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Sustainability

Sustainability Report FY18/19

  • Board Statement

    In FY17/18, we embarked on our first Integrated Sustainability Report, after issuing five sustainability reports between FY12/13 and FY16/17. This year, we continue to adopt elements under the International Integrated Reporting Council's (IIRC) Integrated Reporting framework as well as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, to report our journey towards more responsible Economic, Environment, Social and Governance (EESG) practices. The GRI Standards have been selected as it is an internationally recognised reporting framework that covers a comprehensive range of sustainability disclosures and is relevant to Ascendas Reit's industry and business.

    In our second Integrated Sustainability Report FY18/19, we further elaborate on our value creation business model, describing our outputs and the outcomes achieved.

    The key EESG issues identified in the previous year have been reviewed taking into consideration the current and future business environment, our business strategy and the expectations of both our internal and external stakeholders. The Board has considered these issues as part of our strategic formulation and found the nine EESG factors still relevant to Ascendas Reit. These material matters will continue to be managed and monitored closely to help us deliver long-term value to our stakeholders.

    We are continuously evaluating and adopting best practices in the areas of EESG to ensure that we grow our business sustainably as we strive to achieve operational excellence. As a testament to our efforts, the Manager is pleased to report that Ascendas Reit continues to be recognised on the iEdge SG ESG Index1 as an ESG leader with established and leading ESG practices.

    This year, one of the key initiatives was the establishment of our Sustainability Committee, chaired by the CEO of the Property Manager of Ascendas Reit (Ascendas Services Pte Ltd), to oversee and promote sustainability activities on a group-wide basis.

    As part of our efforts to deliver exceptional customer experience, Acendas-Singbridge became the first real estate company in Singapore to be awarded the Crystal Mark Accreditation for its plain English lease agreements, whilst upholding principles of quality and transparency.

    We remain committed to minimising our environmental impact through the responsible consumption of energy and water resources in our operations. In Singapore, we continue to achieve reductions for both energy and water consumption at our operational properties, on a like-for-like basis, from 96.51 million kWh to 95.94 million kWh and 1,200.8 thousand m3 to 1,157.7 thousand m3, respectively. To manage our consumption, we constantly explore higher efficiency systems and green technologies in our buildings as part of our energy and water conservation efforts. As at 31 March 2019, we have 22 properties that are BCA2 Green Mark certified.

    We are very pleased to collaborate with Grab3 to develop a build-to-suit business park property to house their Singapore headquarters. This development will strengthen Ascendas Reit's market leadership in the Singapore business and science park segment and will be designed to achieve a green and sustainable workplace environment, in line with our sustainability commitments. The building will incorporate lush greenery on the ground and mid-level sky terraces and will be built to encourage sustainable mobility and carbon footprint reduction.

    To further support Singapore's climate action plan to reduce carbon emissions, we have collaborated with SP Group (Singapore Power) to launch high-speed charging stations for electric vehicles at six of our properties in January 2019. This partnership is aligned with our corporate sustainability goals and reflects our commitment to create a more sustainable environment.

    However, we cannot achieve all these without the strong support of our people. A suite of training programmes tailored for different employee levels have been introduced to encourage employees to enhance their skills and knowledge as well as for personal development. Employees continue to be actively engaged through multiple touch-points. We introduced Wellness Day every Wednesday to promote physical and mental well-being and continue to provide opportunities for flexible work arrangements.

    We thank all our stakeholders for their support and reaffirm our commitment to creating and delivering value, towards building a more resilient and sustainable business in the long-term.

    1. The iEdge SG ESG Indices are comprised of SGX-listed companies that are independently researched and analysed across Environmental, Social and Governance factors by Sustainalytics, a global leader in Sustainability analysis.
    2. Building and Construction Authority of Singapore.
    3. Grab is a leading Online to Offline mobile platform in Southeast Asia.
  • About This Report

    This is the second year that Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (Ascendas Reit) is publishing an Integrated Sustainability Report to share annual updates on its Economic, Environmental, Social and Governance (EESG) performance. Ascendas Reit has published five sustainability reports between 2013 and 2017. This report has been prepared in accordance with the SGX-ST Listing Manual Rule 711(B), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards: Core option, and GRI's Construction & Real Estate Sector Supplement (CRESS). This report has also incorporated elements of the Integrated Reporting (IR) Framework of the International Integrated Reporting Council, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

    The report focuses on the sustainability performance of Ascendas Reit's core activity as a business space and industrial Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). Its scope covers Ascendas Reit's business operations and properties in Singapore and Australia from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 (FY18/19) and includes the prior year's (FY17/18) performance for comparison, where applicable. The report also includes relevant information relating to the newly acquired properties in the United Kingdom (UK).

    As at 31 March 2019, Ascendas Reit had a significantly expanded portfolio of 171 properties across Singapore, Australia and the UK, up from 131 properties the year before. However, the scope of the report covers 173 properties, including 2 properties that were divested during the year. The multi-segmented1 portfolio comprised 71% and 29% of multi-tenant and singletenant properties respectively. Please refer to pages 56 to 59 of the Annual Report FY18/19 for the full list of Ascendas Reit's properties.

    Taking guidance from the operational control approach2 as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard, environmental performance of 72 properties in Singapore and Australia have been covered in this report.

    The Manager has not sought external independent assurance for this reporting period. Feedback on the report can be directed to a-reit@ascendas-singbridge.com.

    1. Ascendas Reit owns properties across the following segments – Business & Science Parks/Suburban Offices, Integrated Development, Amenities & Retail (IDAR) Properties, High-Specifications Industrial Properties and Data Centres, Light Industrial Properties and Flatted Factories, and Logistics & Distribution Centres.
    2. Ascendas Reit and its property managers did not have operational control of 101 properties in its portfolio during FY18/19; hence emissions associated with fuel combustion and purchased electricity are scope 3. Details can be found on page 4 of the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard (Appendix F: Categorising GHG emissions associated from leased assets): www.ghgprotocol.org/corporate-standard.
  • Delivering Sustainable Value

    Operating Context

    Ascendas Reit is Singapore's first and largest listed business space and industrial REIT, and has presence in Singapore, Australia and most recently the UK. Ascendas Reit is managed by Ascendas Funds Management (S) Limited (the Manager), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Ascendas-Singbridge Group (Ascendas-Singbridge, or the Group). Please refer to page 11 of the Annual Report FY18/19 for more details on Ascendas Reit's Structure.

    In FY18/19, a Sustainability Committee, comprising members from the Group's top management and various department representatives, was established to oversee and manage the Group's sustainability performance.

    As at 31 March 2019, Ascendas Reit had a customer base of around 1,360 international and local companies across varying industries.

    Figure 1: Ascendas Reit's Portfolio in Singapore, Australia and the UK

    Ascendas Reit's Diverse Portfolio in Singapore and Australia

     

    Business Model

    Ascendas Reit leverages on its six input capitals whilst considering its operating context, and enhances these capitals to generate value. Figure 2 illustrates how value is created and delivered at Ascendas Reit.

    Figure 2: Ascendas Reit's Value-Creating Business Model

    Ascendas Reit's Business Model

     

    Stakeholder Engagement

    Ascendas Reit frequently engages its stakeholders throughout the year to understand and respond to their expectations. Details of the engagements are summarised in Table 1. These stakeholders were selected for deeper engagement due to the long-term nature of their relationships with, and high level of influence and interest that they have in Ascendas Reit.

    Table 1. Quality Relationships with Key Stakeholder Groups

    Quality Relationships with Key Stakeholder Groups

    1. REIT Association of Singapore (REITAS)

    Quality Relationships with Key Stakeholder Groups

    1. More details on H.O.S.T. can be found on page 11.
    2. These refer to Singapore suppliers relating to property management services only.

    Materiality Assessment: Managing Risks and Opportunities

    Ascendas Reit has determined and prioritised the most important matters to address through a materiality assessment. These matters are deemed to have the most significant impact on its ability to deliver short, medium and long-term value to its stakeholders. Ascendas Reit last conducted its materiality assessment in FY17/18. These material matters were reviewed in FY18/19 and all nine matters were determined to remain relevant to Ascendas Reit. The assessment process and materiality matrix are as follows:

    Figure 3. Materiality Assessment Process and Matrix

    Ascendas Reit's Materiality Assessment Process

     

    Governance and Culture

    Ascendas Reit is committed to upholding high standards of corporate governance that underpins the management and operational protocols of Ascendas Reit. Good governance is key to building trust and confidence with its stakeholders.

    In addition, a strong corporate culture unites the employees and corporate values guide them in making the right business decisions.

    Governance and Culture

     

    Business Ethics and Employee Conduct

    Expectations relating to business ethics and employee conduct are set from the top through a comprehensive suite of policies and guidelines, as summarised in Table 2. These policies apply to all Ascendas Reit's operations in Singapore and overseas, and are communicated to all new and existing employees. Where applicable, trainings are organised for employees to familiarise themselves with the relevant policies. The Group operates on a strict principle of zero-tolerance towards bribery and corruption, and has implemented various measures and systems to facilitate and ensure compliance with this principle. In FY18/19, the Group undertook a review of its Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption as well as Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies to tighten governance controls and ensure the organisation is accountable and transparent at all levels. All staff (local and overseas) have been briefed on the major updates in the policy and have completed computer-based e-learning courses to reinforce the message.

    Table 2. Policies and Practices Relating to Governance at Ascendas Reit

    Governance and Culture

    More details on Ascendas Reit's practices can be found on pages 129 to 162 of the Corporate Governance Report in the Annual Report FY18/19, which takes reference from the Code of Corporate Governance 2012.

    Culture and Enablers: “Power of One”

    Good governance can only be built with a strong corporate culture that promotes behaviours consistent with the Group's corporate values. Its “Power of One”: Passion, Open, Win, Excel, Respect, One Team core values are an integral part to its identity. This culture emphasizes working together as one team to carry out the H.O.S.T service values – Hassle-free, Operational Excellence, Serve with Passion, Trustworthy. The shared culture and value system enables the business to succeed, energises communities to flourish and empowers its people to grow.

    Figure 4: Ascendas-Singbridge's Culture and Values

    Governance and Culture

    Risk Management and Controls

    The Board, supported by the Audit and Risk Committee (ARC), is responsible for the overall management and corporate governance of the Manager and Ascendas Reit. The Manager maintains a structured Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework, and reports to the ARC and Board on a quarterly basis and when necessary. Material EESG findings are reported and recommendations are made to manage or mitigate such risks. Since FY12/13, the Manager has taken active steps in disclosing EESG factors and performance by publishing its Sustainability Report annually.

    The risk management process consists of the following steps:

    • Establishing corporate goals and context
    • Identifying risks
    • Analysing risks
    • Evaluating risks
    • Treating risks
    • Monitoring and reviewing risks

    For further details on the risk management process, please refer to pages 144 to 147 of the Corporate Governance Report in the Annual Report FY18/19. During the financial year, there were no incidences of non-compliance identified.

    The Manager regularly assesses its operations, such as procurement of goods and services and engagement with managing agents for risks related to corruption in all the countries where it operates in. In upholding effective governance, Ascendas Reit aligns itself to SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).

    The Manager is pleased to disclose that Ascendas Reit has improved its 2018 ranking in both the Singapore Governance and Transparency Index (SGTI) and Governance Index for Trust (GIFT), moving up the ranks from 7th to 5th place and from 19th to 8th place respectively.

     

  • Enhancing Value Capitals

    Financial Capital

    Ascendas Reit draws on its available pool of funds to invest in properties, asset enhancements and development/ redevelopment projects to optimise value for its Unitholders. In FY18/19, it delivered a stable Distribution per Unit of 16.035 Singapore cents. For more details on Ascendas Reit's financial performance and management of financial capital, please refer to pages 32 to 45 of the Annual Report FY18/19.

    Manufactured Capital

    Ascendas Reit's manufactured capital is its ability to attain valueadding investments through the acquisition, development, as well as maintenance of high-quality properties.

    Further details on acquisitions and developments can be found on pages 37 to 42 of Ascendas Reit's Annual Report FY18/19.

    Providing End-to-End Real Estate Solutions to Meet the Needs of Customers

    One of the key ways Ascendas Reit provides value to its customers is by offering premium end-to-end quality solutions. Together with the Property Manager, Ascendas Reit continues to adopt a multi-faceted approach (detailed in Figure 5) to achieve this.

    Figure 5. Ascendas Reit's Strategy Towards End-to-End Premium Quality Solutions

    Financial Capital

    The Manager is guided by the Group's Maintainability & Sustainability Guidelines to provide technical guidance on both the development and retrofitting of its properties. The Guidelines also factors in sustainability considerations such as the requirements of green building ratings standards. This provides project managers and design consultants with a green design guide that considers operations and maintenance design for a holistic green outcome and maximum green benefits.

    During the year, the Manager undertook several initiatives to improve the quality of its assets. Table 3 highlights some of the key initiatives.

    Table 3. Ascendas Reit's Key Initiatives Towards End-to-End Premium Quality Solutions

    Financial Capital

    More information about the on-going redevelopment and asset enhancement projects undertaken by the Manager can be found on pages 41 to 42 of Ascendas Reit's Annual Report FY18/19.

    As a commitment to its stakeholders, 22 properties within Ascendas Reit's portfolio have achieved Green Mark certifications (6 Platinum, 8 GoldPlus, 5 Gold, 3 certifications). The Manager is working towards obtaining Green Mark certifications for its other Singapore properties.

    Ascendas Reit seeks to satisfy the evolving needs of its customers by leveraging on technology to continuously improve the quality of its assets. The success of the Manager's ability to meet the needs of its customers is measured through its customer satisfaction. The Manager's targets as well as performance in this aspect can be found in the Customer Satisfaction section on pages 22 to 23 of this report.

    Responsible Supply Chain Management

    On top of being a responsible corporate citizen, there is an increasing expectation for organisations to extend this responsibility to their supply chains as well. The Group expects all its suppliers to adhere to its standards of good governance and business integrity.

    Financial Capital

    1. These refer to Singapore suppliers relating to property management services only.

    Financial Capital

    Social and Relationship Capital

    Fostering positive, trusting and enduring relationships with its stakeholders is a key priority for the Manager. To strengthen its brand and reputation, Ascendas Reit actively strives to enhance individual and collective well-being of its employees, contractors, customers and visitors.

    Health, Safety and Security Protection

    It is important that Ascendas Reit's stakeholders always feel safe and secure in its properties. Committed to creating highquality spaces, Ascendas Reit safeguards its stakeholders' health, safety and security through various ways (see Figure 6).

    Financial Capital

    Physical Security

    1. Security of external areas and building perimeter
    2. CCTV system, guard patrol and security officers
    3. Security Access System installed by individual customers
    4. Company Emergency Response Team to handle emergency situations
    5. Fire and evacuation drills

    Information Security

    1. Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT)
    2. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) software
    3. Information Technology (IT) audits
    4. Next Generation End-Point Protection
    5. Privilege Account Management System

    Health, Hygiene and Safety

    1. Emergency preparedness
    2. Public health management (Common Areas)
    3. Safety training and awareness campaigns
    4. Safety risk assessments
    5. Incident reporting and investigation
    6. Safety performance monitoring
    7. First aid and personal protective equipment

    Figure 6. Overview of Health, Safety and Security Management Practices at Ascendas Reit

    Financial Capital

    In FY18/19, Ascendas-Singbridge implemented its new Integrated Management System (IMS) that consolidates the scope of other relevant policies to provide overall guidance in the areas of workplace health and safety, responsible supply chain and the environment. Certifications obtained under the IMS include ISO 9001 (Quality Management System), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System) and OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health & Safety Management System). Through this policy, the Manager strives to:

    • Achieve customer satisfaction through prompt and friendly service, innovative solutions and high standard of maintenance;
    • Protect the health and safety of its employees, interested parties, the environment and the community from security threats;
    • Comply with all applicable legislation and regulations and will commit the resources to achieve this end;
    • Value and recognise contractors or vendors who are committed to environmental protection and encourage the use of eco-friendly and recycled materials and products, and
    • Preserve the value of its properties through continual improvement on the effectiveness of its IMS.

    The committees and representatives such as Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Committee, IMS Steering Committee, Aspect Hazards Identification Risk Assessment (AHIRA) Team, lead auditor and internal auditors were institutionalised to ensure essential resources to establish, implement, maintain and improve the IMS System. In addition, the Manager will continue to be a member of the WSH Council Facilities Management (FM) Committee, which is responsible for WSH issues and concerns of the FM industry. Figure 7 below shows the implementation of the IMS with respect to its safety management framework.

    Figure 7. Plan, Do, Check, Act Model Relating to the Safety Management Framework in Singapore

    Financial Capital

    Financial Capital

    In September 2018, the Group launched an online tool, which dramatically improved its WSH performance tracking. This was achieved through the implementation of data analytics to track WSH indicators, incidents and incident summaries. The monitoring and measurement enabled by the WSH Performance Indicator Dashboard provides insights for continual improvement.

    To further improve the inspection process, the Portable Ladder Inspection Checklist was launched in October 2018, via a mobile inspection application. The mobile inspection application is a digital platform that allows safety inspectors to conduct their checks against checklists built into their mobile tablets (Figure 8).

    Figure 8. Mobile Inspection Process

    Financial Capital

    1. This target is only applicable to Singapore properties. The rates are defined by the Ministry of Manpower, calculated per million man-hours worked. The targets were benchmarked against the latest available national statistics at the start of the financial year.

    Performance Figures:

    In FY18/19 there were zero work-related fatalities and occupational diseases recorded. However, 36 accidents were recorded in Singapore, out of which only two are reportable. Of this, 26 accidents resulted in injuries (13 males and 13 females). This increase in recordable incidents from FY17/18 was mainly due to an increase in slips and falls.

    Thorough investigations were conducted and the Property Manager took corrective actions immediately to mitigate the risks of future injuries such as installing signages, handrails and barricades, reviewing risk assessment practices and procedures, conducting additional safety briefings and actively engaging with customers on the importance of proper maintenance as well as fire safety awareness.

    Figure 9. Number of Accidents*

    Financial Capital

    In FY18/19, the accident severity rate was 11.7 and accident frequency rate was 1.56, both below the respective national industry averages10.

    A healthy and productive workforce is reflected through an organisation's absentee rates. The Manager recorded an increase of absentee rates over FY17/18 for both Singapore and Australia. The Manager will continue to seek improvements in its employees' health and well-being to improve these rates. For example, Wellness Day (every Wednesday) was introduced to encourage employees to improve their physical and mental well-being.

    Table 4. Absentee Rate for the Manager's Employees, by Gender and Region

    Financial Capital

    1. According to Ministry of Manpower Workplace Safety and Health Report 2018, accident severity rate in 2018 was 66, while accident frequency rate was 1.6. These statistics only refer to employee injuries.

    * Accidents refer to all incidents, including those resulting in injuries and non-injury cases.

    Security of Information

    Apart from maintaining the physical security of its properties, the Manager remains vigilant to the data privacy of its investors and customers. Ascendas Reit respects the various laws and regulations in place to promote the responsible use of data through strict compliance to the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) and MAS Technology Risk Management Guidelines (MAS TRMG) where applicable. The loss of critical company information could result in financial and reputational damages to Ascendas Reit.

    Financial Capital

    Ascendas Reit takes reference from Ascendas-Singbridge's Information Technology (IT) policy, namely Enterprise Mobility Policy, Personal Data Protection Policy and Cyber Security Incident Reporting Policy, among others to ensure the security of information it handles. The Cyber Security Incident Reporting Policy, which was implemented in FY18/19, outlines staff procedures for the reporting of suspected or confirmed cybersecurity incidents, effectively extending the role of spotting cyber threats to all employees.

    These policies are developed based on ISO information security standards and regulatory practices and undergo annual review by the IT Steering Committee.

    Some key IT sub-policies

    • Enterprise Mobility Policy
    • Email Policy
    • Electronic Messaging, Internal and Networking and Computing Resources Acceptable Use Policy
    • Personal Data Protection Directive
    • Password Policy
    • Websites Policy
    • Anti-Virus Policy

    Financial Capital

    Ascendas-Singbridge manages all IT matters through its Information Security Council, which is responsible for planning, managing, supporting and ensuring management commitment in all information security activities.

    To obtain the necessary support to manage security of information, Ascendas-Singbridge engages premier support services from Information Security vendors and subscribes to research services and regular threat intelligence from multiple sources (e.g. Government, product principals, cyber-security vendors and open-source threat intelligence).

    While Ascendas-Singbridge can put in place the best measures against possible data breaches, all users must be equally responsible for the proper distribution and sharing of business information, as well as keeping their passwords safe and secure. A monthly information security newsletter is disseminated to all employees of Ascendas-Singbridge to educate them on information security threats and ways to identify and protect against such threats. To further increase their level of alertness and responsiveness to cyber threats, unannounced simulated phishing campaigns are conducted, with online cybersecurity training made mandatory for those who fail the simulations. Employees of Ascendas-Singbridge's IT department also undergo regular training and skills upgrading to become trained and certified incident responders.

    To meet changing security needs, Ascendas-Singbridge also makes continuous improvements to Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) based on internal audits conducted against MAS-TRMG guidelines.

    Additionally, assessments of the overall security alert level of Ascendas-Singbridge are conducted every month. To date, the overall security alert level has been low, as any potential areas of weaknesses are continually identified and improved.

    With these measures in place, there were zero cases of substantiated complaints from outside parties or regulatory bodies as well as zero cases of identified leaks, thefts and losses of customer data.

    Financial Capital

    Customer Satisfaction

    Ensuring customer satisfaction and retention is key to the success of Ascendas Reit. In providing end-to-end premium quality solutions, the Manager seeks to foster strong relationships with all its customers and deliver a unique and differentiated Ascendas Reit experience.

    Financial Capital

    Policies that cater to meeting the needs of customers have been put in place such as, customer care programme, customer service empowerment, customer delight and customer recovery.

    Financial Capital

    Customer Events and Activities Across Ascendas Reit's Properties

    Financial Capital

     

    Intellectual Capital

    Intellectual capital refers to the value of knowledge created, acquired and repositioned for application by the organisation. This capital is core to the Manager's strategy formulation and knowledge management, contributing to the sustainable growth of Ascendas Reit.

    Adaptability to Market Changes in the Countries that Ascendas Reit Operates In

    With a mission to deliver predictable distributions and achieve long-term capital stability for Unitholders, Ascendas Reit must keep abreast of global market trends and be able to adapt its business operations to the changes in its operating environment to remain competitive.

    Financial Capital

    Figure 10. Relevant Risks for Adaptability to Market Changes in the Countries that Ascendas Reit Operates In

    Financial Capital

    The Manager adopts a proactive approach in managing its risks. Overseen by the Board (specifically the Audit and Risk Committee), the Management designs and formulates its risk management policies and processes to ensure that all key risks to Ascendas Reit are identified and evaluated, and that the necessary controls are in place to mitigate those risks. Controls include periodic macro market studies, monitoring of industrial and office vacancy, capital value movement, leading economic indicators (such as gross domestic product, consumer price indices, non-oil domestic exports), monitoring of political and social development and conducting independent studies on the property markets that it operates in (refer to pages 92 to 126 in the independent market study section of the Annual Report FY18/19). More information on the Risk Management process and key risks identified can be found in pages 144 to 148 in the Corporate Governance section of the Annual Report FY18/19.

    One of the key risks identified is regulatory compliance. The Manager is expected to comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries it operates in, as well as to keep abreast with regulatory updates. There were no breaches identified during Ascendas Reit's periodic internal and external compliance audits.

    Embracing Innovation and Technology

    In today's business environment, it is crucial for organisations to innovate to differentiate their offerings from its competitors and to better meet the needs of its stakeholders. The Manager has integrated innovation into its business strategy, seeking to leverage on technology to deliver holistic real estate solutions and to build a future-ready organisation.

    Financial Capital

    The five innovative initiatives that were piloted in FY18/19 are:

    Financial Capital

    Financial Capital

    To be in line with the Group's push towards building a culture of innovation, Ascendas Reit continues to be guided by its Innovation Framework, which comprises five phases, and its complementary Innovation Capability Metrics as shown below in Figure 11.

    Figure 11. Ascendas Reit's Innovation Framework and Innovation Capability Metrics

    Financial Capital

    Human Capital

    The Manager recognises that commitment and drive from employees are important to sustain business growth. Through the “Power of One” culture, Ascendas-Singbridge continuously promotes the core values of passion, openness, winning, excellence, respect and teamwork, and nurtures and enables all employees to develop to their full potential.

    Financial Capital

    Figure 12. Number of Full-time Employees

    Financial Capital

    Figure 13. Number of Employees by Gender and Employment Category

    Financial Capital

    Employee Well-Being

    In providing high-quality business spaces to customers, the Manager believes that occupant well-being is a major value proposition and seeks to emulate that in its own corporate offices. Physical health, mental, and emotional health are important components of overall well-being. Focusing primarily on four areas – Active Living, Mental Well-being, Chronic Disease Management, and Healthy Eating, Ascendas-Singbridge employs a host of initiatives to encourage employees to work and live healthily.

    Figure 14. Ascendas Reit's Approach to a Healthier Workplace

    Financial Capital

    Employee Engagement and Development

    A highly engaged workforce contributes to positive business outcomes and organisational excellence for Ascendas Reit while a highly capable workforce builds competencies and delivers value to stakeholders in a competitive landscape. The Manager taps on a variety of programmes from the Group to engage its employees and help them develop their skills and competencies to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive landscape. Some of these are as depicted in Table 5 below.

    Table 5. Employee Engagement Programmes

    Financial Capital

    1. Caliper Assessment is a personality tool administered to gather information about an individual's natural strengths, motivators and potential to succeed in a particular role.

    Financial Capital

    Programmes are also in place to facilitate the continued employability of employees such as pre-retirement planning for intended retirees, re-training for those intending to continue working after retiring, severance pay and job placement services.

    In FY18/19, employees received significantly more training, as seen in Figure 15. Employees attended an average of 47 hours of training during FY18/19 compared to 28 hours in FY17/18. The courses attended by employees include Rules and Ethics and REIT Management courses organised by REITAS and H.O.S.T. Alive! (an Ascendas-Singbridge programme to inculcate H.O.S.T. service values and behavioural attributes).

    Ascendas Reit seeks to always uphold labour rights and provide learning and development opportunities to all employees while contributing to their health and well-being, aligning with SDG 4 (Quality Education) and 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).

    Figure 15. Average Training Hours by Gender and by Employee Category

    Financial Capital

    Natural Capital

    Natural Capital refers to Ascendas Reit's access to natural resources such as energy and water, which are required for its business operations.

    The Group remains committed to minimising its environmental impact. It has in a place a Green Policy that specifies environmental targets as well as guidelines on seven key focus areas for implementation across its business operations. To promote ‘Green Literacy', all employees have access to the Group's Green Policy to understand its objectives and the key performance criteria.

    The Manager also conducts extensive and appropriate due diligence checks on its properties prior to its acquisitions.

    For example, newly acquired properties in the UK were assessed for a set of holistic sustainability criteria such as environmental labelling and management, climate change, energy performance, land use and contamination, biodiversity, landscaping and visual aspects etc.

    Responsible Energy Consumption and Carbon Emissions

    With the growing demand for climate action by its various stakeholder groups, Ascendas Reit is conscious of the impact its energy consumption and carbon footprint have on the environment it operates in. The Manager will continue to align its goal of optimising energy usage and reducing greenhouse gas emissions with both the national and international agenda.

    Financial Capital

    1. The Paris Agreement's central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. As of March 2018, a total of 175 countries have ratified to the Paris Agreement.

    Financial Capital

    For the Ascendas Reit properties in Australia, there was an increase in energy consumption and intensity as 100 Wickham Street and 108 Wickham Street, located in Brisbane, were in operations for the full financial year. The properties were acquired in September 2017 and December 2017, respectively.

    Energy consumption (which includes electricity, diesel and natural gas) in the Australian operations rose from 7.79 million kWh12 in FY17/18 to 12.85 million kWh in FY18/19, and likewise the energy intensity from 164.41 kWh/sq m12 in FY17/18 to 276.90 kWh/sq m in FY18/19. Correspondingly, carbon emissions increased from 6,221 tonnes15 in FY17/18 to 10,138 tonnes in FY18/19, and carbon emissions intensity went up from 131.31 CO2/sq m in FY17/18 to 218.44 CO2/sq m in FY18/19.

    1. For the purposes of calculating energy and carbon intensities, the energy consumption and carbon emissions for the common areas (chillers, corridors, perimeter lightings and centralised building facilities under Ascendas Reit's direct control) are included in the numerator while the effective Gross Floor Area (GFA) is used as the denominator. Effective GFA is calculated considering total GFA and occupancy rate. Effective GFA is introduced as a large proportion of energy consumed are attributed to shared services such as the building's chiller system.
    2. Emission factors used for FY18/19 numbers are taken from the 2018 Singapore Energy Statistics published by the Energy Market Authority of Singapore. There is negligible Scope 1 emissions for Ascendas Reit's properties in Singapore.
    3. Emission factors used for FY18/19 are taken from the National Greenhouse Accounts Factors published in July 2018 for New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory, and Queensland.

    Financial Capital

    Responsible Water Consumption

    Factors such as population growth, migration and climate change are placing increasing pressures on water-stressed countries such as Singapore and Australia. While water consumption was not identified as a material matter, the Manager continuously monitors its water consumption and seeks to improve its water efficiency.

    As a result of the Managers' continuous emphasis on water conservation, total water consumption in Singapore operations fell from 1,204.7 thousand m3 16 to 1,159.6 thousand m3 and water intensity dropped from 0.67 m3/sq m16 to 0.64 m3/sq m. The Manager has achieved a reduction of 43.1 thousand m3 considering like-for-like water consumption in Ascendas Reit's Singapore properties, from 1,200.8 thousand m3 in FY17/18 to 1,157.7 thousand m3 in FY18/19. Like-for-like water intensity has also declined from 0.67 m3/sq m to 0.65 m3/sq m

    Similar to energy and emissions in Australia, there was an increase in total water consumption from 44 thousand m3 16 to 87 thousand m3 and water intensity from 0.94 m3/sq m16 to 1.87 m3/sq m as 100 Wickham Street and 108 Wickham Street were in operations for the full financial year.

    In managing its Natural Capital, Ascendas Reit seeks to contribute to the following SDGs:

    • SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy): By adopting increased use of renewable energy
    • SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Protection): By promoting and encouraging the efficient management and use of natural resources
    • SDG 13 (Climate Action): By integrating climate change into its policies, strategies and planning
    1. Water consumption and water intensity amounts for FY17/18 have been adjusted to actual full year figures as the amount reported in Ascendas Reit's IntegratedSustainability Report FY17/18 were based on estimates.
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Year PDF
Sustainability Report 2019 11.10 MB PDF
Integrated Sustainability Report 2018 7.27 MB PDF
Sustainability Report 2017 0.80 MB PDF
Sustainability Report 2016 0.57 MB PDF
Sustainability Report 2015 0.08 MB PDF
Sustainability Report 2014 0.12 MB PDF
Sustainability Report 2013 0.25 MB PDF

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