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More than a quarter of top 100 SGX-listed issuers have board sustainability committees, up from just six in 2017: CBD

Jovi Ho
Jovi Ho • 2 min read
More than a quarter of top 100 SGX-listed issuers have board sustainability committees, up from just six in 2017: CBD
The Council for Board Diversity Singapore (CBD) says it will publish the latest edition of its annual report on board diversity in a month’s time. Photo: CBD
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More than a quarter of the top 100 Singapore-listed issuers by market capitalisation have established a board sustainability committee as at Dec 31, 2023. Of these, some had extended the remit of an existing board committee, such as an audit committee becoming an audit and sustainability committee.

In comparison, only six of the top 100 Singapore-listed issuers had sustainability committees back in 2017, the year the Singapore Exchange S68 -

(SGX) mandated sustainability reporting for its issuers. 

More data will be released soon on SGX-listed companies, Singapore’s statutory boards and the 100 largest Institutions of a Public Character (IPCs). The Council for Board Diversity Singapore (CBD) says it will publish the latest edition of its annual report on board diversity in a month’s time. 

Sustainable business practices and effective climate governance contribute to long-term value creation for companies. This was the key message of The Climate in the Boardroom, a networking session organised by CBD on the first day of Temasek’s Ecosperity Week 2024 conference. 

Successful business operations and a climate-secure world go hand-in-hand, says CBD in a statement. “The urgency of climate change, interest in sustainability disclosures and emerging regulations call for change to be driven from within.”

The Ecosperity Week 2024 partner event on April 15 was attended by some 70 board directors and C-suites. 

See also: Less than 30% of firms worldwide feel ready for independent ESG audit: KPMG

CBD co-chair Loh Boon Chye joined Mindy Lubber, chief executive officer of the US-headquartered non-profit Ceres, on a panel discussion on gender diversity and emerging climate risks and opportunities for corporates.

In response to an audience question about finding suitable director candidates, Loh says nearly half of the sustainability committee members in the top 100 Singapore listed issuers have served less than three years. This shows their specialised skill sets, Loh adds, and the diverse needs of boards here. 

That said, Loh acknowledges that not all companies need a sustainability committee. “For some, sustainability could be under the overall purview of the board.”

See also: COP29 Presidency sets out agenda, emphasises upcoming work on New Collective Quantified Goal

CBD was established by the Ministry of Social and Family Development in 2019. With President Tharman Shanmugaratnam as Patron, CBD spearheads efforts to encourage organisations across the private, public and people sectors on their journey of leveraging board diversity for business value. 

Recognising the contribution of women — the most visible and measurable aspect of diversity — as a powerful lead-in to the consideration of other diversities, CBD’s ambition in the long-term is for organisations in Singapore to achieve an equal proportion of men and women directors on boards. 

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