Actioning ESG In An Era Of Uncertainty and Transformation

Thumbs up to a successful summit… from left: Luis Bueno Nieto, Advisor, ACES Council, Shanggari B., CEO, MORS Group, Dr. Jayanthi Desan, Managing Partner, Aubrens, Eric Roberto M. Luchangco, Chief Sustainability Officer, Head of Strategy and Finance, Chief Finance Officer, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Laura Canas da Costa, Senior Global Policy Expert at United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), Marla Garin -Alvarez, Vice President & Head, Sustainability Office, Compliance Group, BDO Unibank and Niko Safavi, CEO & President Director, PT Mowilex.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 (Bernama) — Major transformation in the areas of climate, food and circularity needs to happen in order to address environmental, social and governance (ESG) in an era of uncertainty now.

ACES Council member Dr Jayanthi Desan said actioning on ESG should be based on the multiple challenges in 2024 including slowing macro-economic growth and geopolitical effects.

“In climate we have been on this journey for multiple years and now is the time that investments need to be made to drive down decarbonise technologies to companies committing to scope 1 and 2 emissions.

“In the area of food, clearly it needs healthy, sustainable and economically viable food systems and we are very far from that. How to create the right investments towards that?” said Jayanthi in her keynote address at the inaugural ACES Summit 2023.

Jayanthi who is also Managing Partner of Aubrens, said that the third area, circularity, which needs addressing, is a key strategy to embrace as a concept namely sustainable supply chain, material, design new material that uses less resources and energy.

“If we do that, we can make a difference on all areas. We are optimistic to meet the moment, in fact, each one of you are creating the moment.

“We can actually make a progress. It’s our responsibility as leaders of our organisations and our planet to make a difference whilst we still have time and I look forward to our discussions today that will delve further into the solutions we are seeking,” she added.

The inaugural ACES Summit was held in conjunction with the Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability (ACES) Awards scheduled a day after on November 24.

Themed “Actioning Asean’s ESG: A Vision for Sustainable Progress,” the expectation of delegates and Summit core members included interest in advancing efforts towards achieving net-zero emissions, interest in driving Asia’s responsible business agenda and desire to make a positive impact and engage in open and active participation at conference sessions.

In welcoming the delegates, Chairperson of ACES Summit Luis Bueno shared some perspective of ESG practices in Europe and how Asian companies can advance these practices by emulating success stories and demands of the legal frameworks across the globe.

Meanwhile, ACES Council President Shanggari Balakrishnan said the entire ACES ecosystem was developed so entrepreneurs and businesses can learn from the experts.

“We have a strong list of winner call-backs. These winners are people who believe in the sharing of knowledge and insights from their own experiences, and they form part of the ACES Circle of winners who voluntarily become speakers or panelists at our events,” said Shanggari.

Setting the tone for the Summit was the panel discussion entitled, “Key enablers for sustainability transformation” which focused on the different approaches taken by different industries in driving sustainability transformation and purpose-driven business management.

The roundtable breakout discussions entailed various categories including technology and innovation, financing and investments and human capital.

“How can businesses transform their models to a circular economy? What is the role of innovative technology, in tracking and reducing carbon footprints in the supply chains?

“These are some of the issues discussed and in climate financing, the discussion focuses on new and innovative financing structures suited to the ASEAN context.

“For human capital, we focused on new and innovative approaches towards community investment, including role of partnerships, measurement of impact and scaling up successful programs, as well as uplifting talent to drive the sustainability agenda” said Shanggari.

The Summit ended with the sharing of outcomes from the roundtable discussions which would be compiled in a Summit Report.

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