ESCAP Roundtable: Launch of ESBN Green Deal Assessment for Businesses
Collaborative Efforts Needed to Drive Sustainability in Asia
How Banks are Accelerating Green Finance in AsiaEfforts to accelerate green finance in Asia were witnessed through the concerted initiatives of Thailand banks, ADB, and EGAT. Takerng Osirichaivet from Kasikornbank highlighted the importance of sector cooperation and aligning efforts towards sustainable development. Banks are a key link in facilitating the adoption of sustainable practices and innovative green products in the market.
Launch of the ESCAP Business Sustainable Network (ESBN) Asia-Pacific Green Deal Digital Assessment on STACS ESGpedia
ESGpedia 2.0 Showcase – Data-driven Sustainability for Asia’s Net Zero Goals
“It’s no longer a choice between sustainability and profitability.”
During STACS’s semi-annual showcase on 23 May 2023, Benjamin Soh, Founder and Managing Director of STACS, shared the importance of sustainability in today’s business landscape. As financial institutions are increasingly recognizing the interdependency between these two goals, it is strategically imperative for businesses to understand and embrace sustainable processes. To thrive and remain competitive in the current market environment, aligning themselves with sustainability practices allow corporates and SMEs to be more appealing to consumers and investors and even take advantage of the lower interest trends on green loans.
Scaling Sustainable Finance using Data
“This is the essence of the ESBN Asia-Pacific Green Deal program; where ultimately, we want sustainability to start all the way at the upstream.” By addressing sustainability at every stage of the value chain, from SMEs all the way to financial institutions, the program enables capacity building and collaboration, driving widespread impact. The digital self-assessment tool seeks to empower businesses to kickstart their sustainability journey and chart their pathway towards net zero. This, in turn, cultivates corporate champions who will lead the Asia-Pacific region in fulfilling its green goals.
“We are not trying to create a new standard. We are aligning with existing standards and frameworks so much so that if a company follows through this program, whatever they have already done would be mappable to other reporting standards.” ESGpedia partners with a multitude of certification bodies, organizations, and disclosure platforms including TGO (Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization) and global environmental disclosure platforms like CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project). These partnerships strengthen the platform’s capabilities in areas such as greenhouse gas management and environmental disclosure.
In addition to this, the ESBN Green Deal self-assessment platform incorporates localized conversion factors, ensuring accuracy and facilitating meaningful comparisons. By working closely with local partners and aligning with local policies, the platform fosters a conducive environment for sustainable practices among businesses in the APAC region.
Incentivizing Suppliers to Adopt the ESBN Green Deal Self-Assessment
During the showcase, Benjamin acknowledged a crucial factor in addition to technology, stating, “Technology is not quite enough. Incentive mechanisms are important too.” In response to concerns raised by panellists, he highlighted the ESBN Badges as a means of recognition and incentivization for corporates and SMEs.
The roundtable attendees, including banks and corporates, unanimously agreed on the need for an all-hands-on-deck approach to drive the success of the initiative. This consensus reflects the understanding that collaboration and collective efforts are vital in ensuring the widespread adoption of sustainable practices across supply chains in Asia, so that we can move further and faster together in the race against climate change.
The Future of Sustainable Finance in Asia
Championing a Unified Sustainability Platform for Businesses in Asia-Pacific
“Any platform that brings data together is good.” claimed Susan Olsen, CFA, Senior Investment Specialist, Financial Institutions, Mekong Region at ADB. Her remarks capture the significance of consolidated data and its value in promoting sustainability. Susan’s anticipation shines through as she states, “I’m looking forward to this being the main ESG platform in the world,” displaying the potential of the platform to become a leading force in ESG reporting and assessment, contributing to the advancement of sustainable finance in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
Strengthen your competitive edge today and learn how you can sign up to attain your ESBN Green Deal badge here.