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Our sustainability strategy is fundamental to the way we approach

and manage our operations.

What do you consider to be

the most critical sustainability

challenges impacting the Group’s


A United Nations report stipulates

that the world population is

expected to reach 9.7 billion by

2050, which will strain natural

resources already in limited supply.

I see other critical challenges

as maintaining a stable and

appropriately skilled workforce;

upholding positive relationships

with our local communities,

particularly in terms of managing

expectations and communicating

effectively about all aspects of

our operations; ensuring access

to a stable energy supply while

reducing our emissions; and finally

underpinning all this is maintaining

customers trust in, and demand

for, our products and services.

And what are the key


The challenges around resource

use that not only our, but all

industries face, will require us

to innovate in order to improve

productivity. Higher productivity

then translates into more

resources to go around and

better standards of living. I also

believe that those in the private

sector plays an important role

in providing stable employment

opportunities. Take for example


Plantation Division

– some

of our estates are located in

rather remote areas where we

are significant contributors to the

local economy. As such, we have





the opportunity to really make a

difference to our communities.

By focusing on initiatives that

help poverty eradication, provide

education and training, encourage

wellbeing for employees and

communities and by protecting

the environment, we can positively

enhance our direct sphere of


What’s next for the Group

Sustainability Committee? Please

share with us your aspirations.

Our first Sustainability Report is

an important milestone for us. The

development of this report has no

doubt been a learning experience

for the Committee and members

of our teams, yet we acknowledge

that the process of reporting affords

significant benefits in terms of

being able to use the information

we have collected to evaluate our

performance where in some cases,

weaknesses are identified thereby

prompting further monitoring and

due diligence.

We continue to remain committed

to improving our transparency

and accountability vis-à-vis our

disclosures and on this note, we

aspire and are steadily working

towards adopting an integrated

approach to reporting i.e. by

combining financial and non-

financial information on how

the Group is creating long-term

sustainable value for stakeholders

and the environment alike. For me,

doing so is a natural extension of

our journey towards becoming

more sustainable, accountable and




on a broad range of other

sustainability-related matters

and facilitate cross-functional

baseline setting. For example,

a materiality matrix setting out

the key sustainability topics has

been drawn up based on the

results of the stakeholder survey

that was undertaken during

the year. Inter alia, the matrix

has largely affirmed that the

8 United Nations Sustainable

Development Goals (SDGs)

goals we had identified last year

were still relevant to our present-

day businesses.

Given the diverse nature of our

businesses, it takes time to both

create a framework that can

be adopted Group-wide as we

want to base every decision on

facts and data. That said, we are

working towards and hope to be

able to formalize a longer-term

approach to the framework and

set measurable targets in near


I am happy with the initiatives

we’ve taken in terms of

information disclosure

and communication of our

environmental, social and

economic impacts and the areas

for improvement thus far and

believe that readers will find

value in the information we have