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City Developments Limited’s Chief Sustainability Officer Ms. Esther An honoured as a 2018 United Nations Global Compact SDG Pioneer

  • First recipient from Singapore and one of the first two Southeast Asian women conferred the honour

2018 UN Global Compact SDG Pioneers recognised during the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2018 at the UN Headquarters in New York on 24 September 2018. CDL Chief Sustainability Officer Ms Esther An sits on the front row, second from right.

Singapore, 19 September 2018 – Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS), the local chapter of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), is pleased to congratulate Ms. Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer at City Developments Limited (CDL), as one of the 2018 UN Global Compact Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) Pioneers for Green Infrastructure and a Low-Carbon Economy. Ms. An is the first individual from Singapore and one of the first two Southeast Asian women to receive this prestigious recognition.

Each year, the UNGC celebrates a group of SDG Pioneers — individuals from around the world who are championing the SDGs through their own companies and inspiring others to join the movement. Hundreds of nominations were received from diverse regions globally, from which ten finalists were selected through a rigorous committee, exemplifying how business can be a force for good in addressing the challenges we face as a global society. The SDG Pioneers will be recognised during the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2018 on 24 September at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York.

The SDG Pioneers Selection Group, comprised of representatives from the UN Global Compact Board Members, Expert Networks, Global Compact Network Council, Academia, UN Focal Points and previous SDG Pioneers, voted on the nominees based on a set of criteria. This criteria covers the individual’s commitment to embed the Ten Principles of the UNGC and raise awareness on the SDGs, as well as their engagement with the UNGC and its Local Networks.

Ms. An said: “Sustainability is a priority and mainstream issue on international political, economic and business agendas. Globally, the opportunity for businesses to advance the SDGs is more than US$12 trillion annually by 2030.1 From conserving finite resources and the natural environment, to inclusiveness and investment in long-term financial stability and economic prosperity, there is tremendous potential for companies to align their sustainability strategy with the SDGs.”

“For more than two decades, sustainability has been strategically integrated into all aspects of CDL’s business and operations. We apply a three-pronged strategy as a property developer, an asset owner and a corporate citizen. We develop green buildings, manage them in a resource-efficient way and engage stakeholders on sustainability. Since 2016, CDL has also taken the initiative as one of the first companies in Singapore to align our material issues with the SDGs by effectively managing our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues and building innovative collaborations across sectors. We are poised to stay dynamic and resilient in delivering lasting value for our business, investors, stakeholders and the environment.”

To future-proof CDL’s business and leverage opportunities presented by the SDGs, the CDL Future Value 2030 sustainability blueprint was established in 2017. The forward-looking blueprint underpins CDL’s sustainability commitment and best practices of over 20 years and sets clear ESG goals and targets towards 2030, a milestone year for global climate agreement and sustainable development. These long-term ESG goals and targets are aligned with 10 relevant SDGs (See Annex). A forerunner in sustainability reporting since 2007, CDL tracks its sustainability-related initiatives and key ESG performance against its 2030 goals through annual Integrated Sustainability Reports and Sustainability Quarterly Reports.

In addition to her work at CDL, Ms. An has served on the Management Committee of GCNS since 2005. Since 2011, Ms. An initiated the flagship CDL-GCNS Young CSR Leaders Award, nurturing over 1,300 young leaders. The programme was rebranded as CDL-GCNS Young SDG Leaders Award in 2018, to educate and empower young leaders with SDG knowledge and skills while inspiring companies in Singapore to take actions for the SDGs. She also plays an active role in the organisation of GCNS’ annual Summit and has been instrumental in encouraging SMEs to join the local chapter.

Ms. Goh Swee Chen, President of GCNS, also extended her congratulations to Ms. An: “Esther has been a sustainability champion long before it became an important corporate agenda. On behalf of GCNS, I want to congratulate Esther on being conferred the 2018 SDG Pioneer by UNGC. A very well deserved recognition, we are very proud of her.”

Ms. An has played a pivotal role in advancing Singapore’s national sustainability initiatives and sustainable development in the region. She conceptualised and led the establishment of the zero-energy Singapore Sustainability Academy (SSA). Developed by CDL, the SSA is Singapore’s first major ground-up, tri-sector partnership in support of the SDGs and climate actions. Since opening in June 2017, the not-for-profit space dedicated to sustainability training and outreach has been an important catalyst in bringing together the People, Public and Private sectors to advance sustainable development in Singapore and the region. In its first year of operations, the SSA has held over 120 sustainability-focused events and training courses, and engaged over 4,500 representatives from the People, Public and Private sectors.

The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) also recognised Ms. An’s contributions to Singapore’s national sustainability initiatives: “MEWR congratulates Esther An on being conferred the UN Global Compact SDG Pioneer for 2018. This prestigious award is testament to Esther’s exemplary commitment to advancing the SDGs, and underscores the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development. Esther embodies the Singapore spirit of passion made possible, of turning possibilities into reality, for a better Singapore and a better world. We hope that Esther’s achievement will inspire other individuals to join Singapore and the international community’s efforts in achieving the shared goals of the 2030 Agenda.”

GCNS will continue to work with Ms. An on furthering the sustainability agenda in Singapore and the region.

1 Better Business, Better World report by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission