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This year sees a rise in mandatory Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) reporting regulations and requirements, extending to not just listed companies but also non-listed smaller companies. KPMG reports almost 50,000 companies being subjected to mandatory sustainability reporting starting in 2024. Given that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for more than 90 per cent of businesses in the Asia-Pacific region, both Multinational Corporations (MNCs) and SMEs that support global supply chains must take action and align with regulations. This is especially imperative amidst looming deadlines for sustainability reporting across Asia and the rise in sustainable procurement.

From the ideation two years ago, and now having over 300 badge achievers and multiple real-life use cases in empowering businesses across Asia to achieve various sustainability outcomes – the Green Deal for Business is going from strength to strength.

Calculating GHG emissions and simplifying sustainability reporting

To support businesses and SMEs across Asia and the Pacific to kickstart their corporate sustainability and ESG reporting journey, the ESBN Green Deal digital assessment was created to provide a free simplified, online ESG enabler tool for businesses to lower their barriers to sustainability and amplify their ESG profiles regionally and globally. Given SDG  13 on climate action required the most attention, the Green Deal program significantly promotes climate actions among the private sector by awarding businesses with Green, Silver, and Gold badges to recognize their commitment to sustainability.

Businesses can easily calculate their GHG emissions with ESGpedia’s GHG calculator, which is built in accordance with the GHG Protocol and ISO14064 methodologies, and localised across countries in the Asia Pacific. The assessment is also aligned and scalable to international reporting standards such as GRI, ISSB, and more.

Allowing businesses to do well by doing good

By taking the first step towards creating their ESG profile and understanding their current ESG standing, businesses can then start their decarbonization pathways and manage their supply chain sustainability, setting themselves up for greater opportunities and benefits such as lower interest rates through sustainable financing.

As of March 2024, the digital platform has presence across 18 countries, with over 300 ESBN Green Deal badge achievers across Asia-Pacific.

Over the year, many businesses have shared how the Green Deal Digital Platform on ESGpedia has supported their corporate sustainability and ESG reporting journey. Here are some of the examples.

Indonesian Gold badge achiever Modalku | Funding Societies, the largest unified SME digital finance platform in Southeast Asia, shares that the digital platform provided them with “an understanding of the disclosure requirements and insights that will help [them] when encouraging the SMEs in [their] ecosystem to disclose ESG data.”

Representing the security and logistics sector in Singapore, Silver badge achiever AETOS, member of the Surbana Jurong Group, benefits from the assessment by being able “to track vehicle emissions and benchmark them against recommended industry standards, providing immediate access to emissions data.”

Thai Gold badge achiever Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), state-owned enterprise in Thailand, shares that the digital ESG enabler tool “not only benefits EGAT but also [their] partners, as [they] collectively assess [their] performance across five key pillars, facilitating a comprehensive self-evaluation process."

Use case: Enhanced access to sustainability-linked loans

In November 2023, OCBC successfully extended a S$16 million Sustainability Linked Loan (SLL) to global textile and apparel manufacturer, Ghim Li (silver badge achiever), through a fully digitalised and streamlined process on the ESGpedia platform.

The streamlined process involves digital collection of data on ESGpedia via the ESBN Asia-Pacific Green Deal digital assessment, which is then independently verified by global leader in testing, inspection and certification services, Bureau Veritas (an ESGpedia marketplace partner).

Use case: Better management of supply chain sustainability

Companies have utilised ESGpedia to track ESG certifications and data points, as well as ensure that suppliers within their supply chain hold accredited ISO certifications. This helps large corporates monitor the sustainability of their suppliers and ensure that they only procure from suppliers that align with their corporate sustainability requirements.

Suppliers can create their ESG profiles through the ESBN Green Deal for Business platform and amplify it to current and potential stakeholders and customers to prove their commitment to sustainability.

The private sector, especially SMEs, is expected to play a critical role by leading the region’s green transformation. With an already extensive and growing Asian ecosystem and partnership, the ESBN Green Deal for Business on ESGpedia allows companies with ESG profiles to benefit from its unique network effect to attain better business opportunities regionally, future-proof against upcoming ESG regulations, and set a clear transition pathway towards Net Zero. The need for more and faster action to combat the climate change crisis is long overdue, we therefore encourage all businesses to start today by creating your ESG profile and accelerating your sustainability journey.  

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Tientip Subhanij
Chief, Sustainable Business Network, ESCAP
Ben Soh
Managing Director, STACS
Trade, Investment & Innovation +66 2 288-1234 [email protected]
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