Sustainability Report


Board Statement

2022 was a year filled with both new challenges and new opportunities. As international borders continued to reopen post COVID-19, the world also saw strengthened commitment to environmental protection via the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27). Key achievements of the COP27 include maintaining a clear intention to limit global warming to 1.5 oC and a new focus on keeping businesses and institutions accountable to their sustainability commitments. Here at BHG Retail REIT, we echo the global ambition and are committed to embed sustainability into our daily decision-making and operations. We recognise the strengthened disclosure guidelines reflected in the updated Global Reporting Initiative ("GRI") 2021 Standards, and seek to improve our own sustainability disclosures in alignment with the updated guidelines.

Environment, Social and Governance ("ESG") issues have always been a priority for the REIT in its business and strategy, with our inaugural sustainability report being published in 2018. Over the years, the REIT has continued to regularly monitor and review our sustainability performance and efforts to ensure continuous improvements. The board of directors of the REIT (the "Board", and each a "Director") is proud to present its sixth sustainability report for FY 2022 (as defined herein). The Board has thoroughly reviewed sustainability issues impacting our business, determined the material ESG factors as well as monitored and overseen the management of these ESG issues, including climate change. In 2022, in line with the updates in the GRI Standards 2021, we have also integrated considerations on our impact to human rights. The REIT, under the oversight of the Board, has refreshed its list of materials ESG issues or topics this year and are pleased to include the addition of one new material topic-Anti-corruption. We believe that ethical business practices and sound corporate governance are vital for our long-term sustainable growth.

The REIT is pleased to announce that in 2022, BHG Retail REIT was conferred three platinum awards at the Global CSR & ESG Awards 2022, specifically in the 'Best Community Programme Award', 'Best Corporate Communications and Investor Relations Team', as well as the 'CSR & ESG Leadership Award' categories. We are proud to have received these prestigious awards as a testament and recognition of our efforts in driving sustainability and business responsibility. Looking forward, we will remain committed towards the well-being of the communities we operate in as well as overall sustainable growth of our business. We seek to continue cascading our climate and sustainability ambitions and performance. On behalf of the Board and the REIT Manager team, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all our stakeholders for their continuous support throughout BHG Retail REIT's sustainability journey.

Reporting Principle

This report follows the reporting principles outlined in the GRI 1: Foundation 2021 guidelines in order to ensure quality and proper presentation of our ESG information.

  • Accuracy - Information reported is correct and sufficiently detailed

  • Balance - We report our sustainability performance in an unbiased way to allow for a fair representation

  • Clarity - This report will be publicly accessible and understandable to the general public

  • Comparability - Information is reported consistent with past reports' approach
    - Whenever possible, we report FY 2022 performance as compared to FY 2021 performance

  • Completeness - This report covers material ESG topics and respective boundaries within the stipulated reporting period

  • Sustainability context - Our business operations and peformance is reported with reference to the larger ESG landscape at the local, regional and global level

  • Timeliness - We publish our report annually in conjunction with the publication of our Annual Report

  • Verifiability - We ensure that information reported is credible, and detail our decision-making processes when relevant

Sustainability Governance

Under the Board's oversight, the REIT Manager team regularly reviews, monitors and manages sustainability risks and opportunities alongside enhancing our business practice sustainability performance and disclosure transparency. The Board is responsible for the overall direction and management of embedding sustainability practices into our business operations. Review and approval by the Board is required before the publication of our annual sustainability report. ESG issues and material topics are regularly communicated to the Board during Board meetings and Board Committee meetings. To keep abreast with the latest sustainability issues and strengthen collective knowledge on sustainable development, The Board has also undergone a training provided by the Singapore Institute of Directors and Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants on sustainability matters in FY 2022. The "Environmental, Social and Governance Essentials" training program covers the board's role and director's responsibilities in sustainability governance and seeks to provides a foundation for board directors to drive sustainability compliance and integrate ESG factors into their business strategy.

Apart from sustainability matters that specifically require the Board's approval, the Board delegates authority to individual committees and Management to supervise sustainability matters. Under the REIT's corporate governance structure, the REIT Manager is supported by the Audit and Risk Committee (the "ARC") and the Nominating and Remuneration Committee (the "NRC") (collectively, the "Board Committees"), which facilitate proper discharge of the Board's duty and functions. We also have in place our Enterprise Risk Management ("ERM") Framework and a Business Continuity Plan ("BCP") that seeks to identify and mitigate the risks of material ESG factors in the REIT's business and operational activities. This is supplemented by an internal audit function which conducts the internal review of the sustainability reporting process which builds on the REIT's existing governance structure, and is buttressed by adequate and effective internal controls and risk management systems. The internal audit function is outsourced to an independent service provider, bringing an added level of assurance.

As part of our internal audit plan, the identified processes relating to sustainability reporting will be incorporated into the internal audit plan, which will cover key aspects of the sustainability report. Further, the expectations of the Board, the management of BHG Retail REIT ("Management") and other stakeholders will be considered as part of the prioritisation. The internal review will be conducted in accordance with the International Standards for Professional Practice of Internal Auditing issued by the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Please refer to the Corporate Governance section of the annual report for more details on the overall corporate governance structure and policies at the REIT.

In order to ensure responsible business conduct and sound corporate governance, we have set in place various policy commitments such as our Board Diversity Policy, Code of Conduct and Ethics, and our Business Ethics compliance policies. Guided by this Code of Conduct and Ethics, overseen by the Board and Management, every stakeholder of the REIT conducting business with us is expected to, among other things, adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct. Our Whistleblowing Policy ensures that any employee or external parties may, in confidence and without fear or reprisal, safely raise any concerns about the organisation's business conduct. Aligned with the GRI 2021 Standards, human rights principles are also embedded into our labour and employment practices, and diversity and inclusion principles are embedded in our employment practices.

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