2022 Business As A Force For Good Awards – Meet The Judges Interview Series #4

Introducing Manik Saha  IDP’16 – Strategic Partner APJ, Product Engineering Group, SAP SE.

What were your key takeaways after graduating from INSEAD in relation to having a positive social impact on the community? Building a profitable business and having a positive social impact at the same time is possible. As decision makers and leaders, it’s our responsibility to design the guardrails and framework around which positive social impact can be made, whether it’s for the environment or our communities.

What do you believe are the critical elements for a business to act as a force for good? I like to look at key decisions a business is making and analyse who it impacts and what the effects are. In the past, it was the norm to make business decisions without evaluating the social impact, but now (due to increasing scrutiny from regulators and the community momentum), businesses are looking at social impact considerations in their decision-making process.

What actions from companies have you seen which has been a force for good? The most obvious one is a commitment to carbon neutrality and chasing zero. As an employee in a forward-thinking tech company, we’ve made a series of commitments to carbon neutrality for our data centre electricity consumption, as well as aiming for a net zero footprint.

What are some examples in your profession/ company where you’ve experienced BAFG first-hand? A few years ago, we pledged to reduce plastic usage in our Singapore office and when we renovated the office last year, renewables and waste reduction were key design principles. Moreover, within the office, we now have distinct waste disposals for recyclables, plastic, and general waste, which is a major step forward in chasing zero. Employees are also encouraged to reuse cups and eliminate single use plastics completely. We also hold ongoing educational engagements with employees around building a sustainable lifestyle and being mindful of the impact they are creating.

What key BAFG principles would you like businesses in Singapore to embrace? I’d like them to put BAFG principles into their mission and vision statements, and drive clear goals and objectives to achieve them. Unfortunately, while ESG reporting has been introduced as a “comply or explain ” requirement for the SGX, the commitment across the board seems to be behind other western countries. I believe a regulatory reward scheme would accelerate the adoption of strong ESG principles in many more companies. For example, if a buyer could in the future demand the ESG impact from its suppliers, it would drive a very positive behaviour in the end-to-end supply chain.

What motivated you to be an advocate for businesses to act as a force for good? As a father of two young kids, if we take the right steps and spread the word today , we leave behind a better planet for our kids tomorrow.

Meet The Judges Interview Series