For instance, it is the first Singapore Exchange-listed real estate company to fully commit to net-zero carbon by 2050.
“We are conscious that the built environment accounts for nearly 40 per cent of global carbon emissions,” says Ms Soon Su Lin, CEO of Frasers Property Singapore. “As a leading multinational real estate business, we believe that across the real estate lifecycle, we have to lead and act as a responsible investor, developer and operator.”
To accelerate positive change within its supply chain, Frasers Property initiated the Group Responsible Sourcing Policy, which includes asking suppliers, vendors and contractors to disclose sustainability-related data as part of a mandatory pre-qualification process.
To help curb carbon emissions generated by transportation, Frasers Property aims to deploy 44 new EV charging points throughout its malls and commercial properties.
To tackle food waste as well as to help needy families, Frasers Property has been partnering The Food Bank Singapore since 2019. The partnership involves placing Food Bank donation boxes throughout its commercial and retail properties to collect donated non-perishable food items.
As frequented community nodes, these properties serve as convenient locations for the public to donate food, which is redistributed to needy households through organisations such as family service centres, soup kitchens and other volunteer groups.
Embedding corporate purpose into its business practices has enabled Frasers Property to strengthen not only its business – it also enables stakeholders and immediate communities to do good.
Mr Panote adds: “Businesses can be a force for good and a clear corporate purpose demonstrates businesses’ intent to contribute positively to the economy and wider community.”
How investment stewardship supports organisations’ long-term growth
Another Company of Good that integrates corporate purpose in its business practices is investment firm BlackRock.
It is leveraging its position as one of the world’s leading investment firms to push for ethical business practices. Through investment stewardship, it encourages its stakeholders and partners to improve in areas such as climate support, labour practices, board quality, financial strength, among others.
“We believe strong leadership and responsiveness will be key to delivering value for shareholders in the face of near-term business challenges and longer-term shifts in society,” adds Ms Deborah Ho, BlackRock’s country head Singapore and head of South-east Asia.
It recognises that the money it manages belongs to their clients who are focused on long-term financial goals, such as retirement, buying a first home or funding their children’s education.
“This is why everything we do is based on our role in helping reach their financial objectives – and that means navigating changing business and macro environments to steward clients’ assets,” says Ms Ho.
One of BlackRock’s approaches to establish this is by investing in companies based on principles of good corporate governance and oversight to ensure they take into account the interests of long-term investors.
Dedicated specialists in its investment stewardship team conduct multi-year engagements to understand companies’ purpose, strategy and actions, and how those drive performance and create sustainable long-term value over time. BlackRock also steps in when it uncovers companies running a risk that goes against corporate purpose.
For instance, when one of the companies, a major sustainable agricultural producer in South-east Asia, was investigated for allegations of forced labour, BlackRock reached out to the company’s management to discuss the problems and intervened to determine what actions could be taken to improve the situation. It was a boon for both the company and investors as such issues could be detrimental to credibility and hurt the company’s financial performance.
“Understanding a company’s purpose and advocating for the long-term interests of our clients through investment stewardship is how we encourage sound corporate governance and resilient business models,” says Ms Ho.
At HP, having a firm understanding of its corporate purpose has enabled leaders and staff to guide its business strategy to continually innovate. “From our earliest days as a company, it has been a place where innovation drives extraordinary contributions to humanity. Companies like ours have a critical role to play in helping solve today’s most pressing problems,” says Mr Ng.
But the company recognises that it cannot do it alone – for positive change to be long-term, it depends on everyone to do its part.
“Sustainability and social programs are a collaborative effort, requiring a culture shift. We can only reach our goals by involving our partners, community, and customers to fully integrate sustainable impact and purpose throughout every aspect of our business and ecosystem,” adds Mr Ng.
Find out how your organisation can help shape a better future with corporate purpose at https://www.thecompanyofgood.sg.