CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

Our company has proven that the strategic integration of ESG presents a strong business case. It has established a unique value proposition for CDL, strengthening our reputation and trust amongst stakeholders and the community at large.

Dear Stakeholders,

In 2019, we saw rising sea levels, blazing wildfires, intense storms and rapid melting of glaciers threatening the longterm survival of people, property and nature. The year also concluded the hottest decade on record.1 Despite countries’ commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change, greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2019, locking in a warming trend for generations to come. UN Secretary-General António Guterres issued a dire warning about the global crisis, underlining that we are close to a “point of no return” on climate change.2

Closer to home, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called climate change “an existential threat” during the 2019 National Day Rally, highlighting Singapore’s vulnerability to rising sea levels. This was the first time that climate change was addressed on a national platform. The Meteorological Service Singapore warned that Singapore is heating up twice as fast as other cities, and extreme heat combined with the island’s high humidity could be life threatening.3

With the potential impact of global warming becoming almost too alarming to imagine, business as usual is not an option. As illustrated by Singapore‘s recent announcement to halve the amount of emissions produced by its 2030 peak by 2050, and given the rapid urbanisation of the global population, it has never been more critical for the built industry to lead the way on climate action. With buildings contributing to some 40% of energy-related carbon emissions, the built environment has huge potential for global carbon reduction.4

Having integrated sustainability into our operations for over two decades, CDL remains steadfast in embracing innovative strategies to mitigate the environmental impact of our operations and catalysing change within the larger ecosystem, through engaging our stakeholders across the value chain to create greater positive impact. Expanding on last year’s theme “Changing The Climate. Towards Future Value 2030 Goals”, this year’s Integrated Sustainability Report titled “Changing the Climate. Changing the Future.” aims to inspire the larger ecosystem and our value chain to accelerate climate action.

Sustainability is integral to CDL’s business and operations, as illustrated in and aligned with our ethos of “Conserving as We Construct” since 1995. As a testament to the management’s firm commitment to green buildings, CDL has amassed a portfolio of 110 Green Mark certified developments and office interiors by the BCA, the highest amongst private real estate companies in Singapore. Last year, we were also the only developer to clinch the BCA Quality Excellence Award – Quality Champion (Platinum) for seven consecutive years.

Our company has proven that the strategic integration of ESG presents a strong business case. It has established a unique value proposition for CDL, strengthening our reputation and trust amongst stakeholders and the community at large. Our early adoption of green buildings and innovation has placed us in a strong position to address present and future climate challenges.

The progress we made in integrating ESG strategically across our value chain has earned CDL global recognition on 12 leading sustainability benchmarks. We are honoured to be ranked the world’s top real estate company on Corporate Knights’ 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World and are the longest listed Singapore company on the Global 100 list since 2010.

“The progress we made in integrating ESG strategically across our value chain has earned CDL global recognition on 12 leading sustainability benchmarks.”

In addition, we are the only company in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong to be on the 2019 CDP A List for corporate climate action – the only Singapore company to be included for two consecutive years, and on the 2019 CDP A List for water security. These prestigious accolades, amongst many others, reaffirm our climate strategy and commitment, and underscore CDL’s positioning as a sustainable investment of choice.

I am glad that the company continues to contribute positively towards a low-carbon economy. In September 2019, CDL was amongst the pioneer batch of 87 companies worldwide pledging support to UNGC’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign, to set climate targets across our operations aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C.5 CDL expanded the use of sustainable finance in 2019 by leveraging on our ESG credentials to accelerate climate action within capital markets.

Our ESG-centric vision has built a sound foundation to mitigate climate-related business risks and is set to unlock new capital and business opportunities. Research has shown that more corporations are using ESG considerations as a lever to lower risk and thus factoring it into their acquisitions.6

Moving forward, the Board is fully supportive of the CDL management’s unwavering commitment to further enhance our ESG and green buildings’ performance. In the face of climate emergency, the only way to deliver long-term value creation for our investors, shareholders, and stakeholders is through responsible business practices for a sustainable future.

Kwek Leng Beng
Executive Chairman
March 2020

1 Press release, World Meteorological Organisation, 3 December 2019.
2 UN chief Guterres warns of ‘point of no return’, The Straits Times, 1 December 2019.
3 Why Singapore is heating twice as fast as the rest of the world, CNA, 13 January 2019.
4 2019 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction, Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, International Energy Agency and the UN
Environment Programme, December 2019.
5 Press release, UN Global Compact, 22 September 2019.
6 Global ESG Real Estate Investment Results, UN Environment Programme Financial Initiative, March 2019.