The Manager is committed to operating responsibly and sustainably, and in FY2016, the Manager has expanded its focus to include Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability measures and initiatives for AA REIT.
The Manager has established a Sustainability Steering Committee which reports directly to the Sustainability Council ("Council") which is comprised of the senior management team. Under the guidance of the Board, the Council is responsible for driving sustainability initiatives across the business, ensuring these are measured, and that relevant internal and external stakeholders are held accountable to meet sustainability targets.
AA REIT is focused on limiting its impact on the environment and is continuously assessing and improving its practices to incorporate green initiatives applicably and sensibly in its ordinary course of business.
The Manager has mandated that all new developments which it undertakes be Building & Construction Authority ("BCA") Green Mark compliant. Currently, one third of AA REIT's Singapore portfolio (by gross floor area) are BCA Green Mark compliant.
AA REIT's 1A International Business Park was awarded a BCA Green Mark Gold rating. The building uses doubleglazed low e-glass for curtain walls and all external windows, energy-efficient T5 light fittings, and is made up of environmentally-friendly materials with recycled content.
During FY2016, AA REIT's Optus Centre in Australia also achieved a 5 star NABERS Energy Rating, up from 4.5 stars in the previous year. The improvement in the NABERS Energy Rating was as a result of energy efficiency initiatives undertaken during the year including the replacement of lights in the common areas with energysaving LED lights.
To further improve its environmental footprint, AA REIT has increased its use of e-tools in stakeholder communications. For the first time in FY2016, Unitholders were given the choice to receive their annual report in e-versions. With the majority of Unitholders adopting this option, paper usage and printing of annual reports were significantly reduced and the Manager expects the adoption rate to increase moving forward.
Back in the office, the Manager actively promotes environmental stewardship through good practices such as placing recycling bins in the office, using eco-friendly products and encouraging double-sided printing.
Gifts of Joy Initiative
The Manager recognises that people are vital to the long-term growth and success of its business and is committed to attracting, retaining, and developing quality talent whilst cultivating a work-life balanced environment.
The Manager invests in training to upskill its people and contributes to their professional and personal development. During the financial year ended 31 March 2016, AA REIT employees underwent an average of 25 training hours per person, more than double the annual internal requirement of ten training hours. The Manager also cultivates a strong culture of providing career progression and promotion from within the organisation. The Manager promotes internal collaboration through regular team workshops, teambuilding events and outings.
As part of the employee wellness programme, the Manager also organises health talks and health screening for its employees.
The Manager believes that sound corporate governance and accountability are pivotal to the performance of the Trust, which in turn contributes to the long-term interests of Unitholders and builds public trust necessary for the long-term success of the business. The Manager is committed to upholding high standards of corporate governance principles and practices across its operations, as it strives to be recognised as a transparent and responsible company.
This commitment is governed by a robust and comprehensive framework which places integrity and discipline at the forefront of everything we do. The framework guides on areas such as corruption and bribery, conflicts of interest and risk management, and such focus is communicated to our people through regular workshops and training.
For more details, refer to the Corporate Governance section of the Annual Report.
Giving back to the community
As part of its focus on good corporate citizenship, the Manager is committed to giving back to the community. Last Christmas, the Manager's team participated in CapitaLand Commercial Trust's ("CCT") Gifts of Joy initiative. CCT's Gifts of Joy 2015 invited CCT's tenants and staff to fulfil the wishes of 580 underprivileged children and youths from 18 voluntary welfare organisations. The employees successfully raised a total of S$1,000 to contribute 20 Christmas presents to CCT's Gifts of Joy 2015.
The Manager will also be launching its Blessed for Good ("BFG") initiative soon, which will see its adoption of elderly care centres starting from FY2017. Under the BFG initiative, employees will be given up to two days' leave per year to do voluntary work in its adopted centres.