Thought Leadership on Climate Action and Sustainable Development
Outcomes and Impact
COP27, 7 and 11 November 2022
Deemed the implementation COP, the COP27 in Sharm El-Shiekh in Egypt rallied global leaders together and provided renewed hope for global collaboration and implementation of climate action. CDL’s Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), Ms Esther An represented both the Singapore private sector and CDL. She spoke at the inaugural Singapore Pavilion, led by the Prime Minister’s Office of Singapore, alongside the National Climate Change Secretariat, Monetary Authority of Singapore, Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE), Ministry of National Development, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Temasek Holdings. She also spoke at the panel “Decarbonising the ASEAN Way – Harnessing the Collective Actions of ASEAN Private Sectors” at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Pavilion alongside management from Indonesian and Malaysian corporates, as well as government officials from ASEAN.
World Cities Summit, 1-2 August 2022 (Supported since 2018)
Organisers: Centre for Liveable Cities, Urban Redevelopment Authority Partners: AMPD Energy, H3 Zoom.ai, SP Digital GET Control, CBM Solutions digiHUB, SUTD Robotics, The Igloo, GUSH, SimplyGood, SUTD Carbonbits and Rehyphen®, Inspiring Girls, CDL Incubator For SDGs, Hubble, Widuz
To support the 2022 theme of Liveable and Sustainable Cities: Emerging Stronger, CDL curated an exhibition showcase and two panel sessions titled “Future-proofing the Built Environment through Innovation” and “Young Startups Contributing to a Sustainable Future” in partnership with 13 innovators and social enterprises focused on PropTech and urban solutions. CDL’s CSO, Ms Esther An also represented CDL and Singapore in the UNDP Sustainable Development Flagship Event’s Fireside Chat on the potential of digitalisation and innovation for an inclusive and green recovery.
In 2022, CDL’s CSO spoke at more than 100 local and international platforms reaching out to public, private and people sectors. Thought leadership topics covered climate action towards a net zero carbon future, strategic ESG/ SDG integration, green building and smart technologies, sustainability reporting, ESG investing and green financing and more.
Speakers: UNITAR’s Partnerships Consultant, Ms Afroditi Anastasaki; CDL’s CSO, Ms Esther An; GGC’s Founder & CEO, Ms Christina Lee; UOB’s CSO, Mr Eric Lim, AIA’s Group Head of Sustainability, Ms Amita Chaudhury; PALO IT’s Managing Director, Mr Vincent Desclaux; WTW’s Managing Director, Global Leader of Executive Compensation & Board Advisory business, Mr Shai Ganu
To address the increased need for ESG training, CDL’s SSA launched Sustainability Connect, a platform offering sustainability practitioners practical knowledge to share best practices. The hybrid launch event included a plenary session featuring sustainability experts who shared their insight on what makes an effective sustainability practitioner and how companies can gear up to embrace sustainability in their businesses.
Speakers: CDL’s Group CEO, Mr Sherman Kwek; CDL’s CSO, Ms Esther An; NUS’ Business School Centre for Governance and Sustainability Director, Prof Lawrence Loh; SGX RegCo’s Listing Policy & Product Admission Head, Mr Michael Tang; WTW’s Managing Director, Global Leader of Executive Compensation & Board Advisory business, Mr Shai Ganu; and Aberdeen Standard Investments’ Senior Investment Director, Ms Pruksa Iamthongthong
Opportunities.’ The session focused on the business case for sustainability integration and reporting, and the ever-urgent need to turn risks into business advantages and growth opportunities in the global Race to Zero.
CDL’s SSA and Women4Green Network celebrated International Women’s Day 2022, themed #BreaktheBias, with a dynamic fireside chat with Ms Herry Cho, SGX’s first Managing Director, Head of Sustainability and Sustainable Finance. Moderated by CDL’s CSO, the discussion revolved around Ms Cho’s professional journey as she continues to break new ground in sustainable finance.
Women4Green – Nurturing Women Eco Champions (Initiated in June 2017)
The network aims to empower female executives to adopt and champion sustainable lifestyles and practices at work, home and play. Our SSA platform and Women4Green Network organised sessions in 2022 on topics such as women leadership in sustainability, sustainable fashion and food security.
Skills Development Programme for Self-Help Women Groups in Bastar, India
This women empowerment, education and social upliftment initiative sponsored 10 laptops and 100 hours of IT technical skills training from local instructors for 52 self-help women tribal groups in Bastar, India working in sustainable agriculture and the procurement of local forest produce.
Youth Engagement and Development
Outcomes and Impact
Keep Calm and Love Our Planet, November 2022 to 2023
A collaboration with Singapore Youth for Climate Action (SYCA), the “Keep Calm and Love our Planet” campaign is a series of programmes and initiatives, launched in 2021 and continued in 2022 to rally youths from all over the world to support our vision of “Turning Climate Anxiety into Positive Action”.
The first part of the series comprised a hybrid panel session named “Keep Calm and Love our Planet” held at COP26 on 10 November 2021.
CDL sponsored three youths from SYCA to attend COP27 in Cairo, Egypt. Post COP27 engagements include several panels in 2023.
CDL E-Generation Challenge (Launched in 2010)
This annual competition engages youths to contribute ideas on climate action. 2022’s challenge focused on the topic, “Why and how should we achieve a low-carbon lifestyle?” Winners of the challenge embarked on an Antarctic Climate Epic Expedition in February 2023 with 110 eco-champions to co-create solutions to tackle the climate emergency. Runner-ups received an educational immersion trip planned by Earth Company in Ubud, Bali.
CDL Young SDG Leaders Fund – Supporting Local and Overseas Youth Development Programmes
(Launched in 2014)
This fund has supported 100 student-led overseas community investment programmes and impacted approximately 4,118 students since its launch. Due to COVID-19, most local and overseas projects were suspended. In 2022, the Fund empowered 32 students to engage 650 participants through a campus-wide food reduction campaign at Singapore Management University.
Eco-Business Youth A List (Partnership since 2020)
This initiative recognises the exemplary work of individuals under the age of 30 who have helped to advance environmental and social sustainability in Asia Pacific.
Speakers: British High Commissioner to Singapore, Her Excellency Kara Owen; Member of Parliament, Mr Louis Ng; National Youth Council’s CEO, Mr David Chua; CDL’s CSO, Ms Esther An; and youth climate activists
This session on “Turning Anxiety into Action” saw the launch of a special video as the second part of the “Keep Calm and Love our Planet” series. Attendees also tuned in to a panel discussion on the topic of eco-anxiety, and how young climate champions address this issue across business, politics, education and NGOs.
Nurturing Future Sustainability Leaders via Education
In 2022, CDL’s Senior Management was invited to deliver lectures to local and overseas students, at institutions such as National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Management University, ESSEC Business School, Durham University, and University of St. Gallen.
CDL-GCNS Young SDG Leaders Award (Launched in 2011)
Partners: GCNS, MSE
This annual business case competition seeks to empower youths to become future sustainability champions by equipping them with the skills and integrate SDGs into business strategy and operations. It has attracted more than 3,500 youths since inauguration.
Into its 12th year, 2022’s topic focused on SDG 13: Climate Action, 10 finalist teams underwent a work attachment with their assigned case company, in preparation for their final presentations. The top three winning teams were crowned at the GCNS Summit 2022.
My Tree House – World’s First Green Library for Kids (Initiated in 2013)
In 2022, approximately 56,500* people visited My Tree House and borrowed approximately 354,000* books. Around 2050* participants took part in 24* library programmes, including the “We Love Our Planet” Storytelling Contest and Storytime @ Central Public Library, in collaboration with CDL.
In the lead up to World Environment Day 2022 on 5 June 2022, CDL and NLB jointly organised the third edition of the storytelling contest. The best entries were curated in a video titled “We Love Our Planet – City in Nature 2022”.
* Until the Central Public Library closed for renovation on 12 June 2022
In line with CDL’s commitment towards partnering with emerging innovation and ideation partners, we were invited to be a corporate mentor for the SDG Open Hack in 2022. This atypical hackathon promotes innovation and entrepreneurship in partnership with UNITAR, Open Geneva, University of Geneva, Singapore universities and corporate partners. 2022’s winner was Hiraya, a student team from the Philippines with a circular economy solution for hand sanitisers.
Storytelling @ Central Public Library, 8 June 2022
In celebration of World Environment Day, CDL’s Virtual SSA and NLB presented the third storytelling session. Parents and their children learned the benefits of storytelling and received tips on being an engaging storyteller.
In support of: President’s Challenge, Singapore’s Climate Action Week
Keep Calm and Love our Planet: A Robert Swan Special, 4 September 2022
Speakers: Renowned explorer and the first person in history to walk both the North and South poles, Robert Swan OBE; Nparks’ Coastal and Marine Director, Dr Karenne Tun; CDL’s CSO, Ms Esther An
Youth4Climate Family Day Movie Screening, 4 September 2022
Youth4Climate Concert, 24 September 2022
Y4C is one of CDL’s flagship programmes in support of youth empowerment, social good and the UN SDGs. The festival provides Singapore’s youths with a platform to express their love for the environment.
After a two-year hiatus, the Y4C Festival returned in-person for its fifth edition with a free outdoor movie screening, a climate-themed concert, the fourth edition of CDL’s “Keep Calm & Love our Planet” series and an exclusive panel session featuring special guest, Robert Swan OBE. CDL also donated S$5.00 for every ‘like’ and ‘share’ of CDL’s Y4C-related social media posts to the President’s Challenge 2022 fundraising efforts for its various welfare beneficiaries.
Speakers: First person to walk the South Pole powered solely by renewable energy, Mr Barney Swan; Green is the New Black’s Founder, Ms Stephanie Dickson
The fifth edition of our “Keep Calm & Love our Planet” series featured a sharing by Barney Swan on his environmental journey and project ClimateForce, and a conversation on his inspirations and wishes for change.
CDL supported his ClimateForce reforestation project though the sponsoring of 100 native trees for a regenerative land management trial. Insights garnered will be used for other global projects.
Community Education and Outreach
Outcomes and Impact
The Climate Action Exhibition features contactless displays showcasing various facts about marine conservation, calling for action to support global
and national climate efforts.
“Change the Present, Save the Future” Climate Action Exhibition, 15 July 2021 to March 2022
In April 2022, in partnership with NParks and Ocean Geographic, CDL launched “Change the Present, Save the Ocean.” an exhibition on the ocean crisis and global commitment on marine conservation. Running from 11 April 2022 to 19 March 2023 at the CDL Green Gallery, the opening ceremony was launched by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development and was also graced by Dr Sylvia Earle, world-renowned marine biologist and oceanographer, and TIME Magazine’s First Hero of the Planet. Dr Earle inspired many in the audience to take action through her fireside chat about “Care for the Ocean”.
The two-day launch event kick-started on 10 April 2022 with the third edition of “Keep Calm and Love our Planet: Save our Ocean” series. The youth-focused event was jointly hosted by SYCA, CDL, NParks and Ocean Geographic, in line with CDL’s belief that youths can change the future.
Attendees were inspired to turn eco-anxiety into eco-action through an engaging sharing by Dr Sylvia Earle, followed by a conversation on the topic “Blue Seas for a Green Planet” with ocean conservation warriors: Dr Karenne Tun, Director of the Coastal and Marine Environment Branch at NParks; Ms Sam Shu Qin, a coral scientist actively involved in restoring coral reefs in Singapore and Southeast Asia; Dr Neo Mei Lin, Senior Research Fellow at the Tropical Marine Science Institute, NUS and was moderated CDL’s CSO.
In 2022, the exhibition reached out to 27,116 visitors through its four zones:
1. Global Action: Protecting the Ocean, Our Life Source
2. Local Action: Marine Conservation in Singapore
3. The Private Sector: CDL and the Green Building Movement Towards Net Zero
4. Your Part in Ocean Action
Since its opening on 5 June 2017 till the end of 2022, the SSA has hosted more than 780 sustainability-related training programmes and advocacy events, attracting more than 27,800 attendees. In 2022, despite restrictions posed by COVID-19, the SSA has continued promoting sustainable lifestyle practices through more than 140 events and trainings, reaching out to over 5,000 participants.
Stakeholder Engagement on Sustainability and Green Buildings
To encourage more sustainable practices, CDL actively engages tenants and homebuyers through initiatives such as our Green Lease Partnership Programme, Green Living Guide, raising supplier awareness through a Supplier Code of Conduct and CDL’s 5-Star EHS Seminars.
Speakers: Edible Garden City’s Executive Director & Co-Founder, Mr Bjorn Low; Grobrix’s Founder, Mr Mathew Howe; Nutritionist & Presenter, Ms Charlotte Mei; The Midnight Gardener, Mr Jack Yam; NParks’ Community in Bloom Ambassador, Ms Sharon Tay; and CDL’s CSO, Ms Esther An
This event focused on food, a timely subject as Singapore tries to meet its ‘30 by 30’ goal of producing 30% of its nutritional needs by 2030. The session featured an engaging panel discussion with passionate eco-practitioners and citizen farmers who shared on their innovative journeys and experiences, as well as their views and wishes on food security in Singapore.
Partners: UNDP, Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise, and Social Collider
In support of social enterprises with purposes that are aligned with one or more UN SDGs, the Incubator For SDGs provides rent-free workspaces for selected social enterprises, start-ups and scale-ups for a year. See page 103 of this chapter for more details.
Mobilising Capital to Accelerate ESG | CESGA® Launch, 30 August 2022
Partners: GGC, Sustainable Finance Research Hub
Speakers: University of Hamburg’s Professor of Capital Markets and Management, Dr Alexander Bassen; CDL’s CSO, Ms Esther An; Williams-Sonoma’s Social Impact & Sustainability Director, CESGA®, MSc, Ms Sammie Ho Dumas; Sistema Asia Capital’s CEO, Mr Edward Tay; Robeco’s Executive Director, Regional Head of Wholesale Asia ex-Japan, Ms Dawn Foo; GGC’s Founder & CEO, Ms Christina Lee
The event featured the launch of a new partnership bringing the (CESGA®) exam to Singapore. It focused on how sustainable finance can generate meaningful returns and how we can enhance alignment between expectations of investors and investees to take things to the next level, beyond investing in companies with ESG practices.
Speakers: First person to walk both the North and South Poles, Robert Swan OBE; NUS’ Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions Research Fellow, Ms Melissa Low; LASALLE College of the Arts’ Lecturer and Filmmaker and 2019 CDL E-Generation’s Winner, Mr Qing Sheng Ang and CDL’s CSO, Ms Esther An
In October 2019, CDL launched the “Saving Glaciers Alliance” to highlight the importance of conserving the world’s polar regions and glaciers. In 2022, the “Saving Glaciers Alliance Reconnect Panel” explored the interconnectedness between glaciers, oceans, marine health and the climate crisis.
Supporting Trees of the World, December 2022
CDL celebrated the holiday season by sponsoring 10 trees at the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Trees of the World 2022 display, a collaboration with the community to raise funds and bring festive cheer. All proceeds collected contribute towards the Garden’s “Give to the Gardens” programme to support nature conservation work and to promote love for nature.
Speakers: CDL’s CSO, Ms Esther An; The Fashion Pulpit’s Founder, Mr Raye Padit; Cloop’s Founder, Ms Jasmine Tuan; Seastainable’s Founder, Ms Samantha Thian; Fashion Lecturer and Biomaterial Researcher, Ms Kae Hana; The Fashion Pulpit’s Research and Impact Coordinator, Ms Xingyun Shen
The fashion industry contributes almost 10% of global GHG emissions. A continuation of Sustainable Fashion 2.0: Greening Our Wardrobe in November 2021, this event examined how we can support SDG 12 on responsible consumption and disposal and revealed the results of the November 2021 “Inside Our Wardrobe: An Experiential Wardrobe Exercise” survey. CDL also launched an exhibition at Level 3 of City Square Mall concurrently to showcase the upcycled clothing items featured in the November fashion show.
CDL has always believed in engaging our stakeholders with active employee volunteerism being a key driver. To this end, CDL has a dedicated employee volunteer arm, City Sunshine Club (CSC), which was founded in 1999 by our late-Deputy Chairman, Mr Kwek Leng Joo, to nurture a spirit of volunteerism among employees and cultivate an engaged workforce. Through CSC, CDL facilitates and encourages employees and their families to lend a helping hand to the less fortunate through a wide range of programmes. Notwithstanding the restrictions and strict adherence to social distancing and safety measures, our employees managed to achieve a participation rate of 46.6% and clocked 682 volunteer hours in 2022.
Outcomes and Impact
Arc Children’s Centre (Founding corporate supporter since 2011)
The centre aims to be a sanctuary for children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, and families in its care.
During its holiday camp in June 2022 and mid-autumn celebration in September 2022, CSC engaged the children through games, story-telling and arts and crafts, which were curated from recycled materials to produce decorations for the Christmas tree that was gifted to the centre by CDL for the Trees of the World.
In December 2022, CSC volunteers brought festive joy to the children during Christmas through building gingerbread houses, games, and festive goodie distribution.
Assisi Hospice (Partnership since 1999)
Assisi Hospice CDL Challenge: An in-house fundraising campaign that rallies donations from staff and business partners.
Assisi Hospice e-Fun Day: Fundraising campaign through virtual stalls, and provided donations-in-kind, including shopping, F&B and hotel vouchers towards the event’s lucky draw and game prizes.
Assisi ‘A Reunion of Hearts’ Dinner: Annual signature fundraising dinner to support and provide palliative care for patients, especially those from underprivileged families.
The funds raised by CDL went towards the improvement of the Hospice’s three core services of in-patient care, home care and day care centres.
Boys’ Brigade Cares (since 2007)
Launched in support of the President’s Challenge to promote the spirit of volunteerism and kindness amongst Singapore’s youth.
In 2022, CSC together with Boys’ Brigade reached out to 20 elderly and engaged them in beach cleaning and recycling workshops.
Henderson Senior Citizens’ Home (since 2003)
CDL volunteers organise celebratory outings for the elderly from Henderson Senior Citizens’ Home during the Lunar New Year.
In 2022, despite the COVID-19 restrictions, CSC arranged home visits to provide bento lunches and red packets to some 30 elderly.
Lions Befrienders and Kembangan Chai Chee Senior Activity Centre (since 1999 and 2014 respectively)
For over two decades, CDL has been active in a monthly food distribution and befriending programme for the elderly.
In 2022, CSC organised 25 food distribution activities that supported 46 elderly residing in Indus, Chai Chee and Telok Blangah neighborhoods.
North West Community Development Council (NWCDC)
– WeCare@NWCDC Service Week (since 2015)
CDL supported this annual initiative for the seventh consecutive year to distribute festive packs of necessities to needy households living in public rental flats in Limbang.
In 2022, some 300 needy households benefitted from the initiative.
This year, CDL and our stakeholders fulfilled wishes of 138 children through the Tree of Hope & Wishes initiative at City Square Mall. 80 volunteers prepared and presented gifts to the children at the NWCDC – Service Weeks at Limbang.