The new ASEAN hub will generate valuable know-how for ESG reporting and sustainable finance, and contribute to Singapore’s development as a financial centre, says SGX CEO Tan Boon Gin.
GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) has set up a new regional hub in for ASEAN in Singapore, in a bid to help companies identify and manage their ESG impacts, in a region where sustainability reporting is relatively new.
The GRI initiative helps businesses and governments understand and communicate their impact on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, governance and social well-being. The GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards are the first and most widely adopted global standards for sustainability reporting.
The new regional hub will serve Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Brunei Darussalam, supporting companies with relevant services and training, and helping them to identify, manage and report their most material ESG impacts.
Headed by Tata Consultancy Services business sustainability expert Michele Lemmens, GRI’s new hub will also facilitate liaison with governments, capital markets, civil society and other stakeholders in the region.
“We welcome the establishment of GRI’s Regional Hub in Singapore where it can generate valuable know-how for ESG reporting and sustainable finance, and in turn contribute to the development of Singapore as a global financial centre,” said SGX (Singapore Exchange) CEO Tan Boon Gin at a celebratory event on Tuesday (3 September).
He noted that SGX adopted GRI standards since its first report in 2009 ten years ago, and that since 2016, ESG reporting has become mandatory for publicly listed companies in Singapore.
“The next step now is to see how companies have done and explore ways to improve and meet investors’ needs. Reports must be meaningful, and over the longer term, they should show clear linkages between the management of ESG factors and business strategy,” Tan said, adding that a review of company reports is underway to inform future enhancements in sustainability reporting.
SGX is among the financial backers of GRI’s new hub in Singapore. Also backing the launch are CapitaLand, City Developments Limited, DBS Bank, EY, Keppel Corporation, KPMG, PwC, Sembcorp Industries, StarHub, Stewardship Asia and Tata Consultancy Services – who have collectively contributed funding for an initial three-year startup period.
The 12 organisations, including SGX, will also participate in the GRI ASEAN Advisory Committee, which will inform the hub’s regional action and priorities.
The ASEAN Hub in Singapore adds to GRI’s regional network of offices in New York, New Delhi, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Bogota, São Paulo.