Message from the Managing Director
The year 2010 was one of recovery for the global economy. In response to challenges arising from the financial turmoil of 2008, many corporations worldwide restructured their operations with business sustainability in mind and geared themselves for a new era of growth – one defined by an increased awareness that business has to be conducted in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
Beyond economic challenges, corporations have increasingly come to realise that climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to the continuity of life and have taken steps to minimise their carbon footprint.
Despite the lack of a global accord at the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen in December 2009, it is heartening that international negotiations made some headway at last year’s Cancun conference.
Paving the way for a new era of global eco-consciousness and environmental responsibility, the agreement was designed to mitigate the impact of climate change through a paradigm shift towards building a low-carbon society. An agreement was adopted by leaders for a large “Green Climate Fund” to assist poorer countries in financing emission reductions and adaptation, and the setting up of a “Climate Technology Centre” and network, in addition to a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol. While a detailed action plan is lacking, it holds promise for the next climate conference to be held in South Africa this November.
I am pleased to share that for 2010, CDL delivered record profits since inception for our investors and shareholders, while simultaneously continuing to make headway in improving our social and environmental performance and disclosure. Our sustained efforts towards improving our environmental performance have resulted in an 11% reduction in our total carbon intensity emissions from baseline year 2007.
We remain committed to further improve our environmental performance and in support of the Singapore’s government goal to reduce the nation’s carbon emissions by 16% below business-as-usual (BAU) levels by 2020(1), we have taken stock of our carbon performance and are confident to set a carbon reduction target for our business operations moving forward. By 2020, our target is to reduce the Company’s carbon intensity emissions by 22% from baseline year 2007, and to achieve a 25% reduction by 2030.
In 2010, we also embarked on a voluntary initiative which saw the reduction of the annual carbon emissions of our corporate office operations and data centre, which amounted to some 327 tonnes of carbon dioxide, to net zero.
More than just reducing our carbon footprint at the Company level, we also aim to influence our stakeholders to support this goal. CDL first embarked on incorporating green innovation and technologies in our developments over a decade ago and we remain committed to investing in initiatives that will encourage capacity building and innovation to help prepare the real estate industry for a greener economy. We will continue to leverage on our first-mover advantage in this area and push ahead to further enhance energy efficiency and low carbon technologies in our properties.
Testament to our sustained efforts in building capacity in green building in Singapore, we are honoured to be the first developer to be accorded the Green Mark Platinum Champion Award by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) this year. CDL first received the Green Mark Champion Award in 2008 and the accord of this higher tier Award attests to our contribution towards shaping a greener built environment in Singapore.
Since the BCA Green Mark certification scheme for buildings was initiated in 2005, we have to-date achieved over 50 Green Mark buildings and developments – the highest number accorded to a single private property developer in Singapore. This year, we are pleased to welcome another 18 Green Mark properties to our fold, of which six are of the highest tier Green Mark Platinum. We approximate that some S$12 million in electricity will be saved annually from our 27 Green Mark awarded buildings from 2008 to 2010 (estimated figure upon completion of the new and existing buildings). Moving forward, we have raised the bar for ourselves and our target is now to achieve a minimum BCA Green Mark GoldPlus rating for all new developments.
On the international front, it is timely for the ISO 26000:2010, Guidance on social responsibility, to be formally launched and I am glad that CDL is the first company in Singapore to embark on aligning our business operations with the internationally accepted Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) best practices guidance.
This year, we have titled our Sustainability Report “Evolve” to reflect CDL’s dynamic spirit and forward-looking ethos in embracing the challenges posed by the ever-changing social and environmental landscape.
As social responsibility takes greater prominence globally, we look forward to improving our CSR practices and since October 2010, have embarked on an internal training and assessment exercise to evaluate our existing CSR strategies and performance against the draft ISO 26000 framework. Through the course of this benchmarking exercise, the structure of CDL’s CSR sub-committees has also been refined for greater alignment with the seven core subjects identified under ISO 26000.
While our endeavour of aligning our existing management systems with the ISO 26000 framework is ongoing and will continue into 2011 and beyond, we have nevertheless taken the affirmative step of addressing the ISO 26000 core subjects and issues alongside the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Reporting Framework. This report is perhaps the first sustainability report published by a Singapore corporation that seeks to address the ISO 26000 framework.
In addition, we have continued to externally assure our sustainability report in accordance with the AA1000 (2008) Assurance Standard, which evaluates the reliability of our reported sustainability performance. Our approach of subscribing to internationally accepted sustainability principles demonstrates CDL’s commitment in working towards greater transparency and disclosure through performance benchmarking.
Indeed it is our very definitive spirit of embracing change and continued pursuit of improvement that propels CDL towards continued sustainable growth and business excellence. As encapsulated by this report, even as we continue to seek new breakthroughs in our corporate, environmental and social performance, we will grow and adapt in tandem with evolutionary changes to the social and environmental landscape globally.
Kwek Leng Joo