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A Pionner in Sustainability

Esther An

“Everyone can be a change maker. It's just a matter of how brave and persistent you are. Protecting the planet goes beyond borders”

Esther An, WEGCA 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Chief Sustainability Officer, City Developments Limited

A pioneer in CSR and sustainability in Singapore and Asia for over two decades, Esther has been instrumental in establishing City Developments Limited’s sustainability leadership and pioneering innovative initiatives and best practices amongst real estate companies in Singapore.  These include setting up the world’s first green library for kids and Singapore’s first zero energy green gallery at the Botanic Gardens in 2013; publishing the first sustainability report using GRI standards in 2008; embracing SDGs and TCFD in CDL’s ESG strategy and reporting in 2016.  She also initiated the issuance of the first green bond by a Singapore company in 2017; and setting carbon emission intensity reduction targets validated by the Science Based Target initiative in 2018.   


A forerunner in aligning the company’s business and practices to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Esther was recognized as the 2018 SDG Pioneer for Green Infrastructure and A Low Carbon Economy by the UN Global Compact.  She sits on board several organizations including World Green Building Council Corporate Advisory Board, Singapore Green Building Council Board, UNEP Finance Initiative Real Estate Group, GRI Corporate Leadership Group, Asia Pacific Real Estate Association Singapore Chapter Board and Global Compact Network Singapore Management Committee.   As the founder of the Women4Green Network, Esther is committed to engaging and empowering women to drive sustainable practices at home, at work and at play. 

Staying true to the SDG spirit of building sustainable cities and communities, she spearheaded the establishment of the zero energy Singapore Sustainability Academy.  An intensive partnership involving government agencies, industry partners and NGOs, the Academy has become a dynamic hub for thought leadership, capacity building and networking for climate action, sustainable development and partnerships across the stakeholder ecosystem both locally and globally.

CDL E-Challenge

“Believe in yourself, dream big.”

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