Singtel starts sustainability chapter in annual report

Singtel has started a new chapter in its annual report by including a section on its efforts to promote sustainable business practices.

"The value we create" section details the telco's sustainability efforts, such as its consumer protection as well as environmental and workplace diversification policies.

The report released yesterday disclosed spending of $22 million to train staff, who collectively clocked more than 650,000 learning hours in Singapore and Australia.

Singtel's move to report its sustainability efforts comes as the Singapore Exchange laid down new "comply or explain" rules for listed firms to conduct an annual review of sustainability on June 20.

Under the framework, which takes effect in 2018, all listed companies must publish a sustainability report within five months of the end of a financial year or explain their decision to not do so.

Singtel's report also noted that its workforce comprises 63 per cent male employees while females account for 37 per cent of the local headcount and 33 per cent in Australia. It added that while women fill 30 per cent of its upper and middle management positions, "more work needs to be done to improve the representation of female leaders", particularly at Optus, its Australian business unit.

It has started the Women in Leadership Series to provide women with networking and coaching opportunities, as well as established a female diversity committee.

Singtel also disclosed the salaries of senior management as it phased in a new model in its compensation structure for the financial year ended March 31.

The value-sharing bonus (VSB) model is linked to its economic profit and takes into account capital employed in the business and the cost of capital. Under this model, each senior management member has a "VSB bank". One-third of this bank balance is paid out in cash each year if the balance is positive. The rest is carried forward to the next year.

The amount carried forward may be reduced or increased, based on the firm's economic profit performance. It added that in the event of an "economic profit underperformance", the two-thirds portion of the VSB will be subject to a clawback.

It said "it defers management bonus payouts over a time horizon to ensure incentives for our management are aligned with sustainable value creation for shareholders over the longer term".

Singtel CEO Chua Sock Koong earned a remuneration package of $6.39 million for the financial year to March 31. Of that, $5.55 million has been paid out. She earned about $5.6 million in the previous year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2016, with the headline 'Singtel starts sustainability chapter in annual report'. Print Edition | Subscribe