We kicked off our Business As A Force For Good awards ceremony with a panel discussion titled “Empower yourself: Overcome challenges and implement sustainable practices in business” and had the honor of having distinguished speakers from different industry background talk about how corporations may improve our society and environment:
- Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer of City Developments Limited
- Eu-Lin Fang, Partner, Sustainability and Climate Change Practice Leader of PwC Singapore
- Paul Blackler, Sustainability & Innovation Lead of PALO IT
- Shoko Suzuki, Chief Transformation Officer, Head of New Business & ESG of Unilever
- Manik Saha, Managing Director of SAP Labs Singapore as our moderator
Each speaker started off by introducing how they approach sustainability in their own respective company and later shared about their top-of-mind issues that they are concerned with. The ABCD framework – Alignment, Business, Collaboration and Disclosure – was discussed as a potential approach to address sustainability concerns. Alignment of business model to industrial, national and international goals is key and so is the importance of developing a business case for sustainability which references to the triple bottom line theory. Collaboration along the entire value chain is essential to ensure that interest of every stakeholder is aligned and there is a need to improve transparency of sustainability reporting through disclosures.
Sustainability is still a relatively new field in this day and age that comes with a lot of ambiguity. There is no single path to adopt sustainability and an effective climate strategy requires resilience and adaption. Throughout the session, there were a lot of discussions regarding the huge challenge in this field given that there are over 600 different frameworks and sustainability guidelines.
There is clearly a need for standardization to simplify the reporting which can aid corporations to set goals, establish priorities and manage change. From this panel discussion, we learned about how each stakeholder can contribute to this process:
- Academia can play a critical role to clarify the roles for all stakeholders.
- Industry players can also create an industry consortium to set a common standard, but it is essential to first encourage corporations to collaborate with each other