Singapore: CDL, CapitaLand, StarHub in list of sustainable companies

Three companies in Singapore have made it to the exclusive Global 100 list, which consists of the world’s most sustainable companies.

The companies are City Developments Limited (CDL), CapitaLand and StarHub.

Esther An, general manager of corporate affairs at City Developments says globally, buildings can account for 40 per cent of energy consumption and 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.

Ms An said: “Even in Singapore, the building sector is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emission. So therefore, we are in a strong position not just to implement sustainable business practices, but also to influence our stakeholders.”

To do this, CDL has adopted traditional green practices, like using eco-friendly methods and materials to shrink its carbon footprint.

But as a company, she said sustainability cuts across all levels.

Talking about sustainability is not just PR talk,” she said. “You have to put it in action. We have adopted a triple bottom-line approach, which is to strike a balance between financial, environmental and social performance.”

CDL is one of three companies in Singapore to make it to Corporate Knights Global 100 in 2012 – For CDL it was the fourth consecutive year on the list.

The firm was ranked 52nd, up from 62nd the year before.

This is Knights’ ninth annual list, which narrows down a field of about 4,000 companies before settling on its top 100.

When Knights makes the list, they are not just taking a company’s green initiatives into consideration. They also look at things like CEO-to-average-worker pay ratio, leadership diversity and employee turnover.

In total, companies are scored on up to 12 performance indicators. Telco StarHub made its first appearance on the list, holding on to the 66th spot.

Developer CapitaLand also made the list for the second year, ranking 77th. The firm moved up 10 spots from the previous year. Chief Corporate Officer Tan Seng Chai said it takes a lot more than just green buildings to keep a company sustainable – it takes people too.

Mr Tan said: “We want to ensure our employees feel very engaged with the company and sustainability has become one of the critical factor. We are seeing more talents growing up the ranks. And today we have something close to 30 per cent of females in senior management. It is quite a progress for us.”

More investors are weighing a company’s environmental and social attitudes before putting their money down, meaning sustainability is something companies can no longer afford to overlook.

“Sources of energy become more expensive so if you continue to depend on traditional source of energy, then your cost of running a business in the long term will become higher,” said Mr Tan.

Ms An said: “If we don’t practice business models that can help to reduce the use of natural resources, that can mitigate carbon footprint, what is this world becoming to? And without the planet, no businesses will survive and there will be no buyers, no market and no individuals.”

Source: Channel News Asia

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