The past year was also a year of extreme weather around the world and countries were tested as they were hit by cold snaps, floods, droughts, typhoons and heat waves - many of unprecedented severity or the worst seen in decades. Lives have been lost, communities destroyed, livelihoods put in jeopardy and prices of essential commodities sent skyrocketing. One consequence is that the weather conditions have helped heighten the need for many world leaders to urgently address climate change.

According to a report commissioned by the World Bank issued in November 2012, without immediate action, global temperatures could rise by 4C this century with potentially devastating consequences. Finally, there is increasing acceptance that climate change is not just a 'silo' environmental issue but is intricately interwoven into our social and economic fabric. Yes, the global financial crisis must be managed but it is also clear that there must be a concerted action by businesses, governments and communities to transform and move towards the development of a green economy.

On the upside, more corporations have started to take climate change seriously. In the Global 500 Climate Change Report for 2012 by the Carbon Disclosure Project, it found 81% of reporting companies identifying physical risks from climate change as a serious issue as compared with 71% the year before.

In Singapore, we are at the cusp of a transformation as more companies are being encouraged to address the importance of sustainability. In May 2012, the Monetary Authority of Singapore issued a revised Code of Corporate Governance to promote a high standard of corporate governance among listed companies in Singapore, with various revisions that relate to CSR issues. More pertinently, it adds that the Board's role is to "consider sustainability issues, e.g. environmental and social factors, as part of its strategic formulation"(1).

While the regulatory changes are recent, we have been advocating the importance of CSR for business sustainability for over a decade with many unprecedented and bold moves. As a business leader and forerunner, we saw the need for change as early as the mid-1990s. We started to develop and refine strategic business models and standards, create best practices relevant in the local operating content and set our own benchmarks of excellence.

To reinforce our commitment to maintaining and achieving high standards of corporate governance and to continue to build on our industry leadership on CSR, a CSR and Corporate Governance (CG) Committee at the Board Level was established in late 2012. The Committee will have oversight of the Company's strategies, policies on various aspects of CSR and CG which are significant and contribute to the Company's performance, business activities, and/or reputation as a global corporate citizen.

The title of our Sustainability Report 'Changing the Landscape' is apt because we have made an important impact on our landscape, shaping it with 67 Green Mark Projects to our name. Each CDL development continues to be designed sensitively, built sustainably and managed sensibly while remaining financially viable. While we have firmly committed to investing in green buildings and sustainable best practices, we are glad to have maintained good financial performance - CDL posted record revenue of $3.35 billion for the full year 2012 - the highest revenue since our inception.

Beyond the green hardware, we have helped to influence and change the mindsets of our employees, suppliers, customers and community - the people who live, work and play in our developments.

Today, we no longer journey alone but have become part of a growing community of change-makers advocating sustainability.

In another pioneering move to champion sustainability, CDL became a founding member of the Business Council for Sustainable Development Singapore when it was launched by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development on 6 November 2012. The Council's role is to work with businesses locally to help foster economic development in harmony with environmental preservation and social development. In addition, it advocates the implementation of policy frameworks that help sustainable businesses to thrive.

To further support the cause on a national level, I am glad to assume the position of President of Singapore Compact for CSR, of which CDL is a founding member. I am thankful for the trust and confidence placed on me to contribute to the growth of the CSR movement in Singapore.

I hope for a cross-discipline national agency to adopt CSR officially and have an oversight of a strategic and consolidated approach across all CSR disciplines in Singapore. This will allow greater synergy and help drive the CSR agenda more effectively across all businesses and sectors. With an umbrella body to spearhead efforts in planning and implementing national CSR policies with a more dedicated and strategic approach, businesses will be more encouraged to align their strategies and practices to national priorities.

Looking forward, 2013 is an exciting year for CDL as we celebrate our milestone 50th Anniversary. It has indeed been an illustrious transformation from a small firm with only eight employees operating out of a rented office in Amber Mansions along Orchard Road in 1963.

Our history, experience and continued commitment well illustrate that CDL takes a long-term business view where growth must go hand in hand with the careful nurturing and development of our stakeholders for the benefit of all. We have been committed to performing credibly in our environmental, governance and social aspects while remaining profitable through business excellence and innovation.

Our unwavering commitment to business sustainability has placed both CDL and Singapore on the global map of sustainability, being the first Singapore company recognised on three global sustainability benchmarks - FTSE4Good Index Series since 2002, Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World since 2010 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes since 2011. Notably, CDL is the only Singapore company listed for four consecutive years on the Global 100 and improved from 62nd position to 52nd position in 2013, making us the highest ranking company from Asia excluding Japan.

While this Sustainability Report marks our second to be successfully-checked by GRI at Level A+ using the GRI G3.1 guidelines with the Construction and Real Estate Sector Supplement, we are also actively assessing the newly released version G4 and its applicability. There has also been growing interest in Integrated Reporting and while I believe it will be some time before a reliable, sound and credible standard is developed, it is indeed progress for CSR to see more stakeholders being keen to be involved in this discourse and we will certainly be monitoring this development closely.

What started off for CDL as a green spark close to two decades ago has now become embedded as part of our corporate DNA. While we have achieved many milestones in sustainability, we have barely scratched the surface of the matter and are constantly looking to improve. Our success and limitation invigorates and challenges us to press ahead in our CSR conviction.

While we continue to captain CDL's transformation into the Golden Age, the success we have enjoyed would not have been possible without the dedication of our Board of Directors, management team, valued employees as well as our external stakeholders in particular our investors.

With steadfast support from all stakeholders and the community, CDL management aspires to achieve even greater heights in sustainability the next 50 years ahead.

(1) Monetary Authority of Singapore, Code of Corporate Governance, May 2012, Page 2.

Kwek Leng Joo
Managing Director

May 2013