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Mr Kwek Leng Joo conferred Singapore’s highest environmental accolade – President’s Award for the Environment 2015

A visionary and strong advocate for the environment, Mr Kwek Leng Joo has championed for sustainable practices to be adopted by businesses.

Singapore, 7 October 2015 – City Developments Limited (CDL) Deputy Chairman Mr Kwek Leng Joo has been conferred Singapore’s highest environmental accolade – the prestigious President’s Award for the Environment (PAE) 2015. Mr Kwek received the award from President Tony Tan Keng Yam at a ceremony held at the Istana this evening. Organised by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, this annual pinnacle award recognises individuals, educational institutions and organisations for their outstanding contributions towards environmental and water resource sustainability in Singapore. CDL itself had received the PAE award in 2007.

A visionary and strong advocate for the environment, Mr Kwek has championed for sustainable practices to be adopted by businesses. As buildings account for 40% of energy consumption and 30% of greenhouse gas emissions globally, Mr Kwek, a property developer as well as nature lover and photographer, believes that the building and real estate industry can contribute to sustainable development.

Mr Kwek has spearheaded CDL’s sustainability strategy since 1995. For over two decades now, he has transformed CDL’s business model to one that conserves as it constructs. From design, construction, procurement, maintenance and user engagement, Mr Kwek influenced CDL’s stakeholders to embrace environmental sustainability, setting new industry benchmarks for green building and innovations. He has also led CDL to attain acclaim as a leading green building champion and forerunner in sustainability. CDL has the distinction of being the first Singapore company to be listed on three global sustainability benchmarks – FTSE4Good Index Series since 2002, Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World since 2010 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices since 2011.

Mr Kwek said, “Climate change is an undeniable threat and its impact has intensified tremendously. Businesses must be mindful of their environmental impact across all aspects of operations. Without the planet, there will be no businesses or people. In fact, investors and consumers are increasingly demanding that companies operate in a responsible manner, especially in terms of their environmental footprint.”

“Singapore is reputed for our clean and green city. We must continue to cultivate this eco-culture and the importance of environmental conservation, to future proof our environment for sustainable growth. With the concerted efforts of the government, businesses, civic society and the wider community, we can build the climate resilient eco-city and smart eco-nation of tomorrow, today.”

In his personal capacity, Mr Kwek has also been a dedicated advocate of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the business, academic and youth communities. Beyond CDL, Mr Kwek is the President of the Global Compact Network Singapore, where he has raised the importance of CSR to the local business community and youths.

Despite his busy schedule, Mr Kwek has always made time to serve the country and the community particularly in the nature related area. He was personally involved in the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription journey, with his photos being featured at the inaugural presentation of the Gardens at the World Heritage Committee meeting held in Phnom Penh in June 2013.

A philanthropist, dedicated volunteer and an avid photographer, Mr Kwek has raised over S$3 million from the sale of his photo works and art books for various environmental and charitable causes. In September 2015, Mr Kwek was listed on the 9th Forbes Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy List.