Property giant continues to raise the bar in target setting

Property giant City Developments (CDL) is stepping up its environmental efforts by setting new targets for energy and water use intensity and the use of sustainable building materials.

The company said yesterday that it aims to reduce energy and water use intensity by 22 per cent by 2020 and 25 per cent by 2030, using 2007 as a baseline year. CDL is also the developer for executive condo The Brownstone. Other upcoming executive condo include Treasure Crest and Northwave EC while existing ones include The Terrace EC, Brownstone EC, The Visionaire EC, Parc Life EC , Waterwoods EC, Signature at Yishun, Skypark Residences, Wandervale EC, The Vales EC, The Criterion EC, Bellewaters EC, Bellewoods EC.

It also intends that sustainable building materials will comprise 35 per cent of the total used in all new projects from this year.

The new goals follow its 2011 initiative to reduce carbon emissions by 22 per cent by 2020 from the baseline year 2007.

Last year, CDL cut emissions intensity by 19 per cent, putting it on track to achieve the 22 per cent target by 2020.

The company’s announcement yesterday comes ahead of the new rules for sustainability reporting that the Singapore Exchange (SGX) is expected to introduce on a “comply or explain” basis.

Listed companies will be expected to issue a report, or explain their failure to do so, with effect from the financial year ending on or after Dec 31 next year.

Current requirements, which have been effective since 2011, ask companies to do sustainability reporting only voluntarily.

About 170 firms, including CapitaLand, Keppel Corp and SGX itself, have issued reports.

CDL is ahead of most companies in its sustainability efforts.

In January, it came in at No. 10 in a global sustainability ranking of firms above a market capitalisation of US$2 billion (S$2.8 billion).

It was the top real-estate company on the ranking, released at the World Economic Forum in Davos, and is also the only Singapore firm to have made it to the list for seven consecutive years.

Last September, it became one of the first Singapore companies to align the management of its material issues, which are issues important to stakeholders, with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The goals include building resilient infrastructure, which CDL says it is contributing towards as it invests 2 per cent to 5 per cent of a new development’s construction cost in sustainable design and construction methods.

The company is keeping up with its sustainability efforts even as it faces headwinds from a slowing economy. It posted $105.3 million profit after tax in the first quarter this year, down from $123 million a year earlier. However, it expects its overseas projects to boost profits this year.

Chief executive Grant Kelley said in a statement yesterday: “To drive improvement, we have continued to raise the bar in target setting and impact reporting based on global best practices. In particular, being among the first to align our business with the UN SDGs will give us first-mover advantage as we expand our business globally.”

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