Scoring Big on the Sustainability Scene

CapitaLand’s corporate social responsibility efforts earn it international and national recognition

Issue: Nov 2012

CapitaLand has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index 2012/2013, a benchmark closely watched by investors who consider sustainability an integral consideration
CapitaLand has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index 2012/2013, a benchmark closely watched by investors who consider sustainability an integral consideration

Sustainability is a term that means different things to different people. To some, it is about Corporate Social Responsibility. To others, it is Corporate Citizenship or Triple Bottom Line. But underlying all these is the focus on the environment, and the social and governance aspects of corporations – the three pillars of Sustainability. As the Brundtland Commission in 1987 stated “Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future to meet their own needs.”

Being a sustainable and socially responsible company has long been the focus of CapitaLand. Mr Lim Ming Yan, Chief Operating Officer, CapitaLand Limited shared, “We are early adopters of growing our business sustainably. This has been integral to our business since CapitaLand was set up.”

Global Recognition for Continual Commitment

On the international front, this was validated by CapitaLand’s listing on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) 2012/2013, joining 339 other sustainability leaders worldwide. CapitaLand is only one of three Singapore companies on the world listing.

The recognition comes in the wake of a series of other international distinctions the Group has earned in the area of sustainability: being part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia-Pacific Index since its formation, making it one of the top 154 sustainable companies in the region; inclusion in the Sustainability Yearbook 2012, one of the top 20 real estate companies profiled; getting listed on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations; and being named an Asian Sector Leader in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Report 2012. CapitaLand was assessed based on its global portfolio of properties and international workforce across 110 cities and over 20 cities.

“It is an honour to be recognised for our commitment to sustainability globally. Sustainability is integral to our business. It is with this mindset, guided by our credo of ‘Building People’, mission, vision and core values, that we conduct our core business, interact with stakeholders, and contribute to the well-being of our employees and the community in a responsible and ethical way,” said Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO of CapitaLand Group.

Its list of other accolades is a testament to that. CapitaLand was accorded the prestigious Golden Circle Award as well as the Most Transparent Company Award (Real Estate) for the 12th consecutive year at the Securities Investors Association Singapore (SIAS) Investor’s Choice Award 2012. The Golden Circle Award is the highest honour accorded to the Overall Most Transparent Company across industry sectors.

Mr Arthur Lang, Chief Financial Officer, CapitaLand Limited receiving the prestigious Golden Circle Award from Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport, Mrs Josephine Teo at the Securities Investors Association Singapore (SIAS) Investors’ Choice Awards 2012
Mr Arthur Lang, Chief Financial Officer, CapitaLand Limited receiving the prestigious Golden Circle Award from Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport, Mrs Josephine Teo at the Securities Investors Association Singapore (SIAS) Investors’ Choice Awards 2012

CapitaLand Group won a total of five accolades at the event. This includes the Group’s listed entity, CapitaMall Trust, winning the Singapore Corporate Governance Award (REITs) and a runner-up position in the Most Transparent Award (REITs & Business Trusts). Mr Wilson Tan, CEO of CapitaMall Trust Management Limited was among the eight winners of the inaugural Brendan Wood International - SIAS TopGun CEO Designation Award.

CapitaLand, including its listed entities CapitaMalls Asia, CapitaMall Trust, CapitaCommercial Trust, Ascott Residence Trust and CapitaRetail China Trust, is amongst the listed companies who signed the Statement of Support during the SIAS Corporate Governance Week. The pledge signing marks the Group’s ongoing commitment to uphold and advance good corporate governance standards and be accountable to its shareholders and the public.

More than accolades, CapitaLand seeks to fulfil its credo of Building People. In Nov 2012, CapitaLand will achieve global certification of ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 for its environmental, health and safety (EHS) management system. This ensures consistency in the Group’s efforts to protect the environment, and provide for the health and safety of its staff.

National Recognition for International Efforts

CapitaLand’s continual commitment to community development has also earned it kudos. It was named the Best Community Developer of the Year at the Singapore Compact CSR Awards 2012. Into its fourth year, the awards by the national society committed to CSR recognise organisations which have responsible business practices when it comes to the environment, community and people as well as work in partnership with stakeholders for the long-term sustainability of the business.

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower and Senior Minister of State for National Development commended CapitaLand at the 4th International Singapore Compact CSR Summit, “The real estate developer has taken a holistic approach towards CSR, aligning community development projects with the company’s credo of ‘Building People’. It’s not just physical buildings, but it’s about building a home and building people.”

“We are heartened to be recognised as the Best Community Developer at the Singapore Compact CSR Awards 2012. As part of our DNA in building people, we believe in developing the communities we operate. Together with our stakeholders and the community-at-large, we will continue to work towards building a better, sustainable future for generations to come,” said Tan Seng Chai, Deputy Chief Corporate Officer, CapitaLand Limited.

(second from right) Mr Tan Seng Chai, Deputy CCO of CapitaLand Limited receiving the Best Community Developer of the Year on behalf of CapitaLand at the Singapore Compact CSR Awards 2012
(second from right) Mr Tan Seng Chai, Deputy CCO of CapitaLand Limited receiving the Best Community Developer of the Year on behalf of CapitaLand at the Singapore Compact CSR Awards 2012

Indeed, CapitaLand has always sought to give back to the communities it has presence in. It was one of the first real estate companies in Singapore to set up a corporate foundation, CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF), to manage its philanthropic efforts.

“CapitaLand allocates up to 0.5 per cent of net profit to the Foundation. Since 2005, CHF has donated more than S$17 million to support underprivileged children across Asia,” noted Mr Tan.

Beyond financial support of underprivileged children to provide them with shelter, education and healthcare wherever CapitaLand’s footprints are, CHF also organises volunteer staff programmes for CapitaLand’s employees to commit time and attention to the children beneficiaries.

“In our CSR journey, we have learnt that CSR is not only about responding to requests from beneficiaries. More importantly, corporates must be guided by a CSR framework; only then will corporates be focused and have a benchmark to evaluate the merits of their efforts and how beneficiaries can better benefit from these community development efforts,” added Mr Tan.

Whether in Singapore or beyond, CapitaLand works to create a sustainable business as well as a sustainable Earth for all. These efforts are scoring big here and abroad, and is another confirmation that the organisation truly has its heart and soul in the right place.

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