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Author: SGX   |   Latest post: Fri, 29 Sep 2023, 5:43 PM


5 in 5 With Singtel - Empowering Every Generation

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5 Questions for Singtel

Company Overview

Singtel is Asia's leading communications technology group, providing a portfolio of services from next-generation communication, technology services to infotainment to both consumers and businesses. Together with its subsidiary in Australia and regional associates, Singtel’s footprint spans Asia, Australia, and Africa and reaches over 770 million customers in 21 countries. Singtel Group’s purpose - Empower Every Generation - encapsulates the role it has played since the founding more than 140 years ago. Singtel believes in empowering customers, businesses and people with technology and solutions to improve their lives and achieve their ambitions. Link to Investor Portal company page.

1. What is Singtel’s strategy to position itself as a leader in sustainability within the telecommunications industry?

  • We are focused on empowering people and businesses by harnessing technology to create new and exciting experiences; unlock growth opportunities in an increasingly digital future while minimising our impact on the planet.
  • As a responsible sustainability steward, we have implemented a net-zero target and strategy which we continually track and review to ensure we are minimising our environmental footprint and accelerating climate action.
  • Digital enablement of vulnerable communities is at the core of our social impact strategy. This involves boosting digital inclusion and connectivity (in the form of donating data), equipping young people with special needs and seniors with basic digital skills so they can lead independent and meaningful lives.
  • To support our people and the future of work, we Singtel’s Sustainability Framework remain committed to making positive impact among our diverse workforce which comprises close to 100 nationalities. We actively invest in our peoples’ skills development, implement Hybrid Work Arrangements, Family friendly policies and holistic well-being programmes so they can continue to serve our local communities, businesses and the nation.
  • Our purpose and values drive us to better serve all our stakeholders, empowering every generation to build a more sustainable and inclusive future together.

2. How does the Group integrate ESG considerations into your business strategy?

  • We want to create sustained, purpose driven impact and value as we embark on our growth areas. For this to be effectively realised as an organisation, we established ESG as a core pillar in our business strategy, ensuring sustainability is incorporated into our network infrastructure and operations. These are also embedded in the agenda of the C-level management committee as well as the Board and its sub-committees.
  • With a firm understanding that ESG performance is integral to our company’s success, our Top Executives work towards collective and common ESG targets representing 20% of their long-term incentive plans that spans across key sustainability themes such as climate change and environment, community impact, and talent and people. In doing so, we advance our sustainability agenda, and embeds deeper accountability and ownership across the company.
  • In addition, Singtel’s Management Committee members also have ESG targets incorporated into their short-term incentive plans, which comprise 10% of their annual balance scorecard performance. While they relate to common sustainability themes, the focus and weightage may vary for each executive given their different levels of influence and impact on these ESG goals.
  • To put these plans and goals into effect, our dedicated sustainability team works with various business units to integrate core ESG priorities into their operations. This helps to ensure alignment in strategy and governance as well as facilitate progress reporting against agreed action plans. These efforts are captured in our annual operating plans (AOP) which are presented to our Board, demonstrating our accountability and commitment to creating a sustainable future, while driving business growth, for all our stakeholders.

3. The telecommunications sector is among the biggest energy users. How does Singtel manage its resource consumption sustainably?

  • As a business with a large base of IT equipment and consumer products, we are always monitoring our energy consumption and identifying opportunities to reduce carbon footprint across key energy-intensive touch points, such as network infrastructure, data centres, satellite earth stations and office buildings.
  • We have implemented energy saving features on our 4G and 5G mobile base stations to reduce electricity usage during low traffic hours for both outdoor and inbuilding sites. We are looking at progressively increasing renewable energy usage in our network infrastructure and facilities.
  • With the installation of a 1.65 MWp solar power system on the rooftop of our NCS Bedok Data Centre under a Power Purchase Agreement arrangement, we have generated about 2,249 MWh of power (13% of the data centre’s consumption). This year, we are deploying more renewable energy projects at up to six Singtel sites, which when completed, are expected to generate additional 2.03GWh/year of renewable energy for our Singapore operations.
  • With our new facilities, we are focused on having the lowest possible carbon impact, highest possible energy efficiency as well as superior and innovative environmentally sustainable designs. We are developing the industry’s greenest and lowest Power Unit Effectiveness data centre in Tuas and our redeveloped Comcentre will incorporate best practices in sustainable and biophilic design to minimise embodied, construction and operational emissions.
  • We also recognise the importance of linking sustainability measures and outcomes to financial results which helps to drive organisational change and business decisions in areas such as opting for low-emission choices and investments in climate-related projects. A recent initiative is the internal carbon pricing of our local operations where a shadow price of S$50 per tonne of CO2e is applied to energy-intensive business cases. By attaching a hypothetical price to emissions, we incorporate energy efficient and low-carbon innovation into our capital-intensive investment decisions.

4. SGX RegCo has introduced a phased approach to mandatory climate reporting. How does Singtel ensure that its sustainability reporting fulfils the requirements?

  • In 2017, the Singtel Group had its carbon reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTI), the first company in Asia (excluding Japan) to achieve this. SBTI provides a pathway for companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the latest climate science and the Paris Agreement’s goals.
  • In the same year, we were also one of the first companies globally to endorse the Taskforce for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations on disclosing climate-related risks and opportunities in financial reporting when it was first released.
  • In 2019, Singtel Group was the only Southeast Asian company among a pioneer group of 28 global companies to commit to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
  • As part of our efforts to further help our stakeholders understand the financial implications of climate risks on our business, we recently completed our climate scenario analysis to augment our TCFD efforts and have published our inaugural standalone TCFD Report 2022 – one of a handful of progressive Singapore companies to issue a comprehensive TCFD report.
  • In our upcoming Sustainability Report 2023, we will be aligning our sustainability reporting with all 27 SGX Core ESG Metrics and selected Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) ESG Metrics for Mobile, a first-ofits-kind ESG reporting framework for the mobile sector. Looking ahead, we have started to prepare our business units for the International Sustainability Standards Board’s impending requirements to disclose sustainability-related financial information from 2024 onwards

5. What advice can Singtel give to other companies that are currently working towards becoming more sustainable?

  • For instance, we launched a device donation drive where customers can donate pre-loved devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops. These are then refurbished and distributed to vulnerable groups including seniors and low-income families, reducing e-waste and promoting resource circularity and digital inclusivity.
  • At the industry level, we collaborate and share best practices to help accelerate momentum and create tipping points for sustainable action.
  • Our Group’s purpose to “Empower Every Generation”, guides our plans and actions for how we operate as a sustainable organisation. However, bringing this to life involves engaging and empowering all our stakeholders, including employees, suppliers, customers, communities, and industry partners to be part of the journey.
  • We have found that for an organisation to truly be sustainable, it must develop plans and goals that are integrated into its business, operational and people strategies. The easiest starting point is with the management of the company, setting the priorities to be materialised, and eventually involving all levels of the organisation. For these plans to be effective, it is best to embark on small goals and initiatives and build from there.
  • We believe that empowering staff to be actively involved in sustainability-related initiatives is always a win-win for both the organisation and the communities they operate in. We observed strong correlation between improvements in ESG and overall staff engagement scores via our annual staff survey as staff felt good about doing good.
  • For example, alignment to disclosure standards, such as SGX Core 27 ESG metrics and TCFD, help businesses and investors ‘speak the same language’. It is also a sign that businesses are serious about their commitment across multiple ESG areas, by providing transparent and consistent information to compare and measure progress. Accordingly, Singtel aligns closely with the reporting guidance from SGX, GSMA, and other industry bodies.
  • These are some ways in which we are working towards creating sustainable value and an equitable and inclusive future for all


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