Property giant City Developments has long championed sustainability in its business, as has consumer titan Unilever, which set out a vision where growth does not have to come with a larger environmental footprint.
For their efforts, both firms were last night crowned the overall winners of the Sustainable Business Awards, the region's leading sustainability awards. Nearly 70 of Singapore's largest firms entered the contest, organised by event producer Global Initiatives, and nearly half of the winners across all categories were Singaporean.
Two new categories were introduced this year - Best Social Enterprise and Best Public Sector Service - to recognise organisations that are not always acknowledged for sustainability, but which have a big impact on their local communities.
The Best Social Enterprise award went to The Bliss Group, which works with marginalised employees and trains them to work in catering. The Best Public Sector Service award went to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore for mobilising the green reformation of the maritime industry.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony at The Fullerton Hotel, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said that since their inception in 2012, the awards have played an important role in encouraging the positive impact that private companies can have on the environment.
As a positive example, he mentioned Singtel, which set a target of halving its carbon emissions intensity from 2015 to 2030.
Singtel won the best strategy and sustainability management award, and was one of the winners in the climate change category.
Mr Masagos said: "Our winners this year have made significant progress in climate action... The diversity of the companies who participated in the Sustainable Business Awards adds vibrancy to our story of sustainable development."
Ms Fang Eu-Lin, sustainability and climate change leader of PwC, one of the awards' organisers, said: "The awards... show that many Singapore companies are leading the way in responsible stewardship and sustainability practices."