The Manager
The Manager
Sustainability

Board Statement

The Board of Directors (“the Board”) is pleased to present MNACT’s fifth Sustainability Report (“SR”), as we continue our journey on ESG initiatives for our business. We believe that a strong sustainability foundation will enable MNACT to fulfill its vision to be a leading commercial REIT and deliver long-term value and sustainable returns for our stakeholders.

This SR documents our progress against last year’s targets for all eight material ESG factors, which we have categorised under the four pillars of Business Resilience, A Greener Environment, Engaging People and Communities, and Responsible Business Practices. These targets are inherent to our overall agenda for sustainable development. The SR also details how we continue to align our sustainability targets and activities with the United Nations (“UN”) Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”).

Against the backdrop of COVID-19 that has drastically reshaped the global economy, we remain committed to sustainable practices and improving our ESG disclosures as we navigate the changes in the operating environment. In FY21/22, the Manager will participate in the GRESB Real Estate Assessment, a global ESG performance benchmark for real estate companies and funds. This will provide a useful benchmark for MNACT’s sustainability performance as we seek to improve our practices and engage more closely with our investors. As a first step, we undertook a gap analysis in the year against our current policies and practices to identify areas of risks and opportunities that will enable us to improve our practices and reporting disclosures.

The Manager had reviewed the uncertain environment for key trends and developments that may impact our properties. In FY20/21, we undertook a reassessment of our material ESG factors and a stakeholder survey to better understand their needs and concerns. The survey result revealed that the key ESG-related concerns identified by our stakeholders are consistent with the eight material sustainability factors that the Board has considered to be relevant to our business.

The survey also highlighted rising stakeholder interest in our ability to adapt to market changes, as well as employee wellness. Taking into account the feedback, the Manager has included more disclosures and targets in this SR in these areas. One key area in this new “normal” is the need to adapt to market changes, with growing emphasis on innovations that can bring about effective asset management, cost effectiveness and customer satisfaction. For example, at Festival Walk mall in Hong Kong SAR, UV sterilisers were installed on escalator handrails at high traffic areas, and robotic (floor) scrubbers were deployed to clean and disinfect the common areas after operating hours. As part of the Sponsor’s digitalisation initiatives, manual invoice processing at the Manager’s Singapore office was replaced by a digital based system using optical character recognition technology, which accelerated the work processes while enabling employees to work seamlessly from home.

As some of our employees continued to work remotely, in line with ongoing safe management measures, investing in employee well-being has become more important than ever. Prioritising the physical and mental well-being of our employees, workout classes and health and mental wellness talks were conducted virtually for employees based in Singapore. For those in Shanghai, physical wellness activities and health talks resumed as the COVID-19 situation was largely contained from April 2020 onwards.

During the year, the Manager and the Property Manager continued to advance sustainability initiatives. The Board is pleased to share that all targets set for FY20/211 were achieved, except for the target on economic performance. DPU for FY20/21 was lower year-on-year as some of the markets that we operate in were heavily impacted by COVID-19. In Hong Kong SAR, the economic downturn and various stringent social distancing measures led to lower consumer spending. To support our tenants, we extended S$49.8 million of rental reliefs to our retail tenants who were adversely impacted by the difficult retail market conditions.

Integrating sustainability into MNACT’s business is a journey. We will continue to work towards minimising our environmental impact as far as possible, through adopting and expanding on sustainability initiatives. For example, with growing expectation for the air quality of buildings to be improved to ensure the overall health and well-being of users and tenants, the Manager is exploring more efficient air filtration systems to filter contaminants effectively to improve indoor air quality. We will also continue to monitor local government directives and implement precautionary measures to safeguard the health and safety of our stakeholders.

As we build on our strategy to generate growth through value-creating acquisitions, responsible investment remains our key commitment. In sourcing for new acquisitions, sustainability issues and ESG risks will continue to be considered as part of the due diligence process. We will also explore integrating environmental risk considerations into our risk management framework and improve overall disclosure, in line with the recently launched MAS guidelines on environmental risk management.

We are mindful that there is still more to be done towards a sustainable future. We thank you for your support and look forward to working in partnership with our stakeholders on this journey.

The Board
MNACTM

The latest Sustainability Report can be found here.

 

1 Please refer to page 103 of the SR for the list of MNACT’s sustainability performance targets for FY20/21.

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