Integrating sustainability at the highest governance level in CDL enables strategic oversight of ESG issues for long-term value creation. For more than a decade, the strategic leadership spearheaded by CDL’s Board Sustainability Committee has been critical in effective integration of CDL’s sustainability vision into our business and investment strategy, project development, asset management, financial and operational performance as well as community investment. These have added tangible and intangible value to the organisation and our brand.

Since 2012, the Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility-Corporate Governance (CSR-CG) Committee was established to put in place an integrated governance structure, with everyone committed to their roles in coordinating ESG efforts, both horizontally between the ESG pillars and functions, and vertically across hierarchical levels, up to the Group CEO and the Board. The CSR-CG Committee was renamed the Board Sustainability Committee (BSC) in 2016. The CSO reports directly to the BSC, which comprises three independent directors and CDL’s Executive Director and Group CEO. The BSC has direct advisory supervision of the Group’s sustainability strategy and targets, including that of our subsidiaries’ Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Limited (M&C) and CBM Pte Ltd. The BSC also oversees CDL’s sustainability strategy and is apprised of initiatives to address climate and sustainability-related risks and opportunities, sustainable investment plans, as well as sustainability reporting on material ESG issues, work plans, performance targets setting, tracking and reporting. Two meetings are held annually, or more frequently as and when necessary, for the management to update BSC on the Group’s sustainability plans and performance reviews. In addition, we engage our BSC members on ESG focused events such as the annual Hong Leong-CDL Group Sustainability Forum, and the CSO communicates the latest global and local ESG trends and practices via emails. The CDL Sustainability Quarterly Report posted online on offers regular updates on CDL’s sustainability initiatives and interim Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) performance to the BSC, Sustainability Committee and external audience. For more details on the BSC’s roles and responsibilities for climate-related risks and opportunities.

Sustainability does not work in silos in CDL. The Executive Committee (ExCo) and the senior management of all business units are well informed of the Company’s sustainability initiatives and progress towards ESG targets, achievements and challenges at monthly CDL senior management meetings. The Company’s sustainability governance, management and disclosures are in line or beyond the global best practices and SGX RegCo’s mandate on climate disclosures and board supervision.

To achieve effective integration of sustainability throughout the Company, the CSO chairs the Sustainability Committee, which comprises members across all departments and operational units. In 2021, the Company increased the alignment of our ESG performance with the ExCo members’ remuneration. 20% of our ExCo members’ remuneration is contingent on hitting the Group’s ESG targets, with a respective weightage of 5% each for Environmental and Governance targets and 10% for Social targets. With Heads of Departments (HODs) reporting to the respective ExCo members, the ESG Key Performance Indicators are cascaded down to every level in our organisation. HODs are held accountable for their ESG performances, which are then captured in their annual performance appraisals that correspond with their remuneration and promotions.

Sustainability Governance Structure


Board Sustainability Committee (BSC)

  • Sherman Kwek

    Chairperson, BSC
    Executive Director and Group Chief Executive Officer

    Appointed as an Executive Director of CDL on 15 May 2019, Mr Kwek has been the Group Chief Executive Officer since 1 January 2018 and concurrently holds the position of Executive Chairman of CDL China Limited. As at 4 January 2021, Mr Kwek has been appointed as Chairman of the Board Sustainability Committee.

    Mr Kwek has been a Council Member of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) since 2013. He was appointed by the SCCCI as the Chairman of the Youth Business Affairs Committee, which is tasked with promoting the Chinese entrepreneurial spirit, managing succession planning and nurturing future business leaders. Mr Kwek is also a member of the Council for Board Diversity (formerly known as the Diversity Action Committee initiated by the Singapore Exchange Limited) which advocates greater gender diversity on the boards of listed companies. In April 2019, he was appointed as a board member of the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), a statutory board that plays a key role in shaping the built environment in Singapore.

    He graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Finance and Marketing with a minor in Psychology.

  • Daniel Marie Ghislain Desbaillets

    Independent and Non-Executive Director

    Appointed as a Director of CDL on 4 January 2021, Mr Desbaillets has an extensive portfolio in the hospitality industry with 42 years of experience. Mr Desbaillets also sits on the Board of Sustainability Committee of CDL.

    Prior to the privatisation of Millennium and Copthorne Hotels Limited (M&C), Mr Desbaillets was the appointed to the M&C board in 2016 as an Independent Non-Executive Director and had served in the Audit & Risk, Remuneration and Risk Committees.

    In 2010, he was the Independent Non-Executive Director of M&C REIT Management Limited, the manager for CDL Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust (“H-REIT”) and also of M&C Business Trust Management Limited, the trustee-manager for CDL Hospitality Business Trust (“HBT”) and had served in the Nominating and Remuneration Committees. Both H-REIT and HBT are comprised as a stapled group in CDL Hospitality Trusts, which is listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited.

  • Tang Ai Ai Mrs Wong Ai Ai

    Independent and Non-Executive Director

  • Chong Yoon Chou

    Independent and Non-Executive Director

More information on CDL’s Board of Directors is available on CDL’s corporate website.