Online PR News – 17-November-2021 – Singapore – CapitaLand Investment Limited (CLI) and its sponsored real estate investment trust (REIT), Ascendas Reit, have both clinched the Special Edition, Corporate Excellence and Resilience Award 2020/2021 for listed companies with market capitalisation of above S$1 billion at the Singapore Corporate Awards (SCA).
The Corporate Excellence and Resilience Award recognises exemplary Singapore-listed companies that have upheld best practices in corporate governance and shown leadership, innovation and courage in responding to unprecedented business challenges during the pandemic.
Mr Lee Chee Koon, Group CEO of CLI, said: “During times of disruption, it is even more important that we remain steadfast in ensuring strong governance and continue to do well, do right and do good in our business. We are honoured to receive this recognition of our efforts towards achieving the highest standards of corporate excellence and leadership, and will continue to pursue sustainable growth that will deliver long-term economic value to our stakeholders as well as contribute to the environmental and social well-being of the communities where we operate.”
Mr William Tay, CEO of the Manager of Ascendas Reit, said: “As Singapore’s first and largest listed business space and industrial REIT, Ascendas Reit strives for excellence in corporate governance through timely and transparent shareholder engagement, and high disclosure standards. Receiving this award is a testament to our commitment to doing right by our shareholders while we continue to assess and pivot our processes to remain strategically and operationally relevant.”
Notable achievements in corporate excellence and examples of leadership, innovation and resilience
CapitaLand and all five of its Singapore-listed REITs, including Ascendas Reit, are ranked among the top 10 in their respective categories in the Singapore Governance and Transparency Index 2021.
Throughout the pandemic, the Group has prioritised the safety and well-being of its employees, customers and partners. Its frontline staff undergo regular self-testing to reduce the risk of community transmission. CapitaLand granted rental relief to its tenants and helped them to pivot their business. An example is enabling retailers to reach out to a wider audience through the IMM virtual mall on Shopee. Through a partnership with International SOS, guests at The Ascott Limited, CLI's lodging unit, now have access to a comprehensive suite of telehealth, telecounselling and travel security advisory services.
Under CapitaLand’s 2030 Sustainability Master Plan, the Group concluded its inaugural Sustainability X Challenge in mid-2021 to crowd-source the world for the best sustainability innovations. The winners’ and selected finalists’ solutions will be piloted at CapitaLand’s properties. To further support the test bedding of sustainability and other high-tech innovations in the built environment, it has set up a S$50 million CapitaLand Innovation Fund. The Smart Urban Co-Innovation Lab is Southeast Asia’s first industry-led lab for smart city solutions development initiated by CapitaLand Investment and supported by Ascendas Reit, Infocomm Media Development Authority and Enterprise Singapore. Housed at The Galen, an Ascendas Reit property at Singapore Science Park, it has onboarded over 70 members onto its ecosystem to catalyse co-innovation communities and seed new market opportunities. Launched in October 2021, the Smart Urban Co-Innovation Lab @ East Coast initiative under the East Coast Vibrant Plan contributes to creating jobs and developing new growth industries for Singapore.
The Group’s track record in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) management and performance has led it to be consistently recognised as a global sustainability leader by international indices. CapitaLand has been a constituent on Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI) since 2012, and on DJSI Asia Pacific since 2009, the first and longest standing real estate company in Singapore to be listed on the index. It has also retained the highest rating of ‘5 stars’ in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) and is the only real estate company in Singapore to win ‘Global Sector Leader in the ‘Diversified – Listed’ category four times. It is the first Singapore real estate company to be consistently ranked among the top five in Asia since 2011, and its REITs and business trusts including Ascott Residence Trust and CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust have also achieved top recognition in their respective categories.
On the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World Index, CapitaLand has been recognised nine times since 2012. The Group has also been listed in the FTSE4Good Index Series for eight consecutive years since 2014.
Among Singapore REITs, Ascendas Reit has the largest number of Green Mark properties certified by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). There are currently 43 green certified properties in its portfolio, of which 35 in Singapore have attained BCA Green Mark certifications. To encourage green mobility, Ascendas Reit has installed 76 public EV charging lots across its Singapore properties, the largest number by a Singapore REIT. Ascendas Reit also achieved an ‘A’ rating and ranked first among its industrial Singapore REIT peers in the GRESB Public Disclosure 2021, and took home the ‘Corporate Governance Award – Runner Up’ in the REITs & Business Trust category at the SIAS Investors’ Choice Awards 2021.
Throughout the pandemic, Ascendas Reit delivered a stable performance largely attributed to its diverse tenant base. Around 50% of its monthly gross revenue is contributed by tenants from resilient sectors such as financial services, government, data centres and biomedical sciences, which helped to provide stable income streams. In a show of solidarity, Ascendas Reit has provided timely rental rebates to tenants affected by COVID-19.
Since the onset of COVID-19, CapitaLand Group has moved swiftly to provide support to the affected communities where it operates. The Group and its philanthropic arm CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF) have pledged more than S$9 million globally to support over 160,000 people including seniors and children in need, community care staff as well as healthcare workers impacted by the pandemic. More than 1,000 staff and community volunteers were mobilised to deliver meals and bread to the seniors in Singapore and distribute care packs to students at CapitaLand Hope Schools in China, India and Vietnam. A team of staff volunteers from Ascendas Reit also delivered meals to seniors in support of the Group’s #LoveOurSeniors meal delivery initiative.
Besides contributing to uplift the lives of seniors and children in need, CHF has deepened its community support for environmental causes. This complements the Group’s ongoing efforts to create positive impact on the environment and society as part of its 2030 Sustainability Master Plan. An example is CHF’s contribution of S$500,000 to a first-of-its-kind green showcase at Choa Chu Kang Public Library, National Library Board’s next-generation sustainability-focused library at Lot One Shoppers’ Mall in Singapore. Staff volunteers have also been trained to conduct CapitaLand Environmental Education Programme’s storytelling and interactive activities to raise environmental awareness among the young.
About the Corporate Excellence and Resilience Award
The Corporate Excellence and Resilience Award seeks to recognise that good corporate governance underpins strong performance and provides a strong foundation for businesses to adapt to the changing landscape. It also aims to reinforce that excellence in corporate leadership helps build business resilience and serves as a role model for others to emulate.
The award was accorded following a rigorous three-stage process. First, a shortlist of about sixty listed companies was developed based on publicly available information on corporate governance practices, benchmark corporate governance indices, and analysis of financial performance. This shortlist was further trimmed after additional research and discreet inquiries, as well as interviews to obtain more information on the companies’ board and management practices and processes. Finally, a panel of judges interviewed the selected companies to identify the winners. Unlike the other SCA award categories, winners of this award are not ranked. They are instead assessed on a holistic list of criteria, namely corporate governance, financial resilience, strategic and operational excellence, people management, as well as sustainability and digital initiatives.
Inaugurated in 2005, the Singapore Corporate Awards are organised by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), Singapore Institute of Directors (SID) and The Business Times (BT), supported by Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and Singapore Exchange (SGX). The Awards recognise and honour SGX-listed companies and individuals who, through their corporate practices, have helped to raise Singapore’s corporate disclosure standards and corporate governance.