We are pleased to publish Ascendas Reit’s fifth Sustainability Report.
This year, we have taken some preliminary steps towards Integrated Reporting. In our Annual Report, we have presented our business model, highlighting how we draw on the six types of capitals and employ our three-pronged strategy to create value for our stakeholders.
In line with this, we have organised our sustainability report based on the capitals, with a focus on value creation in the areas of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG). The Board recognises that adopting best practices in the areas of ESG will lead to more resilient and sustainable business operations and performance in the long term.
Every year, we review our material issues, taking into account the business environment, our business objectives and stakeholder feedback. In our latest review, we further prioritised and grouped our material issues into six key issues that we believe are critical to achieving our strategic objectives: Corporate Governance, Security of Information, Health & Safety Protection of Stakeholders, Employment Practices, End-to-End Premium Quality Solutions & Customer Satisfaction, and Energy and Carbon Footprint.
This year, we also surveyed our investment community to find out which areas they deem most important in their assessment of Ascendas Reit. They have identified Corporate Governance, Security of Information, Employment Practices and End-to-End Premium Quality Solutions & Customer Satisfaction, as material ESG issues in creating value over time. In our next report, we will provide more insights on them.
Maintaining high standards of corporate governance has always been a key focus of the Board. This is reflected in the robust corporate governance framework and our zero tolerance towards lapses in non-compliance with applicable laws and regulations. For greater transparency, we have expanded on our risk management framework on pages 107 to 111 of our annual report..
Our business strategy is linked closely to our sustainability targets. For example, we continuously strive to improve customer satisfaction, which we believe will have a sustainable and positive impact on the performance of Ascendas Reit. Two years ago, we embarked on a holistic service culture programme in Singapore, endorsed by senior management of Ascendas Funds Management (S) Limited (the Manager of Ascendas Reit) and the Ascendas-Singbridge (ASB) Group. The programme, which has now been rolled out to all frontline employees of the Manager, the Property Manager and outsourced security and cleaning staff, is gradually being rolled out to backroom operation employees to ensure that our service culture values are internalised and embraced by the entire organisation.
Under the direction of the Board, Ascendas Reit’s sustainability approach has been formulated to strike a balance between financial results, social engagement and environmental stewardship. We will continually identify, manage and address ESG factors material to the business as we believe that this will enable us to build a sustainable business model that will positively serve our large and diverse groups of stakeholders over the long term.
In line with our sustainability efforts, we have printed limited hard copies of the annual and sustainability reports. Electronic versions of the reports are available on Ascendas Reit’s website here