Orient Magazine Issue 84 - October 2021 - Page 36

The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art ( LAMDA ) is a world class drama school and globally recognised awarding organisation . We offer qualifications in communication and performance to learners around the world and inspire the next generation of confident communicators through our examinations in drama , literature , musical theatre , public speaking and poetry . We believe in the transformative power of the dramatic arts and the value to society of creativity , innovation and authentic , confident communication . Visit www . lamda . ac . uk for more . Representative Member : Georgina Firmin , Director of Commercial Development
VMI is Singapore based company that provides a multiple range of portable vending solutions to beverage companies . Creating an opportunity to remove plastic packaging from our clients product portfolio . Representative Member : Georgie Ogden , Global Business Manager
IM Sports is a Sports Commercialisation and Advisory Company with 25 years of high-level experience in international sports marketing . With a unique cultural understanding of the Asia-Pacific and Middle East region , and a proven track record operating across this growing marketplace , we connect sports to a highly desirable fanbase by developing and executing commercial strategies for the world ’ s largest sports properties and events
Representative Member : Ian Mathie , Managing Director & Founder
SPECIAL FEATURE: SUSTAINABILITY 37 WORKING TOWARDS COP26: WHAT IT MEANS FOR ASEAN AND BUSINESSES IN THE REGION ASEAN: The Road to Net Zero As of September 2017, all ASEAN member states have signed and ratified the Paris Agreement. However the overwhelming focus in Southeast Asia remains economic development, with a very uneven landscape when it comes to efforts to mitigate climate change. The climate plans of several ASEAN states have come under fire for being critically or highly in- sufficient. While the Philippines has an ambitious goal to cut GHG emissions by 75% by 2030, any progress is hindered by a lack of strong domestic impetus, since its target is highly conditional on external financing and assistance. Any effort to secure global net zero by 2050 and keeping 1.5 degrees within reach would require significantly more political will and unity by ASEAN. Nevertheless, there are positives at the country level, indi- cating national priorities are moving in the right direction towards meeting COP26 targets. For example, Vietnam has a National Climate Change Strategy along with recent legisla- tion to advance its green goals, including the 2020 Law on Environmental Protection, which introduced the Extended Producer Responsibility (“EPR”) concept. Producers and importers now bear greater responsibilities in relation to plastics, with mandated recycling for some and for others, financial contributions to the Vietnam Environment Protec- tion Fund Meanwhile, Indonesia submitted its first Long- Term Climate Strategy in July 2021, looking to peak GHG emissions in 2030 and reach net zero by 2060. Legislation has followed in-step, with the moratorium on forest-clearing permits made permanent in 2019. In Thailand, authorities are drafting a national masterplan to achieve net zero with plans to present it at COP26; the masterplan proposes changes to support low carbon power generation, and electric vehi- cle adoption, among others. The upcoming legislation to watch will be Thailand’s comprehensive Climate Change Act, approved by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan in March 2021. The Business of Climate Change While it is primarily up to the governments to provide the infrastructure and initial resources, ASEAN’s efforts are nonetheless impacted and driven by upcoming fast-chang- ing trends in sustainability and practices. To thrive and remain relevant, businesses will need to make adjustments to keep up. Firstly, slowdown in economic activity due to COVID-19 has prompted many to see it as an opportunity to build back better. In this region, the attention has shifted very much to Indonesia and businesses that could perpetuate unsustain- able logging and deforestation. Businesses are well aware of heightened sustainability calls and have made commit- ments, such as Asia Pacific Resources International Limit- ed’s net zero by 2050 plan. While Indonesia’s GHG emissions goals and anti-deforestation legislations are positive indica- tions, institutional obstacles hinder a coordinated regulatory approach. For instance, authority over forest management is split between the central and regional governments with multiple examples of incoherent policies. Evaluation of emis- sion reductions are also notoriously difficult to ascertain. To stay ahead of the curve in markets like Indonesia where regulation proceeds in a haphazard manner, businesses will need clearer insights on the regulatory landscape and policy motivations. Reconfiguration of the energy mix to include more renew- ables is also a key thrust of the ‘build back better’ move- ment. Thailand will take time to wean off the use of fossil fuels, but there are long-term plans towards renewables which will impose penalties on fossil fuels while incentivis- ing renewable energy adoption. The effect will be significant, impacting businesses all the way to downstream industries who rely on fossil fuels. But not all businesses are transi- tioning fast enough. According to Standard Chartered, the majority of ASEAN companies are looking to delay significant action to after 2030, citing the lack of resources and support from executive leadership. Transitioning will require exten- sive organisational change which if not done early enough, could impact supply chains and bottom lines. The Challenges for Green Finance in Asia Pacific Worldwide lockdowns and restrictions due to the pandemic have also accelerated the growth of e-commerce, presenting a major emerging channel to implement sustainable prac- tices. Many are calling for eco-friendly packaging to be used at large scale, which will potentially increase business costs from production and distribution. We need not look further than the EPR concept in Vietnam, effective from 2022, which will impose extra costs to producers, and e-commerce and logistic players. To remain competitive, businesses will need to pivot early to non-plastics to reduce reputational costs and the cost burden from the new legislation. Careful monitoring of and compliance with regulations related to recycling and plastics will prove to be essential in the FMCG industry moving forward. Conclusion With COP26 occurring amidst major disruptions brought on by the pandemic, the road to net zero will challenge gov- ernments, businesses, and consumers in Southeast Asia to revaluate their policies and practices. A concerted and sus- tainable push in the right direction will require a reimagining of our practices, political will, and financing from both public and private sources. With huge uncertainties down the line, businesses will need to be laser-focussed in managing change and adapting to emerging regulations. ABOUT THE AUTHORS ABOUT THE COMPANY Yee Chuin graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Oxford and a degree in international relations from Peking University China. As a senior consultant at Speyside, she oversees APAC region- al projects and clients, helping businesses to manage commercial, regulatory and political risks. She has a strong background in govern- ment, industry body, NGOs and think-tanks across Asia, having lived and worked across Southeast Asia and China. Royston graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the National University of Singapore. With a strong background in research and writing on policy and regulatory issues, he supports APAC regional projects at Speyside to deliver insights across multiple industries including financial services, healthcare, and tech. Speyside Group is a global emerging markets specialist with more than 25 years of experience of helping multinationals with market entry and growth. Our experienced public policy teams tailor and pro- vide clear insights around political, legislative, and regulatory issues, along with strategic counsel to capture opportunities and mitigate risk. Complementing that is a strong corporate affairs practice to help clients manage reputation and relationships with key stake- holders. We have an unrivalled presence on the ground with offices in Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Africa. Visit speyside-group.com/ for more information. Countries across Asia will step up their demand for increased access to climate finance in the upcoming UN climate summit (COP26) in November. However, Asia’s slow progress in developing robust region and industry specific taxonomies for sustainable activities will pose a greater challenge to green economy growth and energy transition goals. Reema Bhattacharya Senior Analyst, Control Risks SPECIAL FEATURE: SUSTAINABILITY THE CHALLENGES FOR GREEN FINANCE IN ASIA PACIFIC