Dear Stakeholders,

In 2008, the global financial crisis cited by some as possibly the worst the world has encountered since The Great Depression in 1929, has had a devastating impact on the economies around the world. By most counts, a recovery in 2009 seems unlikely.

Many corporations have reported weaker financial performance in 2008 and prospects for 2009 remain uncertain. Thus, it becomes even more challenging for corporations to not lose sight of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitments when incorporating cost-cutting measures within the Company.

The on-going financial and social impact will continue to unfold and what is certain is that corporations and communities alike must brace themselves and support each other during these challenging times. The societies which do so will be the ones that will emerge fundamentally stronger and recover faster than the others.

We recognise that during these difficult times, the larger community has pressing needs and require our support more so than ever. CSR is an integral part of our vision and mission and during this economic recession, we remain steadfast in our CSR efforts for the long-term sustainability of our business. We are pleased to report that our CSR commitment in 2008 has not wavered and we have no intention to scale down on our efforts in 2009.

In fact, this crisis has provided us with the challenge to stretch our resources more creatively, so that our efforts will create a larger and more positive CSR impact on our business and community.

CDL's CSR journey in 2008 has been industrious and there has been much development not only within CDL but for the CSR movement in Singapore. Reception to our first published dedicated report last year has been very encouraging. We have received very positive response from the media, investor and business community and even the academia.

Beyond the report, we have dedicated much effort to sharing our experience at CSR-related conferences, seminars and events. It is heartening to see that more corporations in Singapore are taking a keen interest in CSR and placing greater emphasis on the importance of CSR disclosure. We are encouraged by the progress and we will continue to work closely with non-governmental organisations such as Singapore Compact for CSR to further promote the cause.

Recognisably, CDL is still a novice in the practice of CSR. However, we are fully committed to sustaining our efforts, elevating our standards and practices and exploring innovative ways to reach new levels of excellence in CSR.

Internally, we have also formed our CSR Committee and taken greater steps to review and structure CSR within the Company. This way, we can better integrate CSR within the business processes, enhance our current capabilities and facilitate the planning of CSR initiatives and targets for sustainability. To enable us to better understand our CSR position, we held a workshop, bringing together all parts of our business, to identify the key CSR risks and opportunities that we face as a company. From this workshop, we have set action plans to further minimise our CSR risks and build on our opportunities. There has also been active stakeholder engagement throughout the year in our continued efforts to refine and develop our CSR programmes.

In our continuous pursuit to improve our business performance and to better integrate CSR into our business, we have also achieved the successful incorporation of the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System for Corporate Management and Operations covering all HQ activities, such that all parts of our business are now covered by ISO 14001. We have also gained Singapore Quality Class certification that is based on an internationally-benchmarked business excellence framework which encompasses seven key areas of the business operations.

I am glad to report that we have met many of our targets set for 2008. For instance, our collective effort in energy conservation has led to a 5% reduction in total energy use in 2008. In our ever-evolving CSR journey, we are spurred to continue refining our CSR programmes, methodology and measurements, so that CDL can morph into an even better and more sustainable company that is of value and a source of pride in the community.

 

Kwek Leng Joo
Managing Director