ESG strategy is a must for companies today, experts say in virtual forum

On the social side, he said the BMA is focused on improving public services to ensure that everyone has access to quality education, good health and well-being, as well as promoting the equality in various aspects, such as gender and political terms.

“I think the city has to promote equality, so it will spawn more creativity because in the future the key to boosting the economy will be a creative economy,” he said.

“And if you can promote difference of thought and idea, we can create a better economy in the future.”

He stressed that governance is important to win the trust of the people. He said the BMA uses the Traffy Fondue platform to allow citizens to submit their concerns, so that the agency can tackle issues effectively.

He said the BMA will also allow open data to ensure transparency of the BMA’s operation, adding that he has a plan to randomly oversee operations in 50 districts of Bangkok every Sunday.

“The city is a labor market. It was not the BMA that created the labor market, but in fact it was the private sector, so I think collaboration between stakeholders is very important for the future,” he said. added.

ESG makes companies sustainable

“Sustainability, or ESG, is a global trend. It’s not something nice to have, but it’s something we have to have and we have to have it now,” said Soraphol Tulayasathien, head of the corporate strategy division of the Stock Exchange. Thailand (SET).

He made the remarks during the session “SDGs and ESG are important for sustainable businesses”.

He said 24 Thai companies have been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and more than 40 companies are in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

He added that SET wants more Thai businesses, especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), to adopt ESG in a meaningful way, without creating too much of a burden for themselves.

He said investors pay attention to companies that implement ESG, both on general and specific issues, such as climate change, equality, employment and supply management.

He advised investors to invest in companies that take good care of all risks, while advising companies to use ESG as a tool to find opportunities, niches and ensure the company can effectively maintain durability.

“ESG is something that can help companies manage risk, because if companies don’t take care of environmental, social or governance risks, something could go wrong and backfire on companies,” he said. -he declares.

ESG strategy is a must for companies today, experts say in virtual forum

Meanwhile, Jia Kai Goh, chief strategy officer at consulting firm Accenture (Singapore), said sustainability can increase business value in terms of revenue growth, cost reduction, brand image intangible and risk management.

He added that micro and SMEs with diverse potentials can cooperate to achieve ESG and corporate social responsibility, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Fostering sustainability or being sustainable is value creation,” he said.

He also advised micro and SMEs to ensure they understand the value of their business, how to work sustainably with partners, and how to leverage finance to effectively drive sustainability.

“Each of the SDGs are well defined and each of them actually come with specific indicators behind the scenes, so it’s a really good time to start in terms of articulating what we’re trying to drive, perspective and how we can start our measurements,” he said.

Enterprise Net-Zero in action

Many CEOs around the world are shifting to net zero business models as the climate crisis overtakes them, said Thanyaporn Krichtitayawuth, executive director of Global Compact Network Thailand.

She made the remark during the session “Net Zero in Action: Reduce your carbon footprint”.

“CEOs who don’t move to net zero business models are putting their business at risk,” she warned.

Citing the February 28 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, she said around 45% of the world’s population – more than 3.5 billion people – are classified as highly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. climatic.

She also pointed out that the poorest people who are responsible for the least greenhouse gas emissions will suffer the most because of the actions of people living in urbanized environments.

ESG strategy is a must for companies today, experts say in virtual forum

“Some 65% of CEOs globally say they have already started advancing net-zero business models and solutions. Companies with annual revenue over US$1 billion are further along the path,” she said.

She added that 78% of CEOs of the world’s largest companies said they had started advancing net zero business models and solutions.

“Those who pollute the most must be held accountable for their actions and must protect the poorest who are hardest hit because of their emissions,” she said.

Technology and collaboration

During the panel discussion on the sub-theme “New Approaches for a Greener Future: Innovative Technologies and Strategies”, all panelists agreed and were aware that the ESG business model is not a fad option, but a must for businesses of all sizes to support their growth.

They have also demonstrated their companies’ progress towards greater equality in terms of environmental preservation, social inclusion and diversity. Furthermore, they agreed that innovative technologies and strategies are key to achieving the ESG objective.

As one of Thailand’s leading companies with a history of over a century of operations, Weerakorn Saitep, Director of Digital Constructions, The Concrete Products and Aggregate Co (SCG), said sustainability is a vision and a key mission to which SCG gave priority. As a result, SCG has made long term investments in ESG and provided a roadmap for a low carbon economy as well as energy, water and waste efficiency.

Piyabut Charuphen, general manager of BIG, said that while the oxygen and hydrogen supplied by the company does not emit carbon dioxide, the process of producing oxygen and hydrogen consumes a lot of electricity. Consequently, it is a huge responsibility for BIG to find innovative solutions to reduce dependence on electricity generated from fossil fuels.

In doing so, he added that BIG has partnered with one of the country’s leading energy companies to provide them with an alternative energy to use.

Anthony Watanabe, vice president and global head of environmental sustainability at Indorama Ventures, said the most challenging aspect of his company’s ESG journey is educating people about PET plastic, which is still blamed for damage. environmental.

However, through data collection and analysis technology, the company now has enough clear evidence to persuade people around the world to use the right plastic, such as PET, as part of the protection of the natural world.

Meanwhile, ESG is not only concerned with environmental issues, but also with social issues. As a result, all panelists shared their company’s support of their employees and local communities, for example by offering upskilling and retraining sessions, donating products to those in need and promoting gender equality. gender in the workplace.

In conclusion, Weerankorn, Piyabut and Anthony agreed that greater collaboration with the government sector is needed to achieve ESG together. There is also a need to provide support to SME entrepreneurs.

ESG is the new business opportunity

During a panel discussion on the sub-theme “ESG in restoring global economic health”, Marco Toscano-Rivalta, Head of Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Office for Risk Reduction (UNDRR), said the world is currently facing huge and growing human, environmental, social and economic losses from disasters.

And ESG is essential to enable the private and public sectors to move forward in a safe and sustainable way.

Apinya Siranart, head of exploration at the United Nations Development Programme, suggested that using ESG as a term to persuade companies to go down this path is insufficient. It would be preferable to use the term SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) instead, because this term would make the change, and the impact of this concept would bring more clarity to their activities.

SDG has costs, but if a company follows this path, it will discover new opportunities for its business that will provide excellent returns in the future, Apinya added.

Cosima Stahr, Senior Advisor and Co-Head of Finance, Adelphi Research, highlighted that ESG is an essential framework for knowing how to allocate budget and overcome current constraints.

When a company recognizes its weaknesses and realizes the value of its business, it finally understands how to integrate long-term financial investments to create a more sustainable environment and an equitable society, she added.

All panelists also agreed that finance and investment are key for a company to achieve ESG or SDG. The calendar is now a critical factor for many joint ventures and global investors to consider when managing their capital.

Although there is huge capital available for investment, it is unfortunate that there are fewer companies able to clearly explain their ESG track record and benefits to convince investors.

Marco suggested that the government enact strict regulations to compel companies to develop ESG strategies and action plans that they can publicly disclose.

He also said companies need to reconcile the concept and practice of ESG with economics and disasters. This will help the company to make the right decision.

Apinya insisted that public awareness was still needed for ESG to be widely adopted. She said doing business in the future must demonstrate how the business can have a positive impact on society and the environment.

She added that ESG investing is not a burden on the company, but rather will help the company identify and unlock a new way of doing business.

Cosima concluded that if global companies are now to prioritize economic recovery, ESG should be included in their business plans as long-term strategies. This will be essential to identify the right innovation for the company to sustain its growth and to help it understand international dynamics.

Melvin B. Baillie