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Sustainability Reporting

Singapore Sustainability Reporting Award: CDL’s Integrated Sustainability Report 2017

In September this year, the Singapore Institute of Directors held the inaugural Singapore Sustainability Reporting Awards (SSRA) which aims to encourage and recognise excellence in sustainability reporting among Singapore listed companies. Of all the participants, CDL was honoured for producing the best sustainability report for established reporters or firms that have long been producing reports on sustainability.

Here are some highlights of the sustainability actions that CDL has reported in their Integrated Sustainability Report 2017: 

My TreeHouse

Built using eco-friendly and recycled materials, My Tree House boasts an eco-centric book collection, interactive green features and programmes which enable children to learn and discover about our natural environment, especially during their formative years. The library is a collaboration between the National Library Board (NLB) and CDL. There are about 45,000 books in this library, a third of which are green-themed covering on animals, plants, nature, water, weather, environment, recycling, and climate change.

My TreeHouse is located at the Central Public Library located within the National Library Building. In 2016, it received a visitorship of over 312,500.

Engaging Tenants on Resource Efficiency

Tenant electricity usage accounts for close to 50% of electricity consumption in CDL’s office and retail buildings. To support efforts in reducing energy consumption and environmental footprint, CDL implemented the CDL Green Lease Partnership Programme in 2014.

A digital energy monitoring portal was jointly developed with Tuas Power to enable tenants to track and better manage their energy usage. In addition to the “green fit-out” guide issued to all tenants, CDL created a dedicated team of CDL Green Lease Ambassadors to guide tenants on how they can create more environmentally-friendly premises by adopting sustainable practices, designs, materials, fittings, equipment, and lighting fixtures. The Ambassadors also helped identify energy-saving opportunities to lower tenants’ operating costs.

As of end 2016, more than 95% of  CDL’s tenants have pledged their commitment to the CDL Green Lease Partnership Programme by signing a Green Lease Memorandum of Understanding as part of lease renewal.

Find out more about the green lease and tenant agreement here!

Twin Chute Pneumatic Waste Collection System

This is an eco-friendly waste management system that utilises air suction to convey general waste and recyclable waste separately. The entire refuse disposal and removal process is clean, odourless and vector-free, and requires less manpower to manage, reducing costs while encouraging recycling.

CDL Singapore Sculpture Award

Themed “Towards Zero Waste!”, the 6th edition of this biennial award draws inspiration from the circular economy and Singapore’s vision of becoming a zero waste nation by 2030. The competition invites participants to design sculptures with residual materials from the construction of the Singapore Sustainability Academy.

Through the theme of the Award, CDL hopes to shift mindsets and change behaviour from  a linear “take-make-dispose” model to a more circular one, in which resources are circulated back into the economy and used for as long as possible


Besides the aforementioned actions and initiatives that were taken by CDL, their integrated Sustainability Report has more details about the company’s environmental commitment and actions. Read it here!

Sustainability Reporting

3 Things To Know About Sustainability Reporting

From financial year ending 31 December 2017 onwards, all public listed companies on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) are required to issue a Sustainability Report on a “comply or explain” basis. This new requirement undeniably creates greater transparency towards companies’ sustainability actions and also increase awareness among stakeholders.

But as readers, what does this mean? How will it benefit us and do we have the basic knowledge to understand these reports? Well, here are 3 essential points you need to know about Sustainability Reporting!

1. It is more than the environment

It is normal to expect that a Sustainability Report will only cover topics relating to environmental conservation efforts of companies. However, there is so much more to that!

For sustainability reporting, the word “sustainable” is being regarded as a holistic definition and covers economic, environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors. One should take note that ESG issues are topics that pose risks and opportunities to a business, hence excluding charitable and philanthropy activities.

Examples of social issues could be the use of child labour in a company’s operations or the company’s actions to ensure that occupational health and safety for its workers.

2. It’s all about the frameworks

All Sustainability Reports require the use of a certain reporting framework as a guideline for reporting and disclosure. The framework chosen should be suited to the company’s industry and business model. There are numerous frameworks to choose from, such as CDP, DJSI, GRI, GRESB, SASB.

One of the more popular frameworks used is the GRI framework, with 74% of the world’s largest corporation using it as a basis for their Sustainability Report. GRI is an international independent organisation which helps businesses understand and communicate their impact on sustainability issues.

Under the GRI framework, there are two categories of standards – universal and topic specific. Universal standards cover the foundation, general disclosures and management approach. This includes the reporting principles, materiality matrix, the disclosure of operations or scale of organisation and the management actions towards certain material issues.

Topic specific standards are more focused towards the economic, environmental and social topics. Within the ESG umbrella, there are smaller topics that can be disclosed by a company. For example, under the environmental (GRI 300) topic, possible issues could be materials (GRI 301), energy (GRI 302) or water (GRI 303).

3. The 3Ps – Policy, Practice and Performance

Firstly, each company is required to identify the ESG issues that are regarded material to them. The materiality is assessed based on a various number of indicators, but most importantly, taking into the account of stakeholders’ interest.

After which, for each material issue, the company would have to set out a policy, elaborate on the company’s practice and their related performance and target. For example, by having a no deforestation policy, the company ensure that no forest is being cleared for development purposes. They will report their performance in terms of the hectare of the deforested area and their target in 5 years time.

The 3Ps will form the general content of the Sustainability Report and allow the reader to evaluate whether the company is performing as it intended to and its current status.


To learn more about SGX’s sustainability reporting guide, click here.