Seah Moon Ming, SMRT Chairman and Desmond Kuek, SMRT President and Group CEO regularly engage with staff to understand their needs and concerns. Seah Moon Ming, SMRT Chairman and Desmond Kuek, SMRT President and Group CEO regularly engage with staff to understand their needs and concerns.

Seah Moon Ming, SMRT Chairman and Desmond Kuek, SMRT President and Group CEO regularly engage with staff to understand their needs and concerns.

Our approach to sustainability is based on accountability and transparency. We are committed to open communications with our various stakeholders about our operations and business. Sustainable business growth is a key strategic thrust for SMRT, and we aim to embed sustainability into our core operations.

Materiality Process

As part of SMRT’s strategic approach to sustainability, a robust materiality assessment was conducted in early 2016. This assessment was in line with the Accountability AA1000 Assurance Standard and Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI’s) four-step process of identification, prioritisation, validation and review to define material issues. The extensive materiality assessment process was essential to defining SMRT’s economic, environmental, social and governance material issues that influence the decisions of our key stakeholders.

As our key stakeholders remain largely the same as when the previous materiality assessment was conducted, with the exception of our shareholders, the material issues identified last year are still considered material now. We therefore consider the materiality assessment to be still valid for 2017.

Materiality Assessment

Identification Icon

Establish the spectrum of important or material issues that are of relevance to our core businesses. This is done through active stakeholder engagement.

Prioritisation Icon

Consider both external and internal perspectives through a combination of information sources:

  • Benchmarking study of our peers in the transport industry
  • GRI G4 guidelines
  • UITP Sustainability Reporting Framework
  • 5 strategic thrusts
  • Group top risks
  • Existing policies and procedures
Validation Icon

Internal discussions and reviews with Management, the Environmental Sustainability Committee and employees. The sessions were facilitated by an independent sustainability expert.

List of 14 key material issues was finalised and signed off by the CEO and Management.

Review Icon

Periodically assess list of material issues (following report publication) based on changing business landscape, emerging trends and key stakeholder feedback.

Our 2016 materiality assessment followed GRI’s four-step process to define material issues.


Stakeholder Engagement

Our stakeholders are critical to the sustainability of our business. We are committed to actively engaging our stakeholders to understand and look for better ways to address their economic, environmental, social and governance concerns.

In 2017, we engaged our key stakeholder groups through a wide variety of formats. We communicated regularly with them and sought their feedback on areas of mutual concern.

Stakeholders Forms of engagement
Customers and Community Customers
  • Social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn)
  • Feedback handling
  • Commuter focus groups
  • Educational tours and community programmes
  • Regular volunteering activities and programmes
  • SMRT’s Green Committee collaborates with PUB to raise public awareness on water conservation
  • Regular meetings on statutory requirements and new developments for a wide range of issues ranging from safety to employment
  • Communication of energy consumption and production data, and greenhouse gas emission levels to the authorities
Business Partners
  • Ongoing progress meetings
Employees and Union Employees
  • Townhalls and senior Management walkabouts
  • Staff engagement sessions by Chairman and CEO
  • Newsletters and circulars
  • Biennial staff engagement surveys
  • Frequent meetings on upcoming changes in policies and schemes as well as briefings to gather feedback
Suppliers and Contractors
  • Ad hoc workshops to exchange procurement ideas and procedures
  • Dedicated investor relations email to address queries

Prioritisation & Validation

Material Issues

Following consultations with external as well as internal stakeholders, we prioritised the material issues identified into two tiers. Critically important issues were classified as Tier 1, while those of high importance were classified as Tier 2.

Tier 1
Operational Performance and Excellence
Anti-corruption/Fair and Ethical
Operating Practices
Access to Essential Services
Customer Health and Safety
Occupational Health and Safety
(Employees and Contractors)
Environment (Climate Change, Energy Management, Water Management, Waste Management, Noise Management, Sustainable Resource Use, Compliance)
Customer Satisfaction
Tier 2
Community Investment, Involvement and Development
Managing Supply Chain Sustainably
Diversity and Equal Opportunity
Labour Rights
Employee Development and Training
Research and Development/Innovation for Engineering Capabilities


Next Steps

We aim to conduct a review of these material issues at an appropriate time. Our focus is to drive performance improvements around our key material issues, as these represent our main sustainability risks and opportunities.

We have taken steps to address our material issues. For example, we have put in unstinting effort to improve train reliability with our multi-year, multi-project renewal works. We have established four sub-committees to spearhead our environmental sustainability pillars throughout the organisation.

Over the next few years, our intention is to be able to fully integrate sustainability in all aspects of our business units. At the same time, we will also be looking at mega trends which may affect us in the future, by conducting continuous dialogue with our stakeholders and taking a risk-based approach to our entire value chain.