Statement from our Board

2020 has been a year of challenges, turbulence and lessons. Along with many other organisations, we collectively experienced unprecedented economic volatility and disruptions in day-to-day functions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has shown that widespread and significant disruptions, as unfortunate as they may be, are entirely possible. Hence, we recognize the importance of solidifying our platform in order to create value and deliver sustainable and stable income for our unitholders, as we move into a post-COVID-19 recovery.

As we navigated through 2020 and continue to emerge from the crisis, sustainability remains a key priority. This year, we have refined our targets for our material issues and have added a target on pandemic preparedness and resilience. These renewed targets reflect our continued commitment to excellence across our business and to managing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues most material to our stakeholders. We also mapped our material factors to the most relevant United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in which we contribute to, aligning these goals with the goals of our sponsor, ESR Cayman.

Social issues, in particular, have come to the fore during the year. We took extra care to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our employees, workers and communities in which we operate in. When the Circuit Breaker and workplace safe management measures were introduced in Singapore, the Manager swiftly responded by supporting all employees in their transition to working from home. For employees whose jobs cannot be performed from home, we ensured their safety by adhering strictly to safe management measures and guidelines issued by the Singapore Government at the workplaces. Our stringent workplace safety measures contributed to zero COVID-19 cases and work-related injuries among our employees. Despite being socially disconnected, we took steps to foster interaction amongst employees and improve their well-being with bi-weekly online activities such as workout classes and health and well-being talks. Our high employee satisfaction rate of 80% is a testament to the support we have provided.

For our tenants, communication and ensuring regulatory compliance amidst the pandemic were key. Tenant engagement platforms that we had developed across the past few years, such as our 24/7 call centre, proved effective in ensuring continued support to our tenants during the year, earning us a tenant satisfaction rate of 79% despite the challenges.

The year has been particularly difficult for the vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. As with every year, we endeavoured to do our part for these communities in ways that are meaningful and enriching to them. This year, we focused our efforts on supporting the education and well-being of youth and children living in rental flats by providing tuition centres, as well as distributing mooncakes and Christmas meals in an attempt to lift their spirits in these especially difficult times.

Despite the pandemic, reducing the environmental footprint of our assets and operations remain a priority. We continued to embark on energy and water saving initiatives and reduced the operating hours for air conditioning and lighting due to lower footfall at our properties due to COVID-19. We humbly acknowledge that sustainability and managing environmental impact is a continuous journey, and we endeavour to constantly improve on our performance in sustainability.

Finally, as we reflect on 2020, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our stakeholders for withstanding the headwinds and overcoming the challenges of the year. We look forward to your continued support as we collectively recover from the crisis, and strengthen the resilience and long-term sustainability of our business.