2016 was a milestone year for sustainability with global developments like the landmark Paris Agreement and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Locally, Singapore set out the national vision for a sustainable future through the introduction of the Climate Action Plan, reinforcing the 2015 edition of the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint.
The emphasis on sustainability is also growing in global financial markets, with investors having more access to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data. There has been progressively more evidence that investors are placing greater importance on such data, believing in a causal link between good ESG practices and the long-term success and economic value of a company, beyond just pursuing financial returns. Furthermore, research1 has now shown that investors are actively incorporating such data into investment decisions, reinforcing the business case for sustainability. Businesses must adapt to the increasing importance of sustainability, capitalise on such opportunities and unlock the potential of integrating sustainability into their operations.
Creating long-term sustained value has always been the priority of the Board and Management of CDL. For over two decades, we have been a firm advocate for sustainable development and I am heartened that our steadfast commitment has placed Singapore and CDL on the world map of sustainability.
Singapore is ranked the most sustainable city in Asia and second in the world after Zurich, according to the Sustainable Cities Index 2016 from global design and consulting firm Arcadis. This was a marked improvement from its 10th position in 2015, when this global index was first launched.
Testament to our commitment to sustainability, CDL is ranked the Top Singapore Company and Most Sustainable Corporation in Real Estate Management & Development on the eminent 2017 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World ranking. In 2016, CDL was once again voted Asia’s Top Property Developer and Top Singapore Company in the Channel NewsAsia Sustainability Ranking for three consecutive years. CDL also remains as the first Singapore corporation to be listed on four of the world’s leading sustainability benchmarks – FTSE4Good Index Series (since 2002), MSCI ESG Indexes (since 2009), Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World (since 2010), and Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (since 2011).
With the rising demand for ESG data, there is a greater need for companies to communicate their sustainability strategies, practices and performance. In response, we are launching our CDL Future Value 2030 blueprint. Aligned with our corporate vision of “Building Value for Tomorrow, Today”, this blueprint details how CDL’s long-established sustainability strategy and best practices will continue to add value to our business, stakeholders, investors and the planet. Most importantly, it sets clear directions and ESG goals towards 2030, a milestone year for global climate goals and UN SDGs.
To reinforce the Board’s role in advancing sustainability within CDL, the Board-level Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance Committee has been renamed the “Board Sustainability Committee” as of November 2016.
Amid the fast-changing business landscape, the Board is fully committed to supporting the Management in maintaining CDL’s leadership and dedication to governance and sustainability best practices for continued long-term business growth and achieving greater value for stakeholders.
Kwek Leng Beng
|1||G. Unruh, D. Kiron, N. Kruschwitz, M. Reeves, H. Rubel, and A.M. zum Felde, “Investing For a Sustainable Future,” MIT Sloan Management Review, May 2016.|