ComfortDelGro Group Doubles Down on Sustainability Efforts with New Dedicated Board Committees

ComfortDelGro Corporation and its two listed subsidiaries have set up new high-level Sustainability Committees (SCs) at Board level, signalling their deep commitment towards environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues and performance.

The new SCs at ComfortDelGro Corporation Limited, SBS Transit Ltd and VICOM Ltd will provide Board oversight on strategic and investment decisions related to sustainability. They will be regarded with the same level of importance as any other board-level committee including the Audit and Risk, and Investment Committees.

ComfortDelGro Chairman Lim Jit Poh described the move as “timely”.

“Sustainability has become a key part of our business. ESG issues now figure in every one of our decision making processes – from basic procurements decisions to major strategic, long-term investment considerations. By introducing a Board-level Committee, we are making it clear that we  do not take ESG matters lightly,” he said.

With the introduction of the new SCs, both ComfortDelGro and SBS Transit will now have five Board Committees each while VICOM will have three. Details of the various Committees can be found in the attached annexes.

ComfortDelGro’s sustainability journey began 14 years ago with the introduction of the Group’s Green Statement, where it made a pledge towards preserving the environment. Over the past decade, this commitment expanded to include other sustainability issues including social and governance aspects. In 2015, the Group issued its first standalone Sustainability Report. Three years later, a new department specially dedicated to sustainabiity was set up, helmed by a Group Chief Risk and Sustainability Officer who reports directly to the Group CEO.

At Board level, Ms Jessica Cheam, Founder and Managing Director of Eco-Business and ESG committee member at the Singapore Institute of Directors, joined the ComfortDelGro Board on 1 January 2019. Ms Cheam, who has been instrumental in levelling up the Group in the sustainability sphere, will now chair the newly formed Sustainability Committee.

ComfortDelGro, which became the only Singaporean transport company to be selected for listing on the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index in 2019 and 2020, has been putting the pedal to the metal in the area of sustainability. In March 2021, it announced plans to invest about S$10 million in a mobility-focussed CDG-NUS Smart & Sustainable Mobility Living Lab (CDG-NUS Living Lab) that will focus on Energy Sustainability, Integrated Urban Mobility as well as Smart and Intelligent Mobility Technologies. It will research, test and analyse mobility technologies to generate insights that could later be implemented in solutions for the mass market. 

In addition, the Group will also seek to invest another S$40 million to replace its fleet of diesel buses with electric buses, which may be deployed to the NUS Kent Ridge Campus; as well as supporting infrastructure and mobility technologies. Concurrently, ComfortDelGro Engineering has partnered French energy giant ENGIE to jointly bid for tenders in the electric vehicle (EV) charging field and plans to build charging farms powered by renewable energy on ComfortDelGro premises that offer fast charging solutions to our cabbies and public users.

The Group has also become the first mobility operator in Asia, and one of eight leading Singapore companies to commit to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), an international collaboration between the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), which encourages companies in the private sector to set science-based emission reduction targets to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

As part of this initiative, the Group will develop its transition strategy and work towards having the SBTi targets validated and approved over the next 24 months, including transiting towards a clean-energy fleet, improving energy efficiency, adopting renewables and driving business innovation. The Group’s bus subsidiary in the United Kingdom, Metroline Limited, already operates 97 fully electric buses in London, and will trial double deck hydrogen fuel cell buses this year. The Group also runs close to 1,000 electric taxis in China, where it has operations in nine cities.