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City Developments Limited: Building a Resilient Future

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have been immediate, shocking, and sobering, and the world must evolve. Beyond accepting our place in the new world we find ourselves in, we must make active changes, whilst adapting and embracing the future, according to City Developments Limited’s (CDL) Group CEO, Mr Sherman Kwek. 

“This is a timely reminder to all companies that we can be easily devastated by pandemics, and natural disasters,” emphasised Mr Kwek, who not only acknowledges the challenges the world faces but also eyes the unique opportunity businesses are in to inspire a global reset. “We only have one planet, and it is our duty and responsibility to take care of it.”

By 2050, global urban populations are projected to increase by 70%, and for Mr Kwek and his team at CDL, they believe how the building and construction sector adapts to this growing need for real estate development will be crucial in the fight against climate change. 

The transition towards a low-carbon future is inevitable and because of this, CDL is focussing on conservation during construction and ensuring that older buildings are updated and enhanced to meet modern standards.

Not only has CDL been regionally recognised as a property pioneer since 1963, but it is also known as the top-ranking real estate company in the list of 100 sustainable businesses worldwide.

Sustainability is a core function of CDL, and the company has been taking the lead in advocating climate action and sustainable development in Singapore and beyond.  The three national platforms it set up over the last decade have helped engage and build a larger ecosystem for positive change: The Singapore Sustainability Academy, a dedicated space designed for capacity building and collaboration for green building and sustainability practices with the focus on training sustainable energy professionals and experts throughout the region, in partnership with the Sustainable Energy Association Singapore; The CDL Green Gallery@Singapore Botanic Gardens, a zero-energy gallery that inspires Singaporeans and foreign visitors through exhibitions on the diverse subjects of climate, biodiversity, and botany-related artworks; and My Tree House, a green library built to nurture children from 3 to 12 years old to be eco-champions of tomorrow.   

Innovation has been the top Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance priority for CDL for many years and the company believes in collaborations which amplify ideas for a positive impact. Since 2016, two Research & Development (R&D) labs on smart green home features and tropical technologies were set up in partnership with the National University of Singapore. This partnership has covered exciting R&D on new generations of solar technology, building materials and anti-bacterial solutions. In 2019, CDL also set up an incubator, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise, supporting young start-ups with innovative solutions to serve any of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“If we can truly adopt a collaborative spirit and effort, we can find solutions to help the world recover better, greener and more sustainably,” says Ms Esther An, CDL’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “Everyone can make a difference and together, we will be able to contribute to a more sustainable world for many generations to come.”





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