3 S'pore companies among world's most sustainable firms

Three local companies are among the world's most sustainable firms, although two have fallen in the rankings from last year while StarHub has dropped out altogether.

Singtel was placed 63rd in the top 100 list, followed by developers CapitaLand at 98 and City Developments (CDL) at 100.

Go back a year and CDL was in 30th place, Singtel at 52nd and StarHub at 69, while CapitaLand never made the cut.

The list was selected from a pool of 5,994 listed companies by Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based media and investment research firm.

It evaluated firms by using up to 17 environmental, social and governance indicators relative to their industry peers using publicly available information.

French software giant Dassault Systemes, which helps firms and governments reduce waste, adopt renewables and create smarter cities, topped the table from 11th last year.

Its climb is due to strong female board representation, a relatively small pay gap between the chief executive and average worker, and a strong financial contribution to society, Corporate Knights said.

Singtel CEO Chua Sock Koong said: "We believe our reputation and long-term success depend not just on financial performance, but also achieving the highest standards of corporate governance and contributing to positive change in our society."

Despite its lowly placing at 98, CapitaLand is actually the top-ranking real estate development and management company in the table.

It noted in a report that it had reduced its carbon emissions intensity by 26.2 per cent and and water intensity by 21.8 per cent last year compared with 2008.

CDL said that as part of its 2030 blueprint, it aims to raise its carbon emissions intensity reduction target from 25 per cent to 38 per cent by 2030 against 2007 levels.

It has also set new targets to reduce its total waste and to ensure that 50 per cent of its construction materials are derived from recycled content, low-carbon sources or certified by environmental groups.

Corporate Knights research director Michael Yow said: "Due in part to methodology changes, there has been a high turnover in this year's ranking."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 24, 2018, with the headline '3 S'pore companies among world's most sustainable firms'. Print Edition | Subscribe