Posts

Best practice for sustainable business growth at the 1st Responsible Business Summit Asia

With about 100 registered participants from Singapore, Hong Kong and China, India, Japan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia, Europe and the US, the first Responsible Business Summit Asia initiated discussions between representatives from corporations, academia, press, non-for profit as well as some government agencies. It was organised by the Ethical Corporation on 6-7 May 2015 in Singapore.

Participants got hands-on advice how to get the company’s sustainability efforts understood by its target audience, how to better engage communities to minimise social risks and build trust, and how to ensure responsible business consistency throughout the supply chain, learning from diverse industries including banking, beverages, chemicals, consumer goods, health, palm oil, resource extraction, telecom, transportation. The guiding question – when and how does sustainable innovation pay off – was answered by in-depth analysis and best practice sharing, including strategies for product innovation by embedding social and environmental standards, and learning from crisis before it happens. The presentations showed that even the classical sustainability themes – stakeholder engagement and reporting – are under continuous development. The most successful cooperation between a company and an NGO (Greenpeace) came – surprisingly? – out of the palm oil industry. The discussion on employee engagement included recommendations how to promote skill-based volunteering. In reporting, the focus on (social, environmental and economic) impacts rather than mere outputs is the international trend, and some companies develop new formats for their sustainability reports, tailor-made for different target groups.

Given the high level of competence and active participation, collaboration and innovation for sustainable business growth in region can be expected as a benefit of the summit. We will keep you informed about follow-up events.

GRI Reports in Singapore and Malaysia

Sustainability reporting

Sustainability reporting, or corporate responsibility reporting, enables organisations to report on their environmental, social and governance information beyond the scope of traditional financial reporting. Parts of it will be familiar to organisations in Singapore and Malaysia already, such as reporting safety statistics, human resource practices and environmental management systems. Community investments are also included, but contrary to what some may think, form a small part of what sustainability or sustainability reporting is about.

Far from being a ‘feel-good’ portion of the report, these extra-financial (or sometimes referred to as non-financial) information are increasingly used by investors to assess externalities which will be reflected in stock performance in the long term. For example, a company which has strong environmental management practices is less likely to incur litigation risk and also continuously improve on operational efficiencies. A company with strong emphasis on safety and talent retention will likely incur lower hiring and training costs from lower turnover rates.

 

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

What the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) aims to do, is to establish a framework such that organisations may report on data which is comparable – much like IFRS equivalent for financial reporting. GRI guidelines are the most established framework used. More than 5000 companies adopt GRI guidelines (GRI, 2012), including 80% of Global Fortune 250 companies (KPMG, 2011). 

 

Singapore and Malaysia

The number of GRI reports in Singapore and Malaysia have grown steadily over the past 5 years, with more than 5 times the number of reports today than in 2008.

In 2008, the Malaysian Stock Exchange Bursa Malaysia made it mandatory for all listed firms to disclose corporate social responsibility (CSR) information.

In 2012, Singapore Exchange (SGX) has announced an intention to move towards a comply-or-explain approach for its listed firms, following its release of a Policy Statement and Guide to Sustainability Reporting in 2010 and 2011 respectively. SGX has also organised various initiatives, including revising the Singapore Code of Corporate Governance to explicitly mention environmental and social considerations for Board and releasing an Investor Guide to Reading Sustainability Reports. Read more about SGX’s recent key initiatives here.

The following graphs aim to give a quick snapshot of the sustainability reporting scene in Singapore and Malaysia.

b2ap3_thumbnail_SG3Oct13.jpg b2ap3_thumbnail_Msia3Oct13.jpg

 

Below are the 23 GRI reports published in Singapore in 2012. 

#

COMPANY

REPORT NAME AND LINK

1

Asia Pacific Breweries Limited (APBL)

2011 Sustainability Report

2

Capitaland

CapitaLand Sustainability Report 2011

3

City Developments Limited

CDL Sustainability Report 2012

4

DyStar Singapore

Sustainability Report 2011

5

First Resources

Towards Sustainability: First Resources Limited Sustainability Report 2011

6

Fuji Xerox Singapore

Fuji Xerox Singapore 2012 Singapore Report

7

Golden Agri-Resources Ltd

Preserving the Present Ensuring the Future: Sustainability Report 2011

8

Keppel Corporation

Sustainability Report 2011

9

KEPPEL LAND LIMITED

KEPPEL LAND LIMITED SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2011

10

Keppel T&T

Sustainability Report 2011

11

KPMG Singapore

Sustainability Report 2012

12

National Environment Agency

Sustainability Report FY11

13

Olam International Limited

Olam corporate responsibility and sustainabilty report 2012

14

Power Seraya

Corporate Accountability Report 2011

15

Sembcorp Industries Ltd

Sembcorp Industries Annual Report 2011

16

Sembcorp Marine Ltd

Annual Report 2011

17

Siloso Beach Resort, Sentosa

Siloso Beach Resort Sustainabilty Report 2012

18

Singapore Exchange (SGX)

The Asian Gateway: Singapore Exchange Annual Report 2012 July 2011 – June 2012

19

SingTel – Singapore Telecommunications Limited

Connecting People, Touching Lives

20

StarHub

Annual Report 2011 (Hubbing, Achieving and Even More)

21

Swire Pacific Offshore

2011 Annual Report

22

Tuas Power

Sustainability Report 2012

23

Wilmar International

Staying the Course through Challenging Times

 Source: GRI Database & Paia Consulting (3 Oct 2013)

 

Below are the 17 GRI reports published in Malaysia in 2012. 

Paia is the appointed GRI Data Partner for Malaysia. If your report is not reflected here or the GRI Database, please email us at reports@paiaconsulting.com. 

#

COMPANY

REPORT NAME AND LINK

1

Bumi Armada

Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2011

2

CIMB Foundation under CIMB Group

Sustainability Report 2011

3

CSC STEEL HOLDINGS BERHAD

2011 Corporate Sustainability Report

4

Digi.com Berhad

DiGi.Com Berhad Sustainability Report 2011 – Transforming to Deliver Internet fo

5

Guinness Anchor Berhad

Corporate Responsibility Report 2011

6

Keenway Industries Sdn. Bhd.

Sustainability Report 2011

7

Encorp Berhad

Sustainability Report 2011

8

Kulim

Sustainability Report 2010/2011

9

Maxis

Sustainabiltiy Report 2010/2011

10

Media Prima

Media Prima Berhad Sustainability Report 2011

11

Petronas

Sustainability Report 2011

12

Plus Expressways Berhad

PLUS Expressways Sustainability Report 2011

13

Puncak Niaga

Expanding Horizons – Annual Report 2011

14

Sime Darby Berhad

Sustainability Report 2011

15

Sunway

Sunway Sustainability Report 2011

16

Telekom Malaysia

Telekom Malaysia Sustainability Report 2011

17

UEM Environment

UEME Sustainability Report 2011

Source: GRI Database (3 Oct 2013)

 

Paia Consulting is a leading sustainability consultancy established since 2002. We helped produce Singapore’s first GRI report and many award-winning reports. Beyond reporting, many of the companies leading sustainability locally are our clients.

Drop us a note at info@paiaconsulting.com to discuss how we may support your sustainability journey.

Sustainability in Asia in early stages, but much progress has been made

The journey for sustainability in Asia is young, but sustainability professionals are encouraged by the progress.

After SGX released a policy statement and guide to sustainability reporting in June 2011,  The Business Times examined the role of sustainability indices and disclosure for investments.

Carrie Johnson, Director of Paia Consulting, was invited to share her thoughts on the Asian Sustainability Rating (ASR), an analysis of listed companies’ disclosure on sustainability issues.

The following is extracted from the actual article published in the Business Times:

Carrie Johnson, director of Paia Consulting.. sees the index as a catalyst for change. She says: ‘Sustainability indexes significantly help sustainability issues get credibility at the senior management level. Once the senior management team realises that investors are taking sustainability seriously, it helps raise the profile of sustainability internally.’

In fact, companies that list on sustainability indexes get exposure to a wider range of investors, who may not otherwise consider them, she says.

‘Several investor analysts now include sustainability risks in their overall risk assessment of companies. Being on a sustainability index helps reassure those investors that sustainability risks are being managed.’

Read the full article on Eco-business.