Facilitating conversations on sustainability - Stewardship Commons 2022

Stewardship Commons is an annual event hosted by Stewardship Asia Centre, held in partnership with Temasek’s Ecosperity Week, to provide a platform for business leaders and investors to convene and exchange their thoughts on stewardship to safeguard our global commons, or our planet’s natural capital assets. Stewardship Commons 2022 was held on June 7, 2022 and focused on the theme “Unlocking Values for ‘Greener’ Growth”, with discussions centred on how businesses can adopt a values-based approach in their ESG journey.

Dr. Fraser Thompson, Co-founder and Principal of AlphaBeta (part of Access Partnership), delivered the keynote address on how the conversation around nature loss has evolved in the past 12 months, with key developments in international negotiations including COP26 and UNCBD’s COP15 events, as well as new standards, guidelines, and platforms to design nature-based projects and interventions. He also covered key risks related to biodiversity and nature loss in Asia Pacific and beyond, highlighted opportunities for businesses to invest in a nature-positive economy, and discussed key enablers to unlocking these investments, including regulatory interventions like externality pricing and harmonised reporting, and active collaboration between business and investment community.

Ms. Annisah Smith, Senior Research & Advocacy Manager at Stewardship Asia Centre presented an analysis of four case studies of companies that have successfully achieved both environmental stewardship as well as maintained profitability. These companies were City Developments Limited (CDL), Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Prudential Assurance Company. She also highlighted the Steward Leadreship Compass developed by the SAC as a model for effective stewardship.

This was followed by an engaging panel discussion moderated by Ms. Elaine Cheung, Chief Financial Officer of Temasek’s Asia Sustainable Foods Platform, that focused on each company’s story in greater detail and deliberated how investors and business leaders can lead in promoting “greener” growth. The representatives from the companies were Ms. Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer at CDL, Mr. Girish Ramachandran, President of TCS Asia Pacific, and Mr. Geoffrey Hill, Lead, Strategic Asset Allocation/Asset-Liability Management at Prudential Singapore.

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The event ended with an interactive session facilitated by Ms. Annisah Smith and Mr. Shivin Kohli, Senior Manager at AlphaBeta, where participants discussed how businesses and investors should approach ESG commitments in a volatile environment and how investors and business leaders can collaborate to promote ESG practices within their organisations.

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