Corporate sustainability has evolved from the traditional corporate social responsibility paradigm to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles in business’ practices and strategy. This evolvement is in tandem with growing demands from consumers and investors that financial returns are achieved with integrity, backed with environmental and social considerations.
In recognition of this growing trend and demands, the Singapore Exchange specified in 2016 that companies would be expected by financial year ending on or after 31 December 2017, on a ‘comply or explain’ basis, to submit sustainability reporting in its annual financial reports. This move from voluntary reporting marks the appreciation of market expectations and growing demand for businesses to communicate their commitment to ESG factors in their business strategy and practices.
In 2015, ASEAN CSR Network and CGIO collaborated on several research projects on the state of corporate sustainability in ASEAN and Singapore, with the aim to engage stakeholders and raise standards in corporate sustainability.
They co-hosted the Conference on Corporate Governance and Responsibility: Theory Meets Practice in July 2016 and released findings on the state of sustainability reporting in ASEAN. They also jointly organised the Roundtable on Sustainability Reporting: Capability Development and Capacity Building on 20 October 2016 and launched the Singapore results at the event. At the same time, they initiated the forming of a Sustainability Consortium of Professionals and Educators (SCOPE) to bring together practitioners, researchers, companies and institutions on the corporate sustainability journey.
CGIO is proud to be actively spearheading efforts in this areas and welcomes our readers to join us on this exciting venture. You may contact Ms Verity Thoi, Manager, CGIO, at verity.thoi@nus,edu.sg.