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MPA to co-fund SGX-listed maritime companies to encourage the maritime sector on becoming early adopters of sustainability reporting.

Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) organised a Maritime Sustainability Workshop in M Hotel on Monday 22nd August 2016 where Paia was proud to showcase its work. The purpose of the workshop was to assist and encourage the maritime sector to embrace the new SGX requirement for Sustainability Reporting. SGX’s new sustainability reporting rules require listed companies to publish sustainability reports. Ms Yvonne Chan, MPA’s Director of Corporate Development and Chief Financial Officer, announced a new co-funding initiative to assist SGX-listed maritime companies in Singapore with the production of their Sustainability Report.

MPA will co-fund 50% of the qualifying costs, up to a cap of $50,000 per company.  The funding to the first 10 approved applications is on a reimbursement basis.

Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA, said, “MPA is the first local maritime organisation to publish both an Integrated Report and Sustainability Report last year, and we hope to encourage the rest of the maritime industry to adopt the best practices and mitigate any risks to the environment arising from their operations. The so-called triple bottomline – people, planet and profits – will enhance their shareholder value.”

Source: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore encourages SGX-listed maritime companies to adopt Sustainability / Integrated Reporting

SGX Briefings for CEOs on Sustainability Reporting

SGX has recently introduced sustainability reporting by listed companies on a ‘comply or explain’ basis in response to growing international interest in sustainability. SGX is inviting CEOs of all SGX listed companies to a 2 hour briefing for clarity and understanding of the new requirement. The briefing will convey the purpose and meaning of SGX’s sustainability requirements, the essentials of a good report from a sustainability consultant and practical advice from a company with reporting experience. Sessions will be held at 9am on the morning of 11, 18 and 25 Aug 2016.

SGX launches Comply or Explain Sustainability Reporting

SINGAPORE Exchange (SGX) has officially released the Guidelines and Rule on Sustainability Reporting yesterday, June 20 2016.  These guidelines are in line with the global trend of stock exchanges requiring companies to report on their environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues for financial year 2017. The SGX guidelines expect that companies ‘comply’ or ‘explain’, that is, commit themselves to producing an annual guidance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) in the form of a sustainability report, or ‘explain’ why they are not doing so.

It is important to know that globally, twenty stock exchanges have already committed to producing a guidance for listed companies on ESG disclosures as part of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE). This required all stock exchanges that are members of the SSE and the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) to provide listed companies with guidance on sustainability reporting by the end of 2016.  SGX has supported this initiative like many others and sees the introduction of these “Comply or Explain” guidelines for companies listed on their exchange, as a necessary step towards ESG and sustainability reporting so that companies can improve their communication with investors, analysts and stakeholders.

Getting non-financial information about a company has been difficult for investors. The main aim of these requirements is to provide a more complete profile of a company for investors and stakeholders. If your company wants to embark on your sustainability reporting journey, you may find Paia’s Sustainability Reporting Toolkit  that we are rolling out to simplify the reporting process specifically for SMEs. This Toolkit provides SMEs with the necessary tools to produce a sustainability report in line with SGX’s requirements.

Paia is also rolling out training sessions and workshops catered to companies wishing to produce quality sustainability reports. For more details, please visit our Training page

SMRT Sustainability Report

Congratulations to our client SMRT Corporation Ltd (SMRT) for publishing their inaugural Sustainability Report recently.

Congratulations to our client SMRT Corporation Ltd (SMRT) for publishing their inaugural Sustainability Report recently. The Road to a Sustainable Future shows how sustainability is integral to SMRT’s business.

SMRT Sustainability Report

We are pleased to see an increase in sustainability disclosure by Singapore companies.

Start my next Sustainability Report now??

We thought hard before posting this – it sounds a bit like shameless business development when we advise businesses to start reporting early. And 10 months early, too?!

But, allow me to forge ahead!

The dust has barely settled on the last report and it’s time to begin planning the next. Why?

  1. Engage your colleagues. Starting early will reduce the headaches from colleagues claiming they were not aware of what was expected of them. Data and information collection is a big part of the Content Management stages of a Sustainability Report.

    A big enemy in the Reporting battlefield is uncooperative colleagues. Just when you thought that data was secured and on its way, the contact over in HR says the new Enterprise Management Software sprang a leak and they need to re-do it.

    Just when you thought you could talk about that supply chain initiative as a core part of a section in your report, the legal team pipe up that it’s embargoed for a legal reason.

    If you align with the Annual Report calendar then you will be pleased if your timeline is relaxed, rather than squeezed. If you get squeezed later in the project then your families and consultants will be affected too! Best avoided!

    Keeping the internal network alive is a real boon to reporting. Better cooperation, better content.

  1. Enough time to do materiality. Most reporters are by now bruised by the ‘materiality stick’ wielded by consultants around the world. It’s not without good reason though. Applying this core principle of reporting is vital to an effective Report delivered in line with target audience expectations.

    Don’t forget all you SGX listed companies in Singapore: you will need to explain how you came up with the list of relevant issues to talk about in your Report.

  1. Save costs. I would say that wouldn’t I!? Well, the logical outcome from doing materiality well is normally a shorter report. That saves resources internally – who wants to waste time organising data for a report when it’s not relevant? You may still collect it internally because you’re managing the issue internally – but it may not be sufficiently ‘material’ to be covered in the sustainability report.

    Being organised in what you want to achieve with the report, what content you expect, how many words it will be etc., will mean clarity in resourcing. Failing to plan is planning to fail (my old lecturer used to say).

  1. Content management. Again, sequentially and logically, once you know the key relevant subjects (or ‘topics’ in new GRI-speak) you will want to talk to the colleagues you have communicated with (see above).

    Check who is on maternity leave, or on holiday. See if any staffing changes are on the horizon. What about assets – any changes to think about in terms of company structure or operational assets?

    As scrutiny increases of supply chain management practices, you may need to think through how to collect management approach information on slightly newer issues of interest.

  1. Sort imagery. A report with a staid and tired look using repeated photography will lose credibility. Readers are human and they like to be inspired to open your report when the alternative is catching up with the latest fast cars on YouTube or kiddy bargains on Ebay.

    So, by embarking early you can knock off a few of those slightly fiddly design tasks. Check in with marketing and communications colleagues about any new developments in branding at your company.

    Sorting the design early will mean your Report will work harder for you – you will feel enamoured by it and want to take it with you wherever you go. The romance will blossom and you will feel that you and your Report will go far!

Ok, good luck, and you know where we are if you need any help!

50% of Straits Times Index companies produce GRI-level sustainability reports

As of 12 May 2015, 50% of top 30 companies in Singapore by market capitalisation, which forms the Straits Times Index, produce sustainability reports in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). GRI is the most established sustainability reporting guideline internationally, and is cited as a recommended guideline in the Guide to Sustainability Reporting issued by Singapore Exchange (SGX).

There has been a steady rise in the number of organisations that produce GRI-level sustainability reports in Singapore, from only 3 in 2008 to 35 by 2014. New GRI reporters in 2014 include ST Engineering, Thai Beverage PLC and CapitaCommercial Trust. Numbers are expected to rise rapidly as SGX takes steps to implement a comply-or-explain sustainability reporting regime.

GRI-Reporting-in-Singapore

SGX is targeting implementation of comply-or-explain sustainability reporting for financial year 2017. SGX will be engaging listed companies, institutional investors, sustainability professionals and the public on legislating a comply-or-explain sustainability reporting regime in 2015 (see details in SGX’s announcement).

Paia Consulting is a specialist sustainability consultancy based in Singapore.

SGX Targets Mandatory Sustainability Reporting for FY2017

Update (21st June 2016) SGX launches Comply or Explain Sustainability Reporting

Update (5 Jan 2016): SGX releases Consultation Paper. Read more here.

On the 6th of May 2015, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) announced plans to implement sustainability reporting on a ‘comply or explain’ basis. Under this regime, companies that do not follow SGX’s guidelines will be expected to explain why.

A new listing rule will be developed using Information SGX receives via an initial consultation exercise with listed companies; the information will be used to review SGX’s existing guidelines to sustainability reporting.

SGX expects the proposed Listing Rule and reviewed Guide to be submitted for regulatory approval by the end of 2015; and targets implementation for financial year 2017.

SGX is inviting stakeholders to participate in what is one of the most broad-ranging consultation exercises conducted by the exchange. In May 2015, SGX will conduct a survey of listed companies and run a series of focus group engagements to understand current sustainability reporting practices and the level of readiness among listed companies. Following this, SGX plans to reach out to institutional investors and sustainability professionals for feedback on the ‘Guide to Sustainability Reporting for Listed Companies’ published in 2011. Finally, SGX will conduct a public consultation (including the investing public) on the Listing Rule and reviewed Guide.

In a statement by SGX chief executive, Magnus Bocker, “We believe that greater transparency from listed companies will attract investors and empower them to make more informed decisions.”

Details can be found on SGX’s announcement ‘Consultation Exercise on Sustainability Reporting’, 6 May 2015.

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Need more information: Paia offers Sustainability Training to help you meet SGX requirements. Contact Us today.