Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit
July 27, 2022
The Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit brought to Singapore business leaders and investors from around the globe to drive innovation and scale best practices in sustainable business and finance.
We explored the region’s unique challenges and opportunities in creating a sustainable future, from managing risk and bolstering climate resilience to navigating the energy transition.
Click here to view the Bloomberg SBS Singapore Summit.
- Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer, City Developments Limited
- Edris Boey, Head of ESG Research, Maitri Asset Management
- Maurizio Brusadelli, Executive Vice President & President Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Mondelēz International
- Colin Chen, Managing Director & Head of ESG Finance, Asia Pacific, Asian Investment Banking Division, MUFG Bank, Ltd.
- Kelvin Chiu, Founder & Principal, Silverstrand Capital
- Rebecca Eu, Founder, Mei’s Own
- Laura Bosch Ferreté, Sustainable Investing Specialist, Robeco
- Piyush Gupta, CEO, DBS Bank
- Yoon Young Kim, Cluster President for Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, Schneider Electric
- Jacqueline Lam, Regional Lead-Southeast Asia, Global Sustainability Policy and Partnerships, Boeing International
- Vincent Mortier, Group Chief Investment Officer, Amundi
- Helge Muenkel, Chief Sustainability Officer, DBS Bank
- Yvonne Soh, Executive Director, Singapore Green Building Council
- Muhamad Umar Swift, CEO, Bursa Malaysia Berhad
- Anderson Tanoto, Managing Director, RGE
- Joyce Tay, Chief Strategy Officer, StartupX
- Joey Wat, CEO, Yum China Holdings, Inc.
- Geoffrey Yeo, Assistant CEO, Urban Solutions, Sustainability & Enterprise Finance, Enterprise Singapore
- Abby Danzig, Senior Programming Director, Bloomberg Green & Sustainability Events
- David Ingles, Anchor & Reporter, Bloomberg Television & Radio
- Michelle Jamrisko, Senior Asia Economy Reporter, Bloomberg
- Lauren Kiel, General Manager, Bloomberg Green
- Sheryl Lee, ESG Reporter, Asia, Bloomberg
- Fauziah Marzuki, Head of APAC Gas, Power & Carbon, BloombergNEF
- Ishika Mookerjee, Deputy Team Leader, Asia Stocks, Bloomberg
- Juliette Saly, Anchor & Reporter, Bloomberg Television & Radio
- David Scanlan, Senior Editor, Asia Finance, Bloomberg
In Conversation With Piyush Gupta
Piyush Gupta, CEO, DBS Bank spoke about the need to address long-term ESG goals, while not compromising current needs. He referenced Kate Rawroth’s Doughnut Economics and the need to stay within the rings of planetary environmental boundaries and poverty.
The social agenda has been part of his bank’s DNA since it was established in the 1960s to help with the development of Singapore. “If you are just focused on the short-term agenda, around shareholders and value creation, we’re just basically now bankrupt.” The focus instead, is on how to give people a better life.
Gupta described how they have been stepping up their game in the last five to six years, with initiatives and personnel, with the motivation coming first from investors.
Navigating New ESG Taxonomies
On the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), Edris Boey, Head of ESG Research, Maitri Asset Management began by looking at the greenwashing problem. Investors going the climate index route are wondering how some companies, who’s green pursuits are marred by issues that fall into the socal basket, hit the ESG benchmarks. “There is then the blurring of lines between the initial intention of the investor, and subsequent consequences, which are not related to the climate strategy of the companies.” Taxonomies, she said, can regulate all sides.
On asset managers pushing back against the EU terming natural gas as green, Vincent Mortier, Group Chief Investment Officer, Amundi said they are pushing for the inclusion of nuclear energy, a controversial issue. He stressed that while taxonomy is a necessary step, and a good guide for investing, “It cannot be the only metric. It’s just a point in time. Just one indicator.”
“There’s a growing realization that the endpoint is the same,” said Colin Chen, Managing Director & Head of ESG Finance, Asia Pacific, Asian Investment Banking Division, MUFG Bank, Ltd. about the growing division within countries regarding climate initiatives. “They all want to reach net zero. How they get there is the key question that we all need to look at.” He spoke to Boey’s comments about investing in the full scope of ESG, agreeing that investors have been focused on climate funds, adding that there is just starting to be a convergence of understanding around the rest of it.
In Conversation With Joey Wat
Joey Wat, CEO, Yum China Holdings, Inc. spoke to growing with sustainability, and now, supply chain disruptions. “Fortunately, our 35 years of hard work on in-house logistic and supply chain system works wonders, and magical things happen,” because it was all made for “young China.” Also a big differentiator is their in-house delivery services, with headquarters staff jumping in their own cars to help, as needed, including the general manager of Pizza Hut, resulting in increased morale.
The Scope 3 Challenge
Managing Boeing’s “mammoth” supply chain amidst current issues takes working both upstream and downstream, said Jacqueline Lam, Regional Lead-Southeast Asia, Global Sustainability Policy and Partnerships, Boeing International. A large part of that is building supplier awareness and sharing accountability. “We’re working with partners like the CDP, the International Aerospace Environmental Group, as well, to make sure the entire ecosystem is very much a whole-industry approach.
Maurizio Brusadelli, Executive Vice President & President Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Mondelēz International talked about working on sustainability, “from the field to the shelf,” and starting their Sustainable Ingredient Sourcing Program to address the 70% of raw materials that come from other countries.
“Actually the biggest item is not the building materials,” said Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer, City Developments Limited. “It’s actually our subsidiaries’ operations, including commercial buildings and hotel operations. Their Scope 1 and 2 is our Scope 3.” She compared it to a large, growing family tree, where you don’t know all of the DNA connections, but need to take responsibility. But in business, “We have to choose those that really capture the impact of our business.”
Asia Meets Net Zero: What Can We Expect?
Fauziah Marzuki, Head of APAC Gas, Power & Carbon, BloombergNEF laid out Bloomberg initiatives that are public resources, and an update of the Bloomberg scoreboard. When it comes to deep decarbonation, overall goals are behind the curve. ‘The power sector has made the most strides. “Everything else? Largely falling behind.”
Scaling the Circular Economy
Geoffrey Yeo, Assistant CEO, Urban Solutions, Sustainability & Enterprise Finance, Enterprise Singapore spoke to a master plan to move Singapore from a linear to a circular economy, noting success by the public water utility in closing that loop, and looking for new technology, like desalination. Plastic waste, at only a 6% recycling rate, and e-waste remain among the country’s great challenges.
Working with startups around the world, Joyce Tay, Chief Strategy Officer, StartupX said a lot is about waste management, across the entire value chain. The waste sector requires deep-seated expertise, she said, making it difficult for startups to come into it with little more than enthusiasm. Instead, “There’s a lot of looking upstream at product design, sustainable packaging, and so on, while a few companies come into the space with experience, and are able to tackle issues much further downstream.”
Investing in Biodiversity
On how biodiversity is linked to climate change, Laura Bosch Ferreté, Sustainable Investing Specialist, Robeco said you can’t have one without the other, speaking further to our greatest ally to reduce impacts. “It’s estimated that 30% of the climate change potential will come from nature, globally. As an example, “Since pre-industrial levels, half the carbon that we emitted into the atmosphere has been captured by natural things, like forests, oceans and other ecosystems.” Further protections of those ecosystems are needed.
Kelvin Chiu, Founder & Principal, Silverstrand Capital added to that by noting the effort has to go beyond protecting important natural habitats, to management of working agricultural lands, “where we get to work with nature, rather than against nature.” Chiu said only 2% of climate finance goes to nature-based solutions. Needed is better science, he said, “But things are still better than when it was a totally philanthropic venture.”
Anderson Tanoto, Managing Director, RGE spoke to what “net-zero” emissions really mean. “Of course, it means you have to reduce first, then offset. “The carbon market, that is evolving quickly, is one of the biggest breakthroughs in protecting biodiversity. Assuring integrity, traceability and real protections is being approached with the use of digital twins, he said, describing how that process works.
Privilege Meets Purpose: Building a Social Enterprise
Rebecca Eu, Founder, Mei’s Own passionately described working with artisans in the Philippines – weavers – preserving their heritage while raising money to buy tools such as laptops, offering both livelihoods and education. She was inspired to make a difference. when in college, she saw the data and became aware of the extent of sex trafficking in Southeast Asia. Asked what advice she would give to business leaders’ “If you really want to have a long-term plan, I ask that you be intentional and sincere with it. Don’t just put the word “sustainability” on it.” Use the tools that are now available to define goals, she said, “ Because the beautiful thing about sustainability is no ones really knows what it means anymore.”
In Conversation With Muhamad Umar Swift
Muhamad Umar Swift, CEO, Bursa Malaysia talked about helping Malaysian companies transition, with the need for building capacity just as important as regulations. “We’re very much focused on the subjective element. We’re raising the bar. What we’ve seen is very good compliance, but we’re not really happy with the reporting. We’re going to mandate, and we will be announcing that we have expectations about what will need to be disclosed by PLCs.” Beyond that, they will be looking for PLCs to bring along everyone on their supply chain.
DBS Bank Breakout Briefing: Accelerating The Net Zero Journey
DBS Bank Sponsor Spotlight: Leading a Purpose-Driven Business
DBS is leading the net zero transition in Asia, and will put its money where its mouth is in a few weeks when it releases a report detailing how it plans to get to its 2030 goals. Helge Muenkel, Chief Sustainability Officer, DBS Bank said it will include what others may choose to follow, such as science-based pathways and interim targets.
Muenkel spoke on carbon credits, the need for an ecosystem change, purpose-driven business – “the essence, not fluff” – and transition finance. “It’s mission critical. We need to completely rewire the economy,” he said, describing the needed investment as a “staggering,” nearly USD $4.5 trillion per year.
Reimagining Net Zero: Solutions for Change
Moving target dates closer and having an influence that expands out to Scope 3 is part of meeting the urgency for solutions, according to Yoon Young Kim, Cluster President for Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, Schneider Electric. “We’ve been on this journey for 15 years, we have stepped it up and will operate carbon neutral by 2025.” He added that their more than 1,000 vendors will be decarbonized by 50%, and make continual progress
With 40% of emission coming from buildings, Yvonne Soh, Executive Director, Singapore Green Building Council and her colleagues have their hands full, Extensive studies of the city’s energy landscape reveal tremendous challenges. “If every available inch of the city was covered with renewable energy and solar, it would meet only five- to eight- percent of our total needs.”
Soh said Singapore was the first city to introduce environmental sustainability regulations. The Green Building Master Plan released last year shows high standards are being reached. But it remains a struggle. “We really need to lift up the entire market.”
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