Waste Management Strategy and Performance

In land-scarce Singapore, general waste is sent to the waste-to-energy incineration plant, where energy is recovered. The resulting incinerated ash is then transported to our only landfill — Semakau Island — for disposal. CDL engages NEA-licensed vendors to collect, treat and recycle waste from our managed buildings and construction sites.

Recognising that Semakau Landfill is expected to run out of space by 2035, we are driven to effectively manage and reduce our waste generation1. CDL targets to reduce the waste intensity by 16% (from 2016 levels) for our office and industrial buildings and 12% (from 2016 levels) for retail buildings by 2030. We also intend to cap the waste intensity from our construction sites at 40 kg/m2 by 2030.

We continuously invest, innovate, and adopt leading-edge technology such as PPVC to significantly reduce construction waste. As a real estate developer and asset manager, the bulk of our waste is generated by our contractors and tenants. All of CDL’s generated waste at both the construction sites and managed buildings are disposed of in accordance with local waste regulations.

1 CDL generates negligible hazardous waste from our operations.

Lifecycle Approach to Waste Management

CDL remains steadfast in managing our waste efficiently and seeks to reduce, reuse, and recycle our waste across every stage of our project lifecycle. Adopting the waste management hierarchy approach, we focus on reducing waste at the source before considering reusing and recycling.

Stage in Project Lifecycle KEY WATER MANAGEMENT INITIATIVES Benefits
Design Adopting PPVC technology for large-scale residential developments2 Reduce waste generation and pave the way for cleaner and safer construction sites
Construction Adopting Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) technology Reduce construction waste through early identification of potential construction issues
Adhering to CDL’s Construction and Demolition Waste Policy since 2009 for the adoption of sustainable construction practices Increase use of sustainable products by contractors and improved recycling rates for construction waste
Identifying materials for reuse or recycling with reference to BCA’s Demolition Protocol Reduce waste generation and associated costs required to
re-purchase materials
Reusing furnishings in our show flats, wherever the design or theme permits
Operation of Assets Implementing recycling programme for light bulbs Divert waste from landfill
Introducing recycling programmes for our corporate office and managed buildings, where relevant
Piloting food waste systems for segregation and on-site treatment
2 The use of PPVC became mandatory for selected residential non-landed Government Land Sale (GLS) sites from 1 November 2014 onwards. Prior to this regulation, CDL voluntarily embarked on a pioneering effort to build Singapore’s first large-scale PPVC residential development (The Brownstone EC) in early 2014, setting the benchmark and world record of engaging close to 4,100 modules that were prefabricated offsite and assembled on-site.

Waste Reduction Performance

In line with the principles of a circular economy, CDL is committed to waste minimisation and efficient use of resources throughout the lifecycle of our construction sites and managed buildings. As part of our holistic EHS management system framework, we continually review our waste minimisation and recycling initiatives for all our properties.

In 2020, general, non-hazardous waste generation declined by 3,074 tonnes from 2019 largely due to both WFH arrangements and the closing of non-essential services during the Circuit Breaker period that resulted in fewer employees in the workplace and fewer visitors to our retail properties.

In the same year, about 567 tonnes of recyclable waste were collected from our managed buildings, 93% of which was paper. Since 2017, we have engaged tenants across all managed buildings to participate in our paper recycling programme. At our retail properties, recycling bins and facilities are provided to encourage the recycling of paper, plastic and metal by shoppers and tenants. In 2020, City Square Mall reported a recycling rate of 27%, which is above the national recycling rate of 11.4%3 for large malls. Out of 515 tonnes of recyclable waste collected at City Square Mall, 11 tonnes were attributed to food waste composted.

In 2020, construction waste disposed of at all CDL active construction sites amounted to 3,452 tonnes, with a waste intensity of 54.5kg/m2. This is higher than waste intensities in 2018 and 2019 due to lower completed GFAs for our construction sites, as a result of COVID-19 disruptions on construction activities.

3 The latest publicly available recycling rate for large malls is 11.4% in 2019 from NEA’s Findings of the Mandatory Waste Reporting Exercise.

Total Waste Generated by CDL’s Operations in Singapore (Tonnes)

Waste generated is based on the weight of waste that CDL directs to recovery and disposal.
Waste tonnage reported is based on information provided by engaged waste collectors and recyclers. Should information be unavailable, tonnage of general and recyclable waste is estimated based on data extrapolation from one week of weighing, or as appropriate per operating conditions.
Waste recycled for CDL Corporate Office is reported from 2019 onwards.
Waste disposal figures for CDL Managed Buildings have been restated to remove corporate office waste disposal quantities as they are reported separately in this report.

Waste Disposed and Intensity of CDL’s Operations in Singapore (Tonnes)

Waste intensity figures for CDL active construction sites are for incinerated waste.