Global Nod for Sustainable Vision

CapitaLand earns international recognition again for commitment to environment, social concerns and corporate governance

Issue: Mar 2012

This Vertical Garden at the lobby of office tower, Six Battery Road, is just another example of CapitaLand’s efforts to develop green buildings
This Vertical Garden at the lobby of office tower, Six Battery Road, is just another example of CapitaLand’s efforts to develop green buildings

CapitaLand’s constant commitment to sustainability has put it on the international scene once more. It was recently listed amongst the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations, ranked by Canadian research company Corporate Knights Inc. that is focused on corporate sustainability and clean capitalism. CapitaLand is one of two Singapore-based real estate companies to make it to the coveted list. The 2012 Global 100 list is made up of the top 10 per cent of companies from 3,500 global stocks from 22 countries and all sectors of the economy.

Companies that make the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations list not only serve as beacons of integrity in the business world, but also stand as examples of corporate success. From its inception on
1 February 2005 to 31 December 2011, the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations have achieved
a total return of 41.70%, outperforming its benchmark (the MSCI All Country World Index at 29.30%) by more than 11%.

Said Toby Heaps, CEO of Corporate Knights, “... the Global 100 companies serve as ambassadors for a better, cleaner kind of capitalism which, it also turns out, is more profitable.”

JCube, which is targeted to open in April 2012, is a Green Mark Platinum Award winner accorded by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore
JCube, which is targeted to open in April 2012, is a Green Mark Platinum Award winner accorded by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore

Choice of the Future

Increasingly, consumers and companies alike are recognising the importance of organisations that have Environment, Social and Governance in their sights.

In 2010, Vigeo, a leading European expert in responsible performance, released a report recognising the growing market trend in Socially Responsible Investing with the number of European socially responsible (SRI) funds jumping 29% to 879. Assets under management (AUM) also recorded a 41% growth to reach £75 billion.

EIRIS, the leading provider of independent investment research in ESG and ethical performance of companies, said that as of 31 December 2009, there was approximately £9.5 billion invested in the United Kingdom’s green and ethical retail funds. This was an increase from £2.4 billion just 10 years ago.

The fact that sustainability pays was confirmed by a recent Harvard Business School report released in November 2011. After spending 18 years studying 180 companies, it noted that the 90 firms that adopted environmentally and socially responsible policies significantly outperformed their less forward-thinking peers. Every dollar invested in a portfolio of sustainable companies in 1993 grew to US$22.60 by 2011, beating the rise to US$15.40 for a portfolio of companies less focused on sustainability.

Diversity for Balanced Views

CapitaLand also embraces diversity. There are currently two female board members serving in the CapitaLand Board.

“We adopt an inclusive multi-prong approach when we invest in human capital. We believe that – regardless of gender, age and ethnicity – all employees can make a significant contribution to the workplace based on their talent, expertise and experience. CapitaLand has about 11,000 employees in more than 20 countries, with an almost equal proportion of men and women. Women are represented at senior management levels, holding top positions such as CEO and Deputy CEO within the Group. The CapitaLand Board includes female directors who, together with the other directors, provides a robust exchange of ideas and stewardship to help shape the strategic process and business activities of the Group,” said Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO of CapitaLand Group.

Vigilance in Corporate Governance

Clean capitalism is also a Global 100 indicator that CapitaLand has always adhered to. In its corporate governance, the Group has repeatedly emphasised and practised transparency and integrity. President and CEO of CapitaLand Group, Mr Liew Mun Leong, has, on more than one occasion, stated this in no uncertain terms. In his book, “Building People: Sunday Emails from a CEO Volume 2”, he penned that it was “our public commitment that CapitaLand will be corruption-free company.”

In 2011, CapitaLand won a slew of awards that cheered its commitment to corporate openness: Best Financial Disclosure by World Finance Investor Relations Awards, Best Corporate Governance in Singapore by the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards, Best Corporate Governance by FinanceAsia which also voted the organization Best Managed Company in Singapore and Most Transparent Company in the Property Category by Securities Investors Association (Singapore).

Sustainability as a Focus

Another international recognition anchoring CapitaLand firmly in the world sustainability arena is its inclusion in the Sustainability Yearbook 2012, one of the world’s most comprehensive publications on corporate sustainability and the related challenges and opportunities for companies. The report was also presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January this year.

The Sustainability Yearbook 2012, by rating agency SAM and the auditors KPMG, is based on SAM’s evaluation of the sustainability performance of 2,500 of the world’s largest listed companies. The results are used as the basis for the composition of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, the first global indexes tracking the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide. The indexes help investors who value sustainable business practices to identify the like-minded companies.

CapitaLand is a member of the Dow Jones Asia Pacific Sustainability Index – part of the first global indexes tracking the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide
CapitaLand is a member of the Dow Jones Asia Pacific Sustainability Index – part of the first global indexes tracking the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide

Only the top 15 per cent of the global companies in each of the 58 sectors assessed were included in the report. Out of 135 real estate companies in the world, only 20 made it to this list.

For CapitaLand, with its business portfolio spanning more than 110 cities across over 20 countries with diverse operating conditions and different climates, providing sustainability information is no mean feat.

Sustainability is not just a feel good move to do better by staff, society and the Earth. It is a clear vision to create an organization with staying power and a means of future-proofing it. These recent international nods are more than mere accolades. They serve as good indicators for companies seeking out like-minded organisations like CapitaLand for partnerships.

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