The built sector accounts for some 40% of global energy-related carbon emissions.1 The real estate industry’s high carbon footprint puts CDL in the position to drive change by implementing robust strategies to mitigate, measure, and report our environmental impact. Since embarking on our sustainability journey more than two decades ago, CDL has put in place a comprehensive suite of policies, processes and systems to measure our efforts in environmental protection and conservation. Our goal is to reduce carbon emissions, maximise energy and water efficiency, reduce waste disposal, increase sustainable use of resources and mitigate impact to the natural environment.

Ambitious goals are effective drivers for action. As a demonstration of our commitment, CDL became the first real estate conglomerate in Southeast Asia to sign the WorldGBC Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment in February 2021. This is a global pledge to achieve net zero operational carbon by 2030, covering new and existing wholly-owned assets under our direct management and operational control. In November 2021, during COP26, CDL joined 44 pioneering companies worldwide to extend our pledge towards a net zero whole life carbon emissions approach. Through this expanded commitment, we pledged to achieve maximum reduction of embodied carbon in new developments, compensating for any remaining residual operational and upfront embodied emissions via offsetting for new developments by 2030 and for all buildings to be net zero carbon by 2050.


At the highest governance level, the Board Sustainability Committee (BSC) has an oversight on all sustainability matters including climate-related transition and physical issues.

Since 2008, a company-wide Sustainability Committee was set up to drive ESG practices across all departments within CDL.

The CSO chairs the Sustainability Committee that comprises members across all departments and operational units in CDL. Under the Sustainability Committee are several sub-committees, including Environment. The Environment sub-committee and CDL’s senior management meet at least once a year to review the company’s EHS Management System at meetings chaired by the Group CEO.

Started since 2003, the EHS management review sets out to evaluate CDL’s performance and programmes in accordance to ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards, and formulate action plans to further reduce our EHS risks and improve our operating efficiency.

Recognising that EHS risks are non-diversifiable and affect nearly all business functions of an organisation, climate change, health and safety have been identified as strategic business risks under CDL’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework. The ERM framework comes under the purview of Audit & Risk Committee (ARC), whose responsibility is to provide oversight and review on matters relating to the risk management policies and systems of the CDL Group.

Environmental Policies

In 2003, CDL established our corporate Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Policy which reflects our firm commitment towards a “Safe and Green” culture. The Policy sets the strategic direction for all departments to take practical efforts to ensure effective EHS management.

In 2015, we put forth our commitment to climate change mitigation by formalising a Climate Change Policy to guide us towards low carbon operations.

Environmental, Health and Safety Management System

In line with our EHS Policy that was established since 2003, we have implemented a comprehensive Environmental, Health and Safety Management Systems (EHS MS) to help set the framework for effective implementation of our Environmental and Workplace Health and Safety programmes.

CDL became the first private sector developer in Singapore to achieve the OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System and ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certifications in 2003, setting benchmarks for EHS performance in property development and management. In 2014, we were also the first developer in Singapore to achieve the ISO 50001 Energy Management System certification for asset management. In 2017, we achieved the ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications for our integrated EHS Management System that covers our operations in Singapore (except hotel operations). In 2020, we migrated to the ISO 45001 Health and Safety management system from OHSAS 18001.

Lifecycle Approach

Since having adopted ISO 14001:2015, we have further strengthened our existing sustainability strategy by using a lifecycle approach to better mitigate the negative environmental impacts associated with a building. From pre-construction environmental impact studies to the subsequent maintenance and eventual demolition of buildings, we have policies and guidelines to manage, monitor and review our impact and performances. These aid our continual improvement and transition to a circular economy in the future.

1 2019 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction, Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, International Energy Agency and the United Nations Environment Programme, December 2019.
2 Budget 2020, Singapore Budget, 18 February 2020.