Australian Bushfire Emergency Response, 10 to 17 January 2020
At the start of 2020, Australia experienced a period of deadly heatwaves that caused unceasing bushfires. It resulted in the devastation of millions of hectares of land and decimated an estimated half a billion animals.
An internal fundraiser and a dollar-to-dollar matching by CDL raised more than $40,000, which was donated to the Singapore and Australian Red Cross to support disaster relief efforts.
Ecobank–An Annual CDL and Eco-Business Initiative
Launched in 2016, this annual initiative brings the 3P sectors together to break the typical “take, use and dispose” cycle and promote a mindset of responsible consumption. Through eight collection points and private donations over a month-long period in 2020, CDL collected approximately 20 tonnes of pre-loved toys, clothes, books and household items.However, due to the restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual EcoBank Bazaar and all EcoBank volunteer activities were cancelled in 2020. Instead, CDL partnered with our South Beach development to repurpose pre-loved clothes, accessories, toys and books into sustainability-themed Christmas decorations, comprising an actual spinning Ferris wheel, Christmas trees, and display boxes across the development.
With close to 3,000 pre-loved items on display, South Beach was awarded the “Largest Christmas Decoration of a Building Using Recycled Materials” in 2020 by the Singapore Book of Records.
From 2016 to 2020, about 75 tonnes of pre-loved toys, clothes, books and household items were collected, reducing about 34,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by diverting these items from the incinerator or landfill.
Food Waste Minimisation Forum, 16 January 2020
CDL organised a timely discussion on food waste minimisation in support of Singapore’s Year Towards Zero Waste in 2019 and ahead of the launch of “2020: Singapore Food Story”—the latter of which took place in February 2020.The forum featured expert speakers from across the 3P sectors who shared their varied perspectives on the food waste management system and chain.
It attracted close to 100 participants, including students and representatives from the government sector, F&B companies and sustainability-related NGOs.
CDL Sustainability Quiz 2020, 10 May 2020
Open to CDL and our key subsidiaries, the CDL Sustainability Quiz 2020 aimed to further enhance staff’s awareness and support of CDL’s sustainability and EHS practices and performance. Participants submitted ideas on concrete actions and decisions that could shape a better and greener future.
“A Thousand Trees for World Environment Day 2020”, 5 June 2020
In celebration of World Environment Day 2020 and its theme “Time for Nature”, CDL launched the “A Thousand Trees for World Environment Day 2020” initiative to plant one tree for every two photos submitted by staff from CDL and our subsidiaries.We received a total of 2,760 photo submissions in four weeks. With these submissions, CDL worked with a non-profit organisation, One Tree Planted, to plant over 1,380 trees in Indonesia (Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in Lampung), and the Philippines (Sarangani and Tambobo Bays, and bamboo forests in Mindanao).
Supporting Trees of the World, December 2020
CDL celebrated the holiday season by sponsoring three trees at the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Trees of the World 2020 display. Led by NParks, the Trees of the World display is a collaboration with the community to bring festive cheer to the public and raise funds for the Singapore Botanic Gardens.Applying the 3Rs in the way we live, work, play and engage the community for a more sustainable future for all, CDL dedicated a tree each for Arc Children’s Centre (an independent charity centre dedicated to children braving life-threatening illnesses), CDL tenants and staff, and The Fashion Pulpit (a social enterprise that aims to promote environmental education and awareness in fashion).
All proceeds went towards the “Give to the Gardens” programme. Initiated in 2016, this programme supports the Garden’s work as a prominent botanical institution and contributes to the conservation of Singapore’s local and regional flora while inspiring a love for nature and environmental protection amongst the community.
Reduce @ North West
A collaboration with the North West Community Development Council since 2015, it aims to encourage residents to reduce their energy and water consumption, and educate them on food waste. For every pledge received, $10 will be donated to the needy families in the North West District under North West Utilities Assistance Scheme. More than 2,600 households have benefitted since its launch.
Advocating Best Practices in Sustainability
Outcomes and Impact
Incubator For SDGs
In support of social enterprises with purposes that are aligned with one or more UN SDGs, the Incubator For SDGs is an initiative by CDL in partnership with UNDP, Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE), and Social Collider. For 2021, CDL will seek the second intake of impact driven businesses with its new partner GGEF, a well-connected impact investing accelerator, in addition to our founding partners UNDP and raiSE.
Singapore Sustainability Academy–Hosted 69 events in 2020, and 17 Virtual SSA events
Designed and built by CDL in 2017, the SSA is the first ground-up initiative and zero-energy facility in Singapore dedicated to advocacy, thought leadership, collaboration, and capacity building for climate action and green causes, involving an extensive partnership with six government agencies and 15 founding industry and NGO partners.Since its opening on 5 June 2017 till the end of 2020, the SSA has hosted more than 450 sustainability-related training programmes and advocacy events, involving over 18,000 attendees. This year, despite restrictions posed by COVID-19, the SSA has continued promoting sustainable lifestyle practices through various virtual workshops. Under the new Virtual SSA (VSSA) platform, we hosted a series of sustainability-related talks and sessions that were free and open to the public. It has provided the SSA with great opportunities to expand outreach beyond our shores. In 2020, the VSSA sessions attracted over 1,200 participants from over 25 countries, including Switzerland, Nigeria, the United States, Malaysia, Thailand and more. Recorded and posted on our CDL Sustainability YouTube channel, these sessions have been viewed by an additional 700 people.
Active Thought Leadership in Sustainability and Responsible Business Practices
CDL has been frequently invited to share our two-decades strong business case of ESG integration. In 2020, CDL’s Senior Management spoke at 83 local and international platforms—a majority of them virtually—covering topics such as strategic SDG integration, green building and future cities, sustainability reporting, ESG investing and green financing, and more:
World Green Building Council Webinar: Translating Scope 1, 2 and 3 for Commercial Real Estate
Global Reporting Initiative Regional ASEAN Webinar
CDP 2020 Global Workshop Series – Global Stakeholder Forum
UN Virtual Forum on Responsible Business and Human Rights – Moving the Needle on Climate Change, Business Actions for a 1.5°C Future
UNGC Academy Session – Set Ambitious Corporate Targets and Accelerate Integration of the 17 SDGs with SDG Ambition
IIRC Webinar – SDGs in Integrated Thinking and Reporting, ESG Integration is Key to Enhancing Business Value
International Built Environment Week – New Opportunities for Accelerating Climate Change and Sustainability
Global Compact Network Singapore – ESG Reporting, Corporate Governance and Sustainable Finance, Keys to Accelerating Action Towards the SDGs
GCNS CEO Roundtable – Leveraging Sustainable Finance to Accelerate Action for the SDGs
UN Global Compact Webinar – Raising Ambition and Scaling Up Action in the Asia Pacific
IIRC Global Conference – Achieving the 2030 Global Goals
Empowering Youths and Women as Sustainability Champions
Outcomes and Impact
CDL E-Generation Challenge 2020
The CDL E-Generation Challenge is an annual youth competition in which young eco champions from Singapore and the ASEAN region are invited to propose ideas and action plans that address the urgency of climate change. 2020’s topic focussed on the impact of global deforestation and the importance of protecting biodiversity in Singapore and Asia. Due to the restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the winners’ trip to Tanzania to visit Jane Goodall Institute’s conservation sites has been rescheduled till further notice.
CDL-GCNS Young SDG Leaders Award 2020
Launched in 2011, this annual business case competition seeks to empower and cultivate youths into future sustainability champions, equipped with the skills and know-how to integrate SDGs into business strategy and operations. Formerly known as CDL-GCNS Young CSR Leaders Award, it was rebranded in 2018 to CDL-GCNS Young SDG Leaders Award in support of the SDGs.Despite the restrictions posed by COVID-19, CDL concluded the final judging for the 10th CDL-GCNS Young SDG Leaders Award virtually. The competition has attracted the participation of more than 2,400 youths over the past 10 years.
My Tree House–World’s First Green Library for Kids and Platform Featuring Young Eco Champions in 2020
Initiated by CDL in conjunction with NLB in 2013, My Tree House is the world’s first green library for children and was created to encourage and facilitate environmental literacy and love for nature amongst younger generations. In 2020, due to COVID-19 restrictions, My Tree House experienced a decrease in loans, visitorships, programmes and programme participants. Around 75,000 people visited My Tree House and borrowed approximately 304,000 books in 2020. Close to 650 participants took part in 13 programmes, including the virtual Eco Storytelling Contest and VSSA Storytime @ My Tree House.In the lead up to World Environment Day 2020 on 5 June 2020, CDL and NLB jointly organised My Tree House’s Eco Storytelling Contest for children from 3 to 12 years of age. The inaugural contest with four different categories aimed to promote family bonding through storytelling during the Circuit Breaker period, as well as to encourage young eco champions and their families to develop their love for nature and to take action to protect the planet. The best entries and a selection of passionate submissions from the contest were used to create a special video titled “We Love Our Planet – Voices of Our Children.”
Nurturing Future Sustainability Leaders via Education
To equip students with relevant skills and knowledge to drive action towards a low-carbon future, CDL actively shares our business case for sustainability integration as inspiration to future generations. In 2020, CDL’s Senior Management was invited to deliver lectures to local and overseas students, e.g. University of St. Gallen, National University of Singapore, Asian Institute of Management, Singapore Management University, and Nanyang Technological University.
Women4Green–Nurturing Women Eco Champions
Initiated by CDL in June 2017, the Women4Green network aims to empower female executives to adopt and champion a sustainable lifestyle and practices at work, at home and play. The initiative supports SDG 5 (Gender Equality) and 13 (Climate Action). Since its inception in late 2017, several engagement initiatives and events were organised, covering themes like sustainable diet, fashion and jewellery.Our VSSA platform and Women4Green Network organised several virtual sessions in 2020 on topics such as digital media, and featured women leaders in smart and sustainable building industries.
CDL Young SDG Leaders Fund–Supporting Local and Overseas Youth Development Programmes
For close to two decades, CDL has been actively supporting youth development through direct sponsorships and mentorships. These include the CDL Young SDG Leaders Fund (formerly known as CDL-SMU Young CSR Leaders Fund), which has supported close to 100 student-led overseas community investment programmes and more than 4,000 students since 2014. Due to COVID-19, majority of overseas community service projects were suspended. In 2020, the Fund supported four projects and 112 students.
Youth4Climate Concert 2020
Recognising that youths play a pivotal role in a sustainable future, the Youth4Climate Festival is one of CDL’s flagship programmes in support of youth empowerment, social good and the UN SDGs. Initiated in 2018 in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) (now known as MSE), NEA, NParks and ActiveSG, the festival aims to provide Singapore’s youths with a platform to express their passion for the environment and green wishes for the future through musical performances and other exciting fringe activities.Due to COVID-19, CDL’s annual festival was conducted virtually in the form of an online concert. With close to 1,300 views on our CDL Sustainability YouTube page, this virtual concert featured six climate-themed acts that reflect youths’ concerns and aspirations for the future of our planet. To commemorate Singapore’s 55th birthday, the concert also rallied youths and the community to support a social cause through the 2020 President’s Challenge. Additionally, CDL conducted a dollar-for-dollar matching donation drive and raised an additional $40,000 from our employee’s remaining 2019 flexible benefits.
Supporting Singapore's Arts Scene
Outcomes and Impact
8th CDL Singapore Young Photographer Award
The only national award for Singapore photographers between the ages of 13 and 25, the CDL Singapore Young Photographer Awards (SYPA) was initiated by CDL and spearheaded by CDL’s late Deputy Chairman, Mr Kwek Leng Joo, in 2005. The theme for the 8th edition of CDL SYPA was “ZERO”, which calls on contestants to rethink climate-related problems and how we can achieve a more sustainable future, linking back to SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), 13 (Climate Action), 14 (Life Below Water) and 15 (Life on Land).
Caring for the Less Fortunate
Outcomes and Impact
Assisi Hospice Charity Fun Day 2020
A longstanding partner of Assisi Hospice since 1999, CDL has been a strong supporter of the Assisi Hospice Charity Fun Day. The 2020 fundraising event attracted strong support from our subsidiaries, hotels and suppliers through an online carnival, which raised funds through e-stall sales. Also, in-kind sponsorship of lucky draw prizes and donations were raised by CDL to further support patients with cancer and terminal illnesses at Assisi Hospice.
Learning Space@Limbang and WeCare@NWCDC – Service Weeks at Limbang
Since 2017, CDL and Northwest CDC partnered to set up a conducive learning space at the Limbang Park Residents’ Committee Centre for students from low-income households in the vicinity. Besides providing library books and recreational games at the centre, CDL’s staff volunteers impart character-building lessons to children from underprivileged families. The learning space had a total outreach of 530 young children and youths from January to March 2020, before the start of Circuit Breaker. Prior to Circuit Breaker, CDL collaborated with North West Community Development Council (NWCDC) in an annual project, WeCare@NWCDC – Service Weeks for the fifth consecutive year to distribute festive packs to more than 250 needy households staying in one-room rental flats in Limbang.
Arc Children’s Centre
CDL has been a founding corporate supporter of Arc Children’s Centre since its inception in 2011. Helping children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, the centre aims to be a sanctuary for the children and families in its care.In December 2020, CDL staff volunteers brought festive joy to the children during Christmas. This first-of-its-kind “hybrid” party saw the children and several CSC volunteers attending on-site at the centre, while CDL’s staff volunteers joined virtually. It featured gingerbread pastry decorating, Christmas carolling and interactive games between the children and online volunteers.