Orient Magazine Issue 84 - October 2021 - Page 38

CORPORATE OVERSEA MEMBERS
WELCOMING NEW MEMBERS
IAS INSIGHTS AND SOLUTIONS ASIA PTE . LTD .
Specialists in HR , Employee Benefits , digital communications ( video marketing , e-books / reports ), customer / employee experience journey mapping for businesses across Asia . Experienced in health & benefits across Asia , we work with many key partners including brokers , insurers , health care providers , TPA ’ s , wellness experts etc . We provide knowledge / information on Employee Benefits to assist clients ( discounts for SME ’ s / Britcham members ) with ‘ all things ’ benefits – digital comms , flexible benefits , benefits systems review of existing programs , questions they should ask a broker etc . globally for more than 300 years .
Representative Member : Steve McArthur , Managing Director & Founder
CORPORATE OVERSEA MEMBERS
FILMDOO LIMITED
FilmDoo is an edutainment platform that raises engagement and improves learning outcomes using film- and video-based learning . Since FilmDoo already has one of the world ' s largest international film catalogues , they started out with language learning and have now expanded into corporate training , especially in Multicultural Communications , Leadership and Diversity & Inclusion . FilmDoo will be able to supply corporates with access to both content and their film- and video-based learning platform which allows users to turn any film & video into an interactive game and lesson in just a few minutes .
Representative Member : Weerada Sucharitkul , CEO & Co-founder
MEMBERSHIP OF THE BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SINGAPORE
The Chamber offers membership types to suit companies at all stages of your business growth journey .
For those looking to investigate the market opportunities and retain connections with the British business community in Singapore while based overseas , we offer an Overseas Corporate membership and additional support options from our Trade Services team .
Small businesses benefit from our Corporate SME membership option , as you look to build brand awareness and a network of connections .
Larger companies may opt for a Corporate , Corporate Plus or Sterling membership type depending on the level of engagement and number of employees you intend to embed within the Chamber . Sterling members also receive exclusive benefits and brand awareness not available to other membership types .
We ' d love to hear your business story , your goals and your plans for growth , and we ' re certain we can help to play a part . Reach out to us via the enquiry form on our website at www . britcham . org . sg / how-can-the-chamber-help-me .
SPECIAL FEATURE: SUSTAINABILITY 39 THE CHALLENGES FOR GREEN FINANCE IN ASIA PACIFIC Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, UK, most developing countries, including those in Asia, are gearing up for another round of intense negotiations over the distribution of climate miti- gation costs between the global north and the south. With all Group of Seven (G7) nations having committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the pressure is on emerging economies to follow suit. However, if there is no further support to finance climate change mitigation or adaptation efforts, many developing nations will not be willing or able to commit to significantly higher emissions reduction targets. At COP26, they will aim to hold developed countries accountable for falling short on their 2009 pledge to mobilise US$100bn a year by 2020 to help developing countries respond to climate change. Access to green capital is no doubt crucial for Asia’s transition to a low carbon future. However, that assumes the region has a robust regulatory and financial framework to deploy it, which is not necessarily the case. A taxing tale of taxonomies Despite the surge in green capital allocation across the Asia Pacific in recent years, regulators in several jurisdictions have lagged their EU peers in formulating taxonomies or classifications of economic activities that align with their broader climate or sustainability objectives. Jurisdictions also have substantively differing interpretations of what qualifies as “sustainable” business activity. These divergent interpretations will impede companies’ ability to quantify their sustainability performance or communicate effectively with investors and regulators. Consequently, it will also hin- der their access to capital. In most cases, regulators in the Asia Pacific have been in- clined to follow the course adopted by the EU in its taxon- omy templates to drive green finance. The EU’s experience in climate stewardship and industry best practices can be instructive for other regions, but there is growing uncer- tainty as to how classification systems constructed from a European perspective may affect businesses in Asia-Pacific. To mitigate the challenges of differing ESG standards and regulations, foreign investors and companies will need to map their exposure to market-related ESG issues and focus their risk management on what matters most in the local context. For instance, the EU’s agriculture-related green taxonomy criteria focus mainly on greenhouse gas reduction, where- as sustainable farming practices and biodiversity-focused techniques are agricultural priorities in Asian markets. The EU’s disclosure regulations also have very stringent clas- sifications for green versus non-green activities. Applying these principles in the Asia-Pacific region would mean that sectors and companies that do not meet the highest stan- dards of “green” activity will be prevented from receiving funding on all their projects. This is problematic as it would exclude those that have the potential to significantly scale up their sustainability practices. Such factors risk discour- aging investment in transition activities, which are crucial for decarbonising emerging markets in the Asia Pacific. Beyond benchmarks relating to sustainability, there are sig- nificant divergences in global regulations when it comes to environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk assessment standards and priorities. For example, the UK emphasises climate risk mitigation in its regulatory statements, whereas Singapore and Hong Kong have focused on broader environ- mental considerations. The regulations also vary in terms of the scope of examined exposures, timeframes, and granular- ity of analyses. Asia’s policymakers in recent months have stepped up efforts towards international coordination on taxonomies, as evidenced by the ongoing talks between the European Investment Bank and People’s Bank of China to align their definitions of green finance. Nonetheless, we are a long way away from developing a common global framework that allows flexibility for regional specificities. Therefore, Asian investors need to examine global green finance regulations within the context of local operational realities in the coming years. This would enable them to make informed compari- sons between different needs of developed and emerging markets. Sustainability reporting conundrum Asia's slow progress in developing robust region and indus- try-specific sustainability definitions and metrics can have unintended consequences. The currently fragmented global ESG reporting regime has created a dynamic ecosystem of standard setters, data aggregators and third-party risk pro- viders. These entities define ESG topics differently and apply varied methodologies in their ratings and assessments. Hence the information provided to investors about a compa- ny's sustainability performance can often be skewed. These issues have the potential to erode the long-term effi- cacy of green finance in Asia. To mitigate the impact of such challenges, foreign investors and companies will need to map their exposure to market-related ESG issues and focus their risk management on what matters most in the local context. This will involve a risk-based approach to third-par- ty and supply chain screening and efforts to identify and gather the appropriate data to inform their ESG reporting priorities and processes. These issues also pose unique challenges to companies in Asia. Businesses are likely to receive mixed signals about stakeholder expectations and the sustainability actions valued by the market. Consequently, they will set their ESG reporting priorities either to refute or reinforce the narrative told by the ESG ratings and analytics providers instead of assessing their actual ESG performance based on risks most material to the company's operations. ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE COMPANY Reema is a Senior Analyst in Control Risks' Singapore office. She plays a key role in expanding the firms services in the Environmen- tal, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) risk space and works alongside clients to strengthen their in-house ESG processes. Reema has significant experience in macro and sector-specific political risk assessments, public policy advisory, stakeholder mapping and engagement. She also advises clients on critical political, regulatory risks that may affect their operations and exposure to regulatory enforcement. Reema is a regular commentator for Control Risks in Asia, speaking and writing regularly on ESG, business and broader political-economic trends in APAC. Control Risks is a specialist global risk consultancy that helps to create secure, compliant and resilient organisations in an age of ever-changing risk. Working across disciplines, technologies and geographies, everything we do is based on our belief that taking risks is essential to our clients’ success. We provide our clients with the in- sight to focus resources and ensure they are prepared to resolve the issues and crises that occur in any ambitious global organisation. We go beyond problem-solving and provide the insight and intelligence needed to realise opportunities and grow. Visit www.controlrisks. com SPECIAL FEATURE: SUSTAINABILITY THE CHALLENGES FOR GREEN FINANCE IN ASIA PACIFIC