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GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY

CDL’s CSR philosophy extends beyond philanthropy and stems from a long tradition of reaching out to the community. We remain strategic in our community contributions; concentrating on the four key areas of the environment, youth development, the less fortunate and the arts.

Other than sustaining and strengthening programmes with established partners and beneficiaries through active engagement, we also identified new community partners whom we could support. This new engagement enabled us to extend aid and resources to those who were really affected during the financial downturn. The economic crisis also hit our neighbouring countries hard and we received calls for help, requesting for assistance in various economic and social development projects here and abroad. Responding to this community need, CDL extended resources to new projects in Indonesia, Cambodia as well as Singapore, helmed by our dynamic local youth.

10 Years of Employee Voluntarism

2009 was also a milestone year as CDL’s employee volunteer platform, City Sunshine Club (CSC), celebrated its 10th anniversary with a plethora of community activities. This has resulted in a record breaking doubling of employee volunteer manhours to 5,572 manhours in 2009, a far cry from the 200 volunteer hours chalked up in the early days of CSC. CDL’s participation rate was also at an all-time high of 85%, a marked increase from about 25% in 1999. More information about the activities that led to this significant increase, including CDL’s Community and Staff Day can be found here.

Since 2008, CSC has been gathering feedback on its community outreach programmes for the elderly. This feedback is used to identify areas where improvements can be made. There are also plans to extend such surveys to other beneficiaries and programmes in the near future, to better assess the impact of its other community related initiatives.

 
 

Action for the Environment

CDL’s community efforts for the environment have grown from strength to strength and we have been actively engaged in the development and collaboration of extensive green programmes targeted at different stakeholders.

Project Eco-Office, an outreach programme initiated and launched by CDL in June 2002, promotes green resource management amongst the business community in the work place. In 2005, the Green Office Label was launched to recognise companies which have implemented successful green initiatives in the office. The programme has seen more offices being certified annually with an encouraging 39 in 2009 – a significant increase from 15 in 2008. The companies awarded in 2009 stem from both private and public sectors, including DBS Bank, Republic Polytechnic, ComfortDelGro Corporation Limited and Ministry of Manpower amongst others. CDL, a pioneer awardee, also received our recertification.

 
From right to left: Mr Lim Tow Fok, General Manager, Properties & Facilities Management at CDL, receiving the Green Office Label from Dr Amy Khor, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, as Mr Howard Shaw, Executive Director of SEC looks on.
 

City Square Mall, Singapore’s first eco-mall opened its doors in late 2009. It aims to reach out to our tenants and community-at-large to raise their level of ecoconsciousness through innovative eco programmes and initiatives. As an affirmation of our commitment to organise and host green community events, the mall signed on as the first corporate partner of the Central Singapore Community Development Council’s Partnership to Activate the Community to Treasure the environment or P.A.C.T.. Green events held in 2009 include Central Singapore’s CGS 2010 Carnival and a Green Building Exhibition by BCA which even showcased a model “green” home of the future.

CDL doubled our efforts in the global Earth Hour campaign, organised by the World Wildlife Fund, with the inclusion of 11 CDL commercial properties compared to five buildings the year before. Under our influence, a 99% tenant participation rate was achieved. All façade building lights and main lights in the common areas were turned off on Saturday, 28 March 2009 from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm as a gesture to combat global warming.

CDL also supported Environmental Challenge Organisation (ECO) Singapore’s Earth Hour @ The Heartlands initiative which spurred the community to turn off their lights at home and participate in a variety of eco-activities at various venues. Our participation in 2010 expanded to include City Square Mall as a venue where activities included entertainment and movie screening. ECO Singapore volunteers also took to the streets and visited some 5,000 households within a 700-metre radius around the Mall to provide eco-tips to the community and to reinforce the message to “Make every hour an Earth Hour”.

Backing green efforts by tertiary institutions, CDL sponsored the National University of Singapore (NUS) Green Carnival in September 2009, which brought the urgent message of environmental conservation to over 30,000 NUS undergraduates, staff and academics, through student-initiated environmental projects that promote energy conservation, recycling and the uptake of other green habits.

In 2010, City Square Mall was a venue for ECO Singapore’s Earth Hour @ The Heartlands initiative which aims to reinforce the green message to the community.

 
 

In June 2009, CDL also sponsored the inaugural Singapore International Water Festival, jointly organised by Singapore Polytechnic and Public Utilities Board. The Festival, which was held at Marina Barrage and attended by international and local students and the general public, aimed to educate and create awareness on the importance of conserving, enjoying and valuing water and the environment.

Participation in the National Environment Agency (NEA)’s Clean and Green Singapore (CGS) programme remained a key feature in CDL’s environmental outreach efforts. Having been part of the Corporate and School Partnership (CASP) programme which encourages corporate companies to groom young environmental leaders from schools to initiate joint environmental programmes since 2005, CDL received a certificate of Sustained Partnership in 2009.

CDL’s six adopted schools did well in presenting a wide range of impressive environmental projects including “Project Green Wall” (Catholic High School – Secondary), “Stamps Alive!” (Maris Stella High School - Primary & Secondary), “WebQuest Project on Environment” (CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School – Primary) and “Going Green by Reducing, Reusing and Recycling” (CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School – Secondary). In particular, Catholic High School (Primary)’s Rainwater Harvesting Project stood out and was awarded second place for Best Project in the Primary category.

 
Guest-of-Honour Dr Amy Khor (fifth from left) with Ms Esther An, Head of CSR and Deputy General Manager of Corporate Affairs at CDL (fourth from left), teachers and students of Catholic High School (Pri).
 

CDL supported the NEA-Mediacorp Semakau Run 2009 where in addition to a donation, employees also gamely ran the route on Singapore’s only landfill. The event raised a total of S$359,000 which was distributed to six beneficiaries.

As part of the 150th Anniversary celebrations of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, CDL participated in the “Trees of the World” Light up where our employees creatively decorated a tree using discarded materials only.

To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, 150 trees were specially decorated and lit up, illuminating Palm Valley. The “Trees of the World” Light-up was designed to involve embassies, corporations, schools and community groups in the celebration of one of Singapore’s best loved public spaces.

As a long-standing partner of the National Parks Board, CDL was amongst the corporations invited to decorate a tree for the exhibition. In line with CDL’s commitment towards environmental conservation, all ornaments hung on CDL’s tree were painstakingly constructed out of discarded materials by a group of creative employees.

For over a decade, CDL has remained a corporate patron of the China Exploration & Research Society (CERS), supporting their nature and cultural conservation projects. Promoting the protection and conservation of nature, CDL has also maintained our sponsorship of Nature Society (Singapore)’s “Nature Watch” magazine.

In the 13th instalment of CDL’s Nature Series Calendar titled “In Harmony...Naturally – Create, Conserve, Construct”, CDL’s latest BCA Green Mark awarded developments were showcased. The Calendar, which is distributed to our business associates and employees, imparts CDL’s philosophy of conserving natural wonders while creating construction marvels.

In celebration of Earth Day 2010, CDL initiated the CDL E-Generation Challenge, an eco-themed “Amazing Race” style national competition targeted at youths. By utilising an eco-tainment platform in the form of a fun green rally, the competition aimed at helping to raise the level of ecoconsciousness amongst the youths in Singapore. Over 260 youths from all over Singapore came together to pit their strength and overcome green challenges that were not only fun, but also showcased a range of environment-related issues, which included resource conservation, climate change and action.

 
CDL’s Nature Series Calendar 2010 pays tribute to our BCA Green Mark Award developments, each one captured through the eyes of CDL Managing Director Mr Kwek Leng Joo.
 

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