track record, CDL was ranked the Top Real Estate Management and Development Company in the prestigious Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World in 2017, as well as Asia’s Top Property Developer and Top Singapore Company in the Channel NewsAsia Sustainability Ranking for three consecutive years.
The company also remains the first Singapore corporation to be listed on four of the world’s leading sustainability benchmarks – FTSE4Good Index Series (since 2002), MSCI Global Sustainability Indices (since 2009), Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World (since 2010) and Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (since 2011).
CDL has been a forerunner in sustainability reporting from as far back as 2004, even before the Singapore Exchange’s rules for sustainability reporting on a ‘comply or explain’ basis were introduced in 2016.
In 2015, CDL became the first property developer in Singapore to adopt an Integrated Reporting approach for its sustainability report. Based on the International Integrated Reporting Council’s framework, CDL’s Integrated Sustainability Report connects the company’s ESG performance with economic impact and highlights its value creation through six capitals – Financial, Organisational, Natural, Manufactured, Social and Relationship, and Human – to make stronger business sense for investors and stakeholders.
In 2017, CDL further raised the bar for sustainability reporting by becoming the first Singapore company to adopt the latest Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards for sustainability reporting launched in October 2016. The enhanced GRI Standards promote greater accountability along CDL’s supply chain and ESG disclosure to address stakeholders’ concerns.
In addition, CDL has launched a dedicated sustainability microsite (www.cdlsustainability.com). In today’s globalised and connected world where information flows at the speed of light, CDL’s digital dynamic strategy will enable more timely communication and robust ESG disclosure to its shareholders, investors and partners.
Sustainability has also been gaining prominence in other areas.
Globally, actions for sustainability integration have gained strong momentum. The ratification of the Paris Agreement by nations and the alignment of corporate agendas with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are signs of global commitment to fight climate change.
Locally, the Singapore government is leading the way in climate action, with the Climate Action Plan launched in August 2016, Green Building Master Plan which aims to green 80 percent of all buildings by 2030, and the ratification of the Paris Agreement and pledge to reduce Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions intensity by 36 percent by 2030. 2030 is a clear milestone year for global climate action and sustainable development goals.
Against this backdrop, CDL announced its CDL Future Value 2030 blueprint earlier this year.
Mr Grant Kelley, CEO of CDL said, “Building on our sustainability vision to ‘Create Future Value’, we have strategically established a new blueprint – CDL Future Value 2030. It encapsulates our long-standing sustainability commitment and best practices of over 20 years, and sets out clear directions and targets to guide us towards 2030.”
In addition, CDL has aligned its robust ESG goals and targets with nine SDGs that are relevant to its core business and growth strategy.
With increased recognition of the link between ESG and financial performance, greater demand for transparency, and rising costs of natural resources, the CDL Future Value 2030 blueprint will effectively create tangible value from sustainable practices.
Some core targets of the blueprint include:
- To achieve science-based target of reducing carbon emissions by 38 percent from 2007 levels
- To reduce usage intensity of electricity and water by 25 percent from 2007 levels
- To reduce waste disposed by 50 percent
- To maintain 100 percent tenant participation in CDL Green Lease Partnership Programme
- To ensure that 50 percent of appointed suppliers are certified by recognised environmental standards
- To ensure that 50 percent of our construction materials are derived from recycled content, and certified eco-friendly or low-carbon sources.
For more information on CDL’s Integrated Sustainability Report 2017 and CDL Future Value 2030, please visit www.cdlsustainability.com