Dear Stakeholders,

2009 was a year defined by rapid changes. Globally, as businesses were still reeling from the aftermath of the financial crisis, the economy took a swift recovery in the later part of the year, enabling many of the advanced economies to pull out of recessions. Although most global economies are on the mend, some uncertainty still remains.

On the environmental front, high hopes culminated at the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen in December 2009. While many were disappointed by the lack of a unified global response to tackle the pressing environmental issues, on a positive note, leaders have begun to pledge their collective commitments towards increasing their environmental responsibilities – paving the way for a new era of global eco-consciousness and responsible green practices.

I am pleased to report that despite the challenging business and uncertain climate in 2009, the Company delivered sterling financial results without cutting back on its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts and commitments. We continued to focus on improving and disclosing our performance, by meeting and even exceeding some of our targets. For instance, our collective efforts in resource conservation have resulted in improved environmental performance of between 2% and 18% achieved across our business operations in Singapore.

We remain determined to improve our CSR practices and have externally assured our sustainability report in accordance with the AA1000 Assurance Standard this year. The standard evaluates the reliability of our reported sustainability performance and shows the extent to how CDL’s management approaches adhere to internationally accepted sustainability principles. As the first company to be assured under this standard in Singapore, this marks a new milestone for CDL and for CSR here.

In recognition of our sustained efforts, we are honoured to be listed amongst the 2010 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. This prestigious global ranking by Corporate Knights, a magazine for clean capitalism, was announced in January 2010 at the World Economic Forum. Once again, we were also the highest ranked company from Singapore in the Asian Sustainability Rating by CSR Asia, having achieved a laudable 22nd place amongst 200 largest listed companies spanning across 10 countries in Asia Pacific. We also came in a note-worthy 2nd position in the environment section. CDL continues to remain as one of few Singapore companies to participate and publicly disclose our environmental data with the Carbon Disclosure Project. Our achievements have helped place Singapore on the global map for sustainability.

The CDL Sustainability Report 2010 is aptly entitled “Grow”. The vines symbolically articulate the rapid expansion of the sustainability movement in our Company. With increased emphasis on economic, social and environmental performance, and the growing expectations of stakeholders for CSR, the vines can only spread and envelop larger areas which may still have gaps. Hence, as we enter into a new decade, it is an opportune time for us to take stock of what we have achieved so far, and more importantly, what more can we do?

Even though we have been early adopters of the green building movement, we still wish to further reduce our carbon footprint in 2010. We will continue to invest in initiatives that will encourage capacity building and innovation to help prepare the real estate industry for a greener economy. For instance, in 2009, CDL embraced the incorporation of three different types of solar technology in our commercial development – 7 & 9 Tampines Grande, as a showcase to promote renewable energy.

In Singapore, buildings contribute 16% of our nation’s total carbon emissions. We are supportive of the Singapore Government’s announcement to reduce its carbon emissions by some 16% below “business as usual” levels(1) by 2020. CDL remains committed to achieving a minimum BCA Green Mark Gold rating for all new developments and incorporating more innovative green features to complement the nation’s pledge towards sustainable development. We approximate that some 10,265 tonnes of carbon emissions or S$4 million in electricity will be saved annually from the 10 Green Mark awarded buildings in 2009 (estimated figure upon completion of the new and existing buildings).

Moving forward, it is our wish to do even more for the community. Social and economic development programmes will take precedence. We have expanded our reach to aid communities in Cambodia and Indonesia. There are also plans to proactively strengthen our stakeholder engagement to better determine their needs and expectations.

As social responsibility takes greater prominence globally, we look forward to the launch of the ISO 26000 framework, expected in the later part of 2010 which will provide guidance to the refinement of our CSR strategy.

If there is one lesson to be learnt from the aftermath of this financial turmoil, it is the affirmation that companies with sustainability in their DNA are more resilient and make a better business model. We believe that this defining difference is what will propel CDL towards continued sustainable growth and business excellence.

Kwek Leng Joo
Managing Director
July 2010

(1)
Subject to legally binding global deal that obliges all countries to cut emissions, and if other countries offer significant pledges (source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs).