CSR & Sustainability

Impact – Energy & Carbon Emissions, Water, Waste


For over a decade, CDL has been advocating environmental sustainability in Singapore’s built environment. We make it our business to take concerted efforts towards preventing pollution on the environment and striving to apply environmentally-friendly practices in our operations.

As part of the ISO 14001 framework, CDL identifies significant environmental aspects for our business operations that can potentially have critical negative environmental impacts. The risk level of environmental aspect is determined using a risk assessment technique consisting of the likelihood of the occurrence, severity of the impact and control measures.

Additionally, our Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Policy sets the strategic direction for all employees to take practical efforts to ensure effective EHS management so as to create a "Safe and Green" culture, continually striving to conserve resources and prevent pollution.

Building a green development is more than just incorporating eco-friendly features within a property. CDL takes concerted and sustained efforts that affect the entire supply and development chain. A holistic life-cycle approach — from design, construction, procurement, maintenance and user engagement, ensures business alignment with the Company’s environmental bottom line and creates positive impacts throughout the value chain.

Carbon Emissions
Low-lying and densely populated, Singapore is at risk from the adverse impacts of climate change. Effects possibly include coastal land loss, flooding, water resource impacts, heat stress, public health implications from the resurgence of diseases and impact on island and marine biodiversity.

As an alternative-energy disadvantaged country which accounts for less than 0.2% of global greenhouse gases, Singapore’s key strategy to tackle carbon emissions is to improve energy efficiency in all sectors — transport, households, industry and buildings. Buildings contribute about 16% of Singapore’s national greenhouse gases emissions and CDL is committed to addressing climate change in our business operations and further reducing our carbon footprint.

In 2012, we have reduced CDL’s total carbon intensity emissions as measured in tonnes CO2/m2 by 11% from baseline year 2007. In other words, we produced less carbon per leased square metre of area. Since 2009, CDL voluntarily reduced our annual carbon emissions to "net zero"(2) for 11 Tampines Concourse, the first CarbonNeutral® development in Singapore and Asia Pacific, and our Corporate Office operations including our data centre. Read more about the carbon offsetting here.

Carbon Offset Projects
The process of attaining CarbonNeutral® development status was facilitated by The Carbon Neutral Company , one of the world’s leading carbon offset and carbon management companies with a proven track record of working with 300 large organisations and 200 carbon offset projects across six continents. Underpinned by a well-recognised standard known as the Carbon Neutral Protocol, every tonne of carbon sold by The CarbonNeutral Company is guaranteed such that, any shortfall is made up for in the unlikely situation of a project failure.

The carbon credits CDL has purchased under this exercise funds a number of projects in Asia such as the Dalian Landfill Gas Project and the Tieling Coal Mine Methane. All our supported projects have been verified to the international Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) and are pre-Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects.

Without the injection of carbon finance, these projects would be unviable. Beyond generating climate benefits, these projects also bring about social benefits such as employment and training opportunities, as well as improving the quality of life for the local community. This is also in line with CDL’s commitment to CSR.

Buildings account for about one-third of national electricity consumption. CDL remains committed to improving our energy performance across all our business operations so that we can reduce electricity consumption and carbon emissions.

CDL has been harnessing renewable energy for our developments through the implementation of solar and Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) panels. In 2012, CDL buildings generated a total of 121,934 kWh of renewable energy.

CDL promotes the use of electricity directly from the power grid supply through a sub-station at the construction stage whenever possible. This significantly reduces the use of diesel generators sets. The use of electricity grid power supply generates lower emissions of greenhouse gases, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulates to the environment as compared to using a generator.

By 2011, significant energy reduction of 22% has been achieved at CDL’s Corporate Office since 2006, mainly contributed by retrofitting with energy efficient lightings and equipments such as Nanoflex Reflectors, timers, motion sensors, LED lights, VAV Smart Cooling diffusers and central air-con system. All new purchases of office equipment are certified with the Energy Star Label.

CDL has also introduced various energy conservation and efficiency improvements projects in our investment properties. For instance, King’s Centre will reap an estimated energy savings of 483,017 kWh per year by the chiller plant, replacement of less efficient lightings and adopting the use of solar panels in 2011. For some investment properties, sensors are installed to monitor carbon dioxide levels in offices, and carbon monoxide levels in the basement car park. Since 2007, the Company’s "1°C Up Programme" has become a standard business-as-usual (BAU) practice at CDL buildings, keeping indoor temperatures at 24°C on average.

In response to water scarcity, Singapore has developed a diversified and sustainable water supply using a strategy called the Four National Taps. The water comes from four different sources; local catchment areas, imported water, reclaimed water known as NEWater and desalinated water. Recognising the natural water limitation, CDL’s new developments are conceptualised with a strong focus on water sustainability right from the design stage and construction process to the building’s water efficient features.

CDL’s water management strategies are based on the principles of reducing, reusing and preventing water pollution from entering Singapore’s waterways by incorporating water efficient or Active, Beautiful & Clean (ABC) Water Design features which are used during the construction phase as well as incorporated within new developments. For example, the Silt Water Treatment cum Water Recycling System was introduced for general cleaning across all worksites since 2004.

In 2012, CDL conserved approximately 68,349 m3 of potable water at all our worksites and used some 128,981 m3 of NEWater for operations that do not require potable water in our investment buildings such as cooling towers and sprinkler water tanks where infrastructure is available. Since 2007, CDL has conserved 470,491 m3 of potable water from five buildings by replacing it with NEWater.

Singapore has limited space for landfills and all incinerated waste that is not recovered, reused, or recycled is disposed at the four waste-to-energy incineration plants.

CDL implements sustainable construction and environmentally-friendly site practices at our worksites. Efficient construction methods, such as the use of prefabrication and precast construction innovations are used at worksites to improve on-site management as well as to promote environmental conservation and reduce material waste. Most of the construction building components are precasted or fabricated and tested off-site, then transported to the worksite(s) to be assembled systematically. For instance, the use of prefabricated bathroom units designed to reduce construction waste have become a standard green feature in all CDL new developments wherever possible.

When it is feasible, CDL has also used recycled materials as an environmentally-friendly alternative in the construction of our developments. For example, a wide range of sustainable recyclable building materials such as green concrete was used for the entire structure of 11 Tampines Concourse. Composite wood, which has over 30% recycled timber content, is commonly used for external decking in CDL developments.

To encourage tenants to engage in recycling efforts, all CDL buildings have a paper recycling programme. All new tenants are presented with a Project: Eco-Office Kit to promote the 3Rs, namely, reuse, reduce and recycle. Recycling corners are strategically located and accessible to tenants to promote and cultivate the recycling practice. The tenant participation rate in this programme has increased from 68% in 2005 to over 90% in 2012.

The amount of paper recycled in 2012 is equivalent to over 11,000 trees.

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