Sustainability reporting continues to accelerate globally, and it is a growing requirement for large and listed companies around the world. The 2020 FORFIRM Survey of Sustainability Reporting11 found 96% of the world’s largest 250 companies (the G250) report on their sustainability performance, as do 80% of the N100 – 5,200 companies comprising the largest 100 firms in 52 countries.

There are many players with different roles in the field of sustainability information, including sustainability standard-setters such as GRI and SASB, for-profit data aggregators and ESG ratings providers. As a result, understanding the ways in which these different players form a comprehensive ESG information ecosystem can be a challenge. All players in the ecosystem require comparable and reliable data. Standards such as those of GRI and SASB help ensure that companies report high-quality information that can be sourced by all relevant stakeholders, including data aggregators and raters, and ultimately used to inform decisions by companies and their stakeholders.

The two comprehensive and internationally recognized sustainability standard-setters for corporate reporting – GRI and SASB – provide standards that are complementary and help organizations meet the needs of their intended audiences.

The sustainability disclosure landscape can appear daunting, and GRI and SASB’s collaborative work is designed to help companies and investors use both sets of standards in a more efficient and cost-effective manner

The collaboration includes delivering communication materials to demonstrate how both sets of standards may be used concurrently. This publication provides real-world examples from four companies and highlights the lessons that can be shared. It is intended to help stakeholders better understand how and why the GRI and SASB standards may be used concurrently.

How the GRI and SASB Standards work together

Transparency is the best currency for creating trust among organizations and their stakeholders, including investors. That is why companies and other organizations focus on disclosing the information each stakeholder group requires. GRI and SASB provide compatible standards for such disclosures. Their standards are mutually supportive and designed to fulfill different purposes.

SASB’s industry-specific standards identify the sustainability-related risks and opportunities most likely to affect a company’s financial condition (i.e. its balance sheet), operating performance (i.e. its income statement), or risk profile (i.e. cost of capital). All of these factors impact a company’s current and future market valuation.

The GRI Standards focus on the economic, environmental and social impacts of the activities of a company, and hence its contributions – positive or negative – towards sustainable development. It is the underlying assumption that if not already financially material at the time of reporting, these impacts may become financially material over time.

The GRI Standards support broad and comprehensive disclosures by providing the framework and supporting standards for a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s impacts on economy, environment, and society including financially material impacts. SASB’s Standards offer an industry-focused perspective by identifying the subset of issues that are reasonably likely to be financially material for the typical company in an industry. Each set of standards, therefore, complement rather than act as a substitute one another.

Companies can use both the GRI Standards and SASB Standards to meet the needs of their intended audiences—for example, in addition to the companies featured in this report, others use the standards in different ways: Arcelor Mittal publishes GRI and SASB disclosures within the same integrated report, as does the PSA Group. Nike publishes a report in accordance with the GRI Standards and provides a SASB reference table.

Asset owners and managers also see the power of companies disclosing information using both GRI and SASB standards, as demonstrated by this statement by Norges Bank Investment Management.

In a post-COVID world, companies and other reporting organizations will increasingly be expected to disclose their performance on the sustainability issues that are reasonably likely to drive risk and opportunity, both internally for their business and externally for the surrounding society, economy and environment. Reporting based on the GRI and SASB Standards can provide the depth and breadth of disclosure that all of an organization’s stakeholders require.

Distinctions Between GRI and SASB

The application of materiality

The GRI reporting framework guides organizations to select topics that reflect their most significant economic, environmental, and social impacts in consultation with its stakeholders. These topics could include issues that have financially material impacts on the organization as well as topics that impact people and the environment outside the organization – such as greenhouse gas emissions, human rights, supply chain practices and many other matters.

SASB’s approach to materiality is based on a financially oriented definition that is well-accepted by capital markets globally. The SASB Standards identify sustainability topics that are reasonably likely to impact the financial performance and long-term enterprise value of the typical company in an industry. SASB’s process requires evidence of investor interest and evidence of financial impact for a topic to be included in the Standards. SASB Standards include disclosure topics across five sustainability dimensions, including environmental, social and human capital, business model and innovation, and leadership and governance.

The type and scope of disclosure

GRI offers reporting organizations a comprehensive principle-based framework to guide them to create high quality, relevant and reliable disclosures. GRI also offers universal and topicspecific reporting standards.

The GRI Universal Standards include disclosures about the organization’s specific context, such as its governance, management systems, reporting practices, products, services, stakeholder engagement and management approach.

Each of GRI’s 34 topic-specific Standards include required and recommended disclosures. In addition, each standard includes guidance for the reporting organization. The disclosures include both qualitative and quantitative information, forward looking as well as retrospective information. The GRI topicspecific Standards are universally applicable to every reporting organization regardless of their industrial sector.

GRI is also developing Sector Standards for 40 to 45 high-impact sectors. These sector standards aim to define the most likely significant impacts for companies in a given sector and what to report for these impacts, thereby increasing comparability.

SASB provides standards for 77 industries across 11 sectors. Each standard identifies the subset of sustainability issues reasonably likely to impact financial performance and long- term enterprise value of the typical company in an industry. On average, each standard has six disclosure topics and 13 accounting metrics. Each standard also includes technical protocols for compiling data and activity metrics for normalization. Approximately 75% of the accounting metrics in the SASB Standards are quantitative. The SASB Standards are designed to ensure that providers of financial capital have access to comparable, consistent and reliable data to inform investment and stewardship decisions.

Audience and stakeholder interests covered

The GRI Standards are used by all organizations, including companies to inform all stakeholders, including investors, labor, civil society and governments. SASB focuses on disclosure by companies to their investors and other providers of financial capital.

Standard-setting process

The GRI Standards are governed by the multi stakeholder Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), an independent entity supported solely by the GRI Secretariat. The GSSB’s activities are conducted in the public interest. Standards are developed according to a due process protocol overseen by a Due Process Oversight Committee (DPOC). Working groups of subject matter experts representing the diversity of stakeholder interests across the world are selected to develop each of the GRI Standards. These working groups utilize a consensus approach that builds on their diverse backgrounds and expertise. Standards development processes are conducted in public and all draft Standards are exposed to public consultation. Once all comments are resolved, the final standard is issued and translated into 11 languages.

Transparency lies at the heart of the GSSB’s work. All meetings of the GSSB and the documents discussed at these meetings, including drafts of Standards, are publicly accessible. The GSSB is solely funded from the GRI Secretariat. These funds are sourced from a combination of grants, membership fees and GRI’s support services.

The GRI Standards incorporate and/or are aligned with recognized international norms for responsible business conduct. These include authoritative intergovernmental instruments such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the ILO conventions, and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. By applying the GRI Standards, organizations can demonstrate how they apply these instruments.

SASB’s standard-setting process includes evidence- based research; broad and balanced participation from companies, investors, and subject matter experts; and oversight and direction from an independent Standards Board. SASB engages market participants from around the globe in its standard-setting process, including through its nearly 300-member Standards Advisory Group (SAG) which includes representatives from companies, investors and other subject matter experts.

SASB takes an evidence-based approach to assess whether sustainability topics are reasonably likely to have material impacts on the financial condition or operating performance of the company. In doing so, this approach considers evidence of interest to investors and evidence of financial impact.

SASB’s standards development process is overseen by an independent Standards Board that is accountable for the due process, outcomes and ratification of the SASB Standards, including any changes to the standards. Members of the Standards Board are appointed by the SASB Foundation Board of Directors, which has additional oversight over the strategy, finances and operations of the entire organization. The SASB Foundation is funded by a balanced mix of revenue which includes earned revenue from membership fees and licensing, contributions from market participants, and philanthropy.

The SASB Standards Board operates with a due process that is transparent and inclusive, and its decisions are guided by a Conceptual Framework that is a public document. Standards Board meetings are open to observers from the public when standard-setting or agenda planning is conducted. Changes to the SASB Standards are exposed for public comment.

When possible, SASB harmonizes the disclosure topics and metrics in its Standards with existing metrics, definitions, frameworks and management disclosure formats to minimize the corporate reporting burden. SASB Standards reference standards and metrics from over 200 organizations.

The GRI and SASB Standards are copyrighted and made available free of charge to everyone as a public good, including organizations that use the Standards in their own reporting. Incorporating either the GRI or SASB Standards into a commercial product requires a license agreement.

About this publication

The main objective of this publication is to demonstrate how the GRI and SASB Standards can be used concurrently for reporters who are considering using both sets of standards. This is done by focusing on real-world examples that demonstrate the complementary nature of the GRI and SASB Standards and that provide insights and lessons learned from reporting companies.

The source material for this publication is:

• Interviews with reporters using both sets of standards

• Report examples from interviewed companies’ reports

• Results of a survey of users of GRI and SASB Standards

By sharing the experiences of companies who use both GRI and SASB Standards, we hope to provide insights into how the two sets of standards can be applied in a complementary fashion to generate information that meets the needs of all constituencies and markets.

Survey participants

To provide an extra dimension to our knowledge on the use of GRI and SASB Standards, the project team conducted a survey of reporting organizations. The survey was designed to gather views from organizations that report using the GRI Standards and/or the SASB Standards. It consisted of questions in three sections: respondent details; use of standards and frameworks in the organization’s sustainability reporting; and general comments.

There were 132 responses to the survey. The largest group of respondents (63) worked in CSR/sustainability/EHS functions, the next largest group in corporate communications (9), then investor relations (7).

The Broad View

Before delving into the detail of how organizations use the GRI Standards and SASB Standards together, we first present a broad view of the reporting practices of the survey respondents and interviewees who contributed to this report.

Using the GRI and SASB Standards

Both sets of standards are applicable to organizations of any size, public or private, anywhere in the world. The GRI Standards are designed to be used by organizations in any sector, whereas the SASB Standards are sector-specific and identify specific disclosure topics for each of 77 industries.

According to the 2020 FORFIRM Survey of Sustainability Reporting, 96% of the world’s largest 250 companies (the G250) report on their sustainability performance and 73% of these use the GRI Standards to do so; similarly, 80% of the N100 report, and 67% of them use the GRI Standards. As of January 2021, more than 600 companies disclose SASB metrics, with more than 1,000 companies referencing SASB as an input to their reports.

Among survey respondents, more organizations use GRI and SASB standards together than separately. Of the 132 respondents, 39% (52) used both the GRI Standards and the SASB Standards together. The next largest group was the GRI-only reporters, at 33% (44). Only 17% (23) reported using neither, and 10% (13) SASB only.

There were respondents in each industry who used both GRI and SASB Standards for reporting. The three industries with the highest proportion of respondents using both sets of standards were infrastructure (50%), food & beverage (60%) and health care (83%). Of the 22 industries for which there was only one respondent, eight (8) claimed to use both GRI and SASB Standards. These were mostly in the infrastructure, extractives and resources industries. Six (6) respondents reported used neither the GRI nor SASB Standards; these were mostly in the consulting sector, supporting other companies in their reporting. The remaining eight (8) used GRI Standards only; these covered a range of industries, from electric utilities to packaging and logistics.

The top ten industries represented in the survey results were:

• Financials (17 respondents)

• Extractives & minerals processing (15 respondents)

• Services (14 respondents)

• Infrastructure (12 respondents)

• Technology & communications (11 respondents)

• Consumer goods (11 respondents)

• Resource transformation (8 respondents)

• Transportation (7 respondents)

• Health care (6 respondents)

• Food & beverage (5 respondents)

Audiences and Channels

Stakeholder engagement is a key element of sustainability reporting, and it features in the processes described in both the GRI Standards and the SASB Standards, albeit with differences in stakeholder groups. Understanding a company’s approach to defining, selecting and engaging stakeholders sheds light on how and why they use the reporting standards.

Audiences for sustainability reporting

The audience is a major point of differentiation for GRI and SASB: the GRI Standards appeal to a broad stake- holder base, whereas the SASB Standards are focused on financial stakeholders – investors and other providers of financial capital.

The survey reflects this clearly. The 52 respondents who used both the GRI and SASB standards were more likely to use both sets of standards together to report to all stake- holder groups (civil society 22, customers 28, employees 25, governmental bodies 28, investors 48, local communities 24, regulators 31 and suppliers 21). The next most likely option was to use the GRI Standards only, with one exception: investors. No respondent reported using the GRI Standards alone for investor reporting, though four used the SASB Standards alone for this group.

Broad stakeholder groups: GRI

Based on the interviews conducted, stakeholder engagement was highlighted as a key step in developing disclosures. All the interviewees mentioned engaging various stakeholder groups in different ways. The way they identified and defined these groups also differed. They all acknowledged that the GRI Standards are the standards suited for communicating with broader stake- holder groups.

For Suncor, the standards themselves were a source of information for defining stakeholder groups. Every year, Suncor goes through a review of audience types for its reporting, looking at the standards as well as conducting an internal review. The team develops a primary, secondary, and tertiary audience and match communications to their needs. These tiers enable Suncor to determine what it includes in its reporting based on the decision usefulness of this information to each stakeholder group.

Kris Frederickson, Manager, Sustainability Disclosure & Engagement at Suncor Energy, explained the tiers: “The first tier is the engagement tier; this is the information intended to support engagement. The second tier is stakeholders who wouldn’t necessarily access information on sustain- ability directly, but people within our organization would use as a tool to engage with or inform different audiences. Tier three I consider as a reference document – it’s a resource for anybody that may want to come and look at Suncor’s sustainability performance.”

Sustainability reporting is one aspect of Suncor’s overall sustainability communication strategy – and it’s a means to an important end: engagement. Kris continued: “The engagement is arguably the more important thing to have. Through engagement, we get to share our story, and get to hear the input and identify blind spots from other groups that we just don’t get visibility to.”

For Diageo, it’s important to engage the different stake- holder groups and to make sustainability reporting more accessible to them. Employees have been a recent focus. With the launch of Diageo’s new 10-year strategy, which focuses on the SDGs, it’s important for employees to be aware of the company’s sustainability performance. This is business-relevant information that leaders especially need access to.

Harriet Howey, Global Non-Financial Reporting and ESG Lead at Diageo, said: “One of the things we have been exploring more is how to bring our non-financial performance to life for our employees and a broader stakeholder audience than just investors and regulators.”

GM also engages a range of stakeholders: NGOs, government organizations, community organizations, customers, employees, potential employees, Chambers of Commerce. One group stands out: investors and rating and ranking organizations, who need information that’s easy to find and access. “The GRI Standards really serve to shape your reporting for all stakeholders,” Sharon Basel, Senior Manager, Sustainability at GM, said. “I see the SASB Standards as another layer, that has been driven by the investor community a lot.”

Investor focus: SASB

Investor interest in ESG topics is increasing, according to the interviewees. In response to this increasing interest, companies are sharpening their focus on the informational needs of investors and other providers of financial capital, and this is impacting how they engage, what they report, and how they communicate this information to investors.

“I’ve been waiting for two decades for this to happen and finally people are listening to sustainability professionals,” Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer at CDL, said. “In the good old days, investors and analysts didn’t ask to see me. The change started after the Paris Agreement and I’ve been seeing more investors and analysts, especially over the last two years or so.”

CDL understands the specific information needs investors have, and as such only reports the top 15 material issues for them. In 12 pages, CDL’s summary report in the annual report is focused and investor-driven. But not all investors are as engaged with sustainability. There is still a majority who do not ask about ESG topics, as Esther explained:

“I think we still need to address this group of investors who are not very focused on ESG as yet. The summary report will be very useful for those mainstream, non-ESG investors and analysts to have an overall view. That’s why the 12-page statement is very strategic for our company to communicate succinctly and clearly to the so-called non-converts. The converts will definitely go into the full integrated sustain- ability report.”

GM has various approaches for engaging investors. Taken together, these result in constant contact. GM engages 24 organizations on a formal basis, and the report used for communicating with other investors is reviewed by the board of directors. GM meets with investors one-on-one in the lead up to the annual meeting, and there’s another formal engagement with shareholders and the CEO and board members after the annual meeting. Sustainability- related questions come through the investor relations team throughout the year. All investor-facing parts of the business are well versed in ESG matters and they understand what’s behind ratings and rankings like MSCI and Sustainalytics, as well as the reporting standards used.

The constant engagement has an impact on reporting, too, as Sharon said: “As they’re interacting, that brings up additional issues, and they can become another disclosure or more clarification. Sometimes it even leads to some kind of KPI that we hadn’t thought of before.”

Currently, investors are interested in the transition to electric vehicles, and the topic is a focus for GM in terms of employee use. “Are we capturing all those risks and opportunities as they relate to the workforce?” Sharon asked. “We don’t necessarily have all the answers, but the little connectors in the brain start firing, about how we might have to up our narrative that addresses that to make it a more concise narrative about how we’re managing that part of this transition.”

Channels to reach these audiences

Alongside the separation of investors and other stake- holders, there is a parallel split in reporting channels for those groups. Overall, a range of channels were used, both by survey respondents and interviewees.

The survey showed that most of the respondents who use both sets of standards in their reporting include information from both in a dedicated sustainability/CSR report (33) and on a corporate website (27). Nine (9) said they include information from using both sets of standards in an integrated report, and only six (6) in a mainstream financial report. Occasionally, respondents said they split the information from GRI and SASB reporting – three (3) only use GRI information in their sustainability/CSR report, two (2) on the website and two (2) in an integrated report, while one (1) used SASB information only in an integrated report and two (2) in a mainstream financial report.

Other channels were mentioned in addition to these commonly used ones. There were benchmarking reports, UNGC-COP reports, NASDAQ One Report platform, investor-specific communications, reports to national governments, social media and direct verbal communication.

Reporting channels to match audiences

CDL believes the reporting channel is important, and as such, it publishes a standalone sustainability report for its multi-stakeholder audience and investors focused on ESG, and a concise version in the annual report for investors who may be less ESG-focused.

GM takes the opposite approach, with a more concise ‘marketing report’ for customers and potential talent, and a lengthier ‘business report’ for investors and NGOs, which includes content on mega trends and how the business is responding. “While we try to make the full report easy to read and bring in some of those features, we absolutely cannot compromise on a GRI-based report that has all the disclosures. But we focus on many more stakeholders than investors alone.”

Diageo integrates non-financial information into the Strategic Report and produces a separate, detailed, Sustainability and Responsibility Performance Addendum, which covers the three frameworks Diageo uses: GRI, SASB and UNGC. “I would never expect anyone to sit down and read our Sustainability and Responsibility Performance Addendum cover to cover,” Harriet said. “It’s not designed to be a report that tells people what we are doing; that information is in our annual report. This is really an index document.”

Selecting the right channels for each audience is about focusing on the stakeholders’ information needs. Kris explained: “The Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures doesn’t mean a whole lot to my dad in his garage in Minnesota,” he said. “There are different information needs and engagement styles for different groups, so we engage them differently.”

At the heart of Suncor’s reporting efforts are three reports: the sustainability report, the annual report and the climate risk and resilience report. These are interlinked: in the annual report, the strategy piece weaves in sustainability information to identify how sustainability is core to the business.

Succinct information for investors

Some investors may not yet be asking for integrated reports, but they have clear information needs. The result is that the companies interviewed provide succinct, decision-useful data for investors.

CDL keeps its investor-targeted communications compre- hensive in a succinct manner for readability. “We want our integrated sustainability report to be a very interesting and insightful read,” Esther said. “We don’t want it to be a PR report with hard-selling messages or philanthropic activities. It should focus on data and trending of ESG performance as investors, analysts, financiers and researchers prefer such information.”

Suncor publishes a management proxy circular that includes some ESG information in the form of principal risks. Strategy and sustainability are included in the CEO letter of the annual report. Although there is some crossover in content, the sustainability and annual reports are different. This is partly down to timing – the annual report comes out in February and the sustainability report in early July. The reports also have different angles: the annual report takes a risk-based view of certain ESG issues, and the sustainability report goes into depth on more sustainability issues.

Broader information on websites

Succinct reports work for investors, but there is often a bigger narrative that companies want to share with other stakeholder groups. Websites were frequently identified as an ideal solution for this, as they have fewer limits than traditional printed or PDF reports. GM has a portal on the corporate website, and CDL has a separate website, which “has no limit for the scope and scale of sustainability narratives and data we wish to communicate to our stake- holders,” Esther said.

For Diageo, the website can repeat and extend the stories told in the annual report. There are usually three or four ‘non-financial’ case studies in the annual report, and the website will carry an additional 10 to 15. “We find those really useful because they’re really about demonstrating our strategy in action,” Harriet said. “And we can use them throughout the year. So somebody might come to us and say, ‘you’ve got a really strong commitment to water stewardship, what does that look like in practice?’ We could provide two or three examples from the case studies on the website.”

Suncor use websites in three ways: a sustainability microsite that contains reporting information and is suitable for all audiences, a corporate site with some sustainability information included, and an intranet for internal reporting on sustainability issues, to motivate employees internally.

CDL Integrated Sustainability Report 2020, page 18. This identifies different stakeholder groups, as well as the issues and concerns of each group.

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Identifying Issues Material to Stakeholders
Engaging, anticipating and meeting the needs of our stakeholders is of utmost importance to CDL’s long-term business viability and success. We define our stakeholders as groups that our business has a significant impact on, and those with a vested interest in our operations. Lenders, as well as Academics and Industry Experts, are newly added stakeholder groups in 2019.


Our Employees

Health and safety, competencies, welfare and professional development of employees are fundamental to CDL’s performance and key to enhancing our human capital.

• Regular dialogue sessions, town halls and forums fronted by Senior Management

• CDL 360 – Company intranet

• Daily news bulletin

• Staff Connect – an inter-department committee that organises company-wide activities to foster work-life balance and reinforce team spirit

• Frequent employee activities

• Biennial Employee Engagement Survey

• Employee Assistance Programme (counselling service)

• Employee grievance handling procedures

• City Sunshine Club – employee volunteering platform

• Corporate direction and growth plans

• Job security

• Remuneration and benefits

• Career development and training opportunities

• Workplace safety and health

• Labour and human rights

• Work-life balance

• Employee volunteerism


Our Customers

Delivering safe and high-quality products and services to our customers is our raison d’être as customers are key to generation of financial capital.


• Integrated customer and call centre

• Homebuyer e-portal

• Residential services

• Green Living Guides

• Defects management tracking app and procedures

• Post-TOP customer satisfaction surveys

• Show suites feedback system


• CDL Green Lease Partnership Programme

• CDL Green Ambassadors

• Green fitting out kits

• Project: Eco-Office kits

• Recycling programme

• 1°C Up Campaign

• Curated events and activities for C-suites and office community (e.g. Healthy Workplace Ecosystem workouts and workshops, and treats giveaways)

• CityNexus mobile app for office community

• Annual tenant satisfaction surveys

• Precinct improvement with Raffles Place Alliance (Raffles Place Business Improvement District)


• Customer service and experience

• Status of TOP progress and handover appointments

• Ethical marketing practices

• Workmanship and defects rectification

• Design and features

• Common areas and facilities


• Green building and office interior certifications

• Green leases

• Workplace safety and health

• Management of facilities

• Customer service and experience

• Resource efficiency

• Environmental management, education and advocacy

• Ethical marketing practices

CDL Integrated Sustainability Report 2020, pages 19-20. This identifies different stakeholder groups, as well as the issues and concerns of each group.

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Our Builders and Suppliers

We work closely with partners in our value chain to ensure that our operations are carried out in line with CDL’s EHS policies and standards that place environmental conservation, work site safety and workers’ health and well-being as priorities.

• Policies including climate change, EHS, human rights and Universal Design

• Supplier code of conduct

• Green procurement specifications

• CDL 5-Star EHS assessment

• CDL EHS Challenge

• Bi-annual seminars and peer sharing

• Annual EHS Awards

• Declaration of EHS commitment through letter and pledge-signing

• EHS risk assessments at concept, design and construction stages

• Construction vision casting

• Bi-annual vendor evaluation

• Legal compliance

• Quality and design

• Safety of infrastructure and managed facilities

• Productivity

• Innovation

• Workers safety and health

• Labour practices and welfare

• Human rights

• Social inclusion

• Resource and waste management

• Sustainable procurement


Our Investors and Analysts

Maximising long-term shareholder returns is a key priority to generate financial capital. In line with our strong emphasis on corporate governance, we continue to build investor trust and confidence through open dialogue and two-way communication with shareholders and the investment community.


Our Lenders (NEW)

As CDL’s low-carbon strategy in property development is generally capital intensive, we work closely with like-minded lenders by tapping on sustainable financing products, to help lower our overall capital cost in the long-run.


The Media

y engaging the media community regularly, through mainstream news and information channels, we can raise greater awareness of the green agenda and CDL’s drive to adopt sustainability practices.

• Annual General Meetings

• Bi-annual financial results briefings and webcasts

• Financial results announcements

• Regular analyst and investor meetings

• Post-results luncheons

• Non-deal roadshows

• Conferences, meetings and site visits

• Media releases and interviews

• Annual reports

• Integrated sustainability reports

• Corporate website and social media platforms

• Sustainability microsite

• Timely response to ESG rating agencies and analysts

• Growth strategy

• Financial performance

• Acquisitions

• Market diversification and innovation

• Market disruptions

• Risk management

• Corporate governance

• ESG indicators

• Climate change and carbon pricing strategies

• Sustainability performance and tracking, including global sustainability rankings and indices

• Reporting standards

• Advocating green consumerism and lifestyle

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Government and Regulators

We partner with key government agencies and regulators to jointly elevate industry standards for green building, green financing, sustainability practices, and health and safety standards.


Academics and Industry Experts (NEW)

We work closely with academics and industry experts to explore and testbed new building innovations. By tapping on their expertise in green buildings and sustainability, CDL can continue to develop novel solutions for a low-carbon future.

• Senior management representation on boards of various industry bodies

• Participation in tri-sector and sustainability-related consultations and dialogues

• Longstanding partnership of various national programmes

• Thought leadership in support of public policies and regulations pertaining to sustainability, green buildings and reporting

• Development of green buildings

• Programmes to cultivate responsible workplace practices

• Advocating green consumerism and lifestyle

• Sharing of industry best practices

• Regulatory development towards a low-carbon economy

• Promoting sustainability reporting in Singapore

• Advocating ESG integration with financial reporting

• Promoting workplace health and safety


Our Community

We create green and well living spaces that promote social integration and occupants’ well-being. We also invest in community development projects (especially youths and women-related), and foster tri-sector collaborations that support the SDGs.

• Public communications plan with residents within a 100-metre radius of our new developments

• Builders’ contact details displayed at construction sites for public feedback

• Participation in sustainability-related conferences/forums

• Consultation and dialogues with academics, NGOs, and business associations

• Annual reports

• Integrated sustainability reports

• Company website and social media

• Corporate advertisements

• Collaborations with charity and NGOs partners for community development

• Universal design for homes and offices

• Proactive communication on CDL’s development plans and construction works

• Promoting environmental awareness and zero waste

• Advocating best practices in sustainability

• Empowering youths and women as sustainability champions

• Supporting Singapore’s arts scene

• Caring for the less fortunate

• Sustainability and green building thought-leadership and advocacy

• Social inclusion

• Ethical marketing practices

    Use of the GRI and SASB Standards

    All four companies interviewed use both the GRI Standards and the SASB Standards. We asked them why, and what other frameworks they use alongside them.

    Why report against both the GRI Standards and the SASB Standards?

    The survey revealed several main reasons for using the GRI and SASB Standards. Many respondents mentioned that the two sets of standards are complementary. Using both, therefore, provides a more complete overview. The converse is also true: some mentioned using the two sets of standards together for their different perspectives, different approaches to materiality and different stake- holder groups.

    Of the 52 respondents who used both sets of standards, twelve (12) specifically mentioned the reason they did so was to meet the needs of investors or financial stakeholders, and nine (9) mentioned stakeholders in general. Other reasons included best practice reporting, materiality needs and keeping up with trends.

    However, the decision to use each of the two reporting standards occurred separately in most cases, given that most companies started using the GRI Standards much earlier. So the reasons for starting each may be different to the reasons for using them in tandem.

    Pioneering transparency

    CDL, for example, started using the GRI Standards in 2008 and has maintained its use as the core reporting framework that its multi-stakeholders are familiar with. SASB was added in 2020 to address the growing investor interest in ESG issues.

    “As a pioneer in sustainability reporting in Singapore, CDL has been committed to pushing the boundaries to drive change,” Esther said. “Based on the knowledge we have built up over our journey in publishing 13 sustainability reports, we created a blended reporting framework that combines GRI, IIRC, SDG and SASB standards. In an ever- changing business landscape, companies need to remain limber and anticipate the changing expectations of their stakeholders. CDL is privileged to be an active advocate for sustainability integration and reporting to help reporters who are at the early stages of their journey.”

    Meeting investors’ needs

    As a critical stakeholder group, investors are a priority audience. As the discussion has developed around the connection between sustainability and financial impacts and materiality, reporting has evolved to meet investor needs for comparable, consistent and reliable data.

    Historically, Diageo has tried to get ahead of data demands through transparency. When SASB appeared, the company believed it would probably grow in value to the investor audience. “We don’t believe it’s possible to separate non-financial performance from financial performance,” Harriet said. “You’re just not painting a full picture for your stakeholders if you separate that information. Non-financial performance is really pre financial, rather than something which just makes the company look good.”

    Diageo are keen for the non-financial information presented in the annual report to be useful to investors, which is why they use SASB to cross-reference a few areas with the broader GRI disclosures. “Ultimately, we want to make this information easily comparable, and you can’t do that unless you use a standard like GRI or SASB. It’s not meaningful unless it’s comparable.”

    According to CDL, investors and stakeholders are increasingly interested in having a more comprehensive overview of its ESG practices. In addition to the environmental issues and their impact, many investors are concerned about how CDL manages the social impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on its building tenants.

    A holistic picture

    The interviewees noted that using GRI and SASB Standards together provides a holistic picture of company performance, bringing sustainability and financial information more closely together. GM considers GRI the core, foundational standard for sustainability reporting, which serves to shape reporting for all stakeholders. It goes beyond what investors want, to look at how the company is managing its material issues in terms of both their impact on the business and their impact on stakeholders.

    This narrative approach is complemented by the more data driven SASB disclosures. SASB Standards provide another layer of reporting, but GM would not report only on the SASB Standards. GM considers SASB to be a subset of information that is contained within GRI. This means the narrative management context GRI provides works well with the data SASB requires, making it clear how that data should be interpreted.

    Suncor considers another key difference: the sector focus. “GRI is larger scope, more global, not as sector specific,” Hilary Schumacher, Sustainability Reporting Advisor at Suncor Energy, said. “And then with SASB, you’re able to dive deeper on sector-specific information with a financial lens for a more targeted audience, and it improved our reporting efforts.”

    “Our data is intended to be decision useful,” Kris added. “That’s why we also adopted the SASB Standards.”

    Business value

    Sustainability reporting provides stakeholders with core insights into the long-term value and viability of the business. At the same time, procuring and reporting sustainability information requires resources. What gets measured gets managed. Setting goals, tracking progress and reporting help companies to identify gaps and improve on operational efficiency and create growth opportunities. “ESG integration has become a strong business case,” Esther said. “It is never easy when you need to ask for resources, but now is a good time to convince the board and top management of the real benefits sustainability can bring to the business, not just for today but for long-term resilience against future challenges.”

    She added: “ESG disclosure is not just about reporting operational performance. A good report should communicate the business strategy clearly. It should demonstrate the ability and commitment of the top management to be resilient and future-fit for the long haul.”

    Other standards/frameworks in use

    Of the 52 survey respondents who reported using both GRI and SASB Standards, 11 said they did not use any other standards or frameworks. Of the remaining 41 respondents, two (2) said they used the CDSB Framework, seven (7) used the Integrated Reporting Framework, and 30 reported against the TCFD Recommendations.

    Other frameworks, standards, surveys and disclosure guidance used were CDP (climate and water), DJSI, EU Taxonomy, GHG Protocol, IFC Performance Standards, Equator Principles, PRI, UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UN Global Compact (UNGC), WBCSD ESG Disclosure Handbook, Chemical Industry Responsible Care initiative, European directive on non-financial reporting - 2014/95/ EU, and IPIECA. The development of the WEF-IBC Core Disclosures and Metrics was also mentioned.

    Looking to the future, only seven (7) of the 52 who currently use GRI and SASB Standards said they were not considering using additional standards and frameworks. Of the remainder who are considering adding frameworks to the mix, five (5) mentioned CDSB, four (4) Integrated Reporting and twenty (20) TCFD. Twenty-one (21) respondents mentioned other frameworks, the most popular being the proposed WEF International Business Council’s proposed Common Metrics for Consistent Reporting of Sustainable Value Creation (WEF-IBC, mentioned by eight (8)), SDG indicators (mentioned by three (3)). The other frameworks mentioned were: EFFAS, IMM, CDP, IPIECA, IRIS+, IUCN, UNPRI, r3.0, the EU green taxonomy, and NFRD requirements.

    There was a similar breadth of frameworks being used by the interviewees. TCFD and the SDGs are used almost across the board.