CDL receives global recognition for gender diversity and sustainability

CDL receives global recognition for gender diversity and sustainability
  • Only real estate management and development company in inaugural sector-neutral 2018 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index
  • Longest-running Singapore-based company on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World

City Developments Limited (CDL) has joined over 100 companies from ten sectors headquartered in 24 countries and regions in the inaugural sector-neutral 2018 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI). Launched on 22 January 2018, the reference index measures gender equality across internal company statistics, employee policies, external community support and engagement, and gender-conscious product offerings. CDL is the only real estate management and development company named in the GEI. [1]

Mr Sherman Kwek, CDL Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are honoured to be the only real estate management and development company selected for the 2018 Bloomberg GEI. We have always believed in the importance of gender diversity and strived hard to make it part of our corporate culture and inherent within our workforce.”

“In doing so, it has enabled us to benefit hugely from the unique perspectives and immense creativity which different individuals across both genders bring to the table. By harnessing the diversity of our talent pool represented by different genders, age groups, ethnicities, cultures, geographies and backgrounds, it has given us a strong strategic advantage when it comes to decision-making and operations. With women making up about 70 per cent of CDL’s workforce and 40 per cent of our department heads, we are committed to empowering women in our workplace and supporting their pursuit for career and personal development.”

Recognising that creating and expanding opportunities for women are fundamental to sustainable growth and beneficial to society at large, CDL established an internal Diversity and Inclusion Task Force in 2017 to promote awareness and adoption of diversity and inclusion within the organisation and the larger community.

CDL has also adopted a formal Board Diversity Policy which sets out a clear policy and framework for promoting diversity on its Board. At the launch of its Singapore Sustainability Academy (SSA), the eco-developer initiated Women4Green, the first Singapore network for women in sustainability. The network aims to celebrate, inspire and empower women to create a financially, environmentally and socially sustainable future.

In addition, Mr Kwek joined over 1,600 leaders globally in pledging support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles. Developed through a partnership between by the UN Women and UN Global Compact, the principles offer practical guidance to the private sector on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

Mr Kwek is also a member of the Diversity Action Committee (DAC) initiated by the Singapore Exchange that aims to advocate for an increase in women directors on listed company boards in Singapore for the sustainable competitiveness of companies and the economy as a whole.

CDL supports the DAC’s recommendations and has established a Board Diversity Policy even when there is no regulatory requirement to do so.

Besides the GEI, CDL emerged on 23 January 2018 as the longest-running Singapore-based company to be listed on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World, underscoring its unwavering conviction and commitment to sustainability. It is the first and only Singapore company to be on the index for nine consecutive years.

Conducted by Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based international media and investment research firm, the Global 100 ranking is recognised as the world’s preeminent sustainability equity index and gold standard in corporate sustainability analysis.

Announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Global 100 companies on the 2018 ranking were selected from a pool of 5,994 publicly listed companies—each evaluated on a set of up to 17 environmental, social and governance indicators relative to their industry peers using publicly available information. This year’s methodology also included a new weighting system based on an impact algorithm and a green revenue indicator.[2]

Ms Esther An, CDL Chief Sustainability Officer, said, “Climate change and environmental threats have significant impacts across sectors and regions, and businesses can no longer ignore the risks posed on their bottom line. From a very early stage, CDL has recognised this and for more than two decades, sustainability has been strategically integrated into our business and operations.”

“Amidst growing global uncertainty and an ever-evolving business landscape, CDL has continued to innovate our product and services by leveraging our green building track record to enhance financial performance. We are poised to stay dynamic and resilient in delivering lasting value for our business, investors, stakeholders and the environment at large.”

“Building on our firm foundation in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) management, we established the CDL Future Value 2030 blueprint in 2017. This is a forward-looking action plan with clear long-term ESG goals and targets to guide CDL towards 2030—a milestone year for global sustainable development, climate agreement and green building movement. Furthermore, we have aligned these goals and targets to support ten relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

As part of the CDL Future Value 2030 blueprint, the company made a bold move to raise its carbon emissions intensity reduction target from 25 per cent to 38 per cent by 2030 against 2007 levels. The enhanced target adopts the Sectoral Decarbonisation Approach, a sector-based target-setting methodology, to support Singapore’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, Climate Action Plan and Sustainable Singapore Blueprint.

The Singapore government has designated 2018 as the Year of Climate Action. As the pioneer and forerunner in sustainability, CDL is honoured to co-host the official launch of the Year of Climate Action with the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, which will take place at the zero-energy SSA on 26 January 2018.

Located at CDL’s City Square Mall, the SSA is a joint initiative by CDL and the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore in support of global and national goals to tackle climate change.

In view of the global move towards a circular economy, CDL has also established new targets to reduce its total waste disposed by 50 per cent from 2016 levels, and to ensure that 50 per cent of its construction materials are derived from recycled content, low-carbon sources or certified by recognised environmental organisations.

Mr Michael Yow, Research Director, Corporate Knights said, “The Global 100 companies make up the top 1.6% in sustainability performance of corporations with revenue of at least US$1 billion. Due in part to methodology changes, there has been a high turnover in this year’s ranking. CDL’s long and continued standing in the ranking is a testament to its leadership in sustainability performance.”

For its steadfast sustainability efforts and performance, CDL is consistently listed on 13 leading global sustainability benchmarks including FTSE4Good Index Series (since 2002), MSCI ESG Leaders Indexes (since 2009), Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World (since 2010) and Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (since 2011).

In October 2017, CDL emerged as the highest scoring Singapore real estate company for its climate change response to CDP. A non-profit environmental disclosure platform, CDP recognised CDL as one of four companies in the Hong Kong and Southeast Asia region to have attained Leadership level for its 2017 climate disclosure.

In September 2017, CDL was also named the Regional Sector Leader for the Office Sector in Asia in the 2017 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) released. It was ranked first out of 31 participants in this category of the leading ESG benchmark for real estate sector. GRESB’s investor members, representing over US$17 trillion in institutional capital, use GRESB data to better manage ESG risks and enhance returns of their real asset investments worldwide.

That same month, CDL was accorded ‘Best Sustainability Report for Established Reporters (Mainboard and Catalist)’ at the inaugural Singapore Sustainability Reporting Awards 2017.

More information on CDL’s sustainability efforts can be found on

About City Developments Limited

City Developments Limited (CDL) is a Singapore-listed international real estate operating company with a global presence spanning 97 locations in 26 countries. As one of Singapore’s largest companies by market capitalisation, its income-stable and geographically-diversified portfolio comprises residences, offices, hotels, serviced apartments, integrated developments and shopping malls, totalling over 18 million square feet of floor area globally.

CDL has hotel assets in one of the world’s largest hotel groups – its London-listed subsidiary, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc (M&C;), has over 130 hotels globally, many in key gateway cities. Globally, CDL has developed over 40,000 homes and is one of Singapore’s largest commercial landlords, with one of the biggest landbanks amongst Singapore private-sector developers.

Building on its track record of over 50 years in real estate development, investment and management, CDL has developed growth platforms in five key international markets – UK, US, China, Japan and Australia.

For its steadfast sustainability efforts and performance, CDL is consistently listed on 13 leading global sustainability benchmarks including FTSE4Good Index Series (since 2002), MSCI Global ESG Leaders Indexes (since 2009), Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World (since 2010) and Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (since 2011).

For more information, please visit

[1] For more information on the GEI, please visit

[2] For more information on the Global 100 ranking and Corporate Knights, please visit

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