CanCham Singapore, in partnership with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and the EuroCham Singapore, successfully hosted the final event of the four-part G20 Event Series: ESG. This event brought together esteemed participants who shared their insights on the social, and governance of ESG considerations in business practices.
The event commenced with a welcome address from H.E. Jean-Dominique Ieraci, the High Commissioner of Canada to Singapore, followed by a keynote address from Ms. Su-Yen Wong, Chairperson of the Singapore Institute of Directors. The panel discussion featured experts such as Mr. Edward Tay, Associate Professor (Practice) at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and Chairman of the United Nations - Sustainable Development Goals Research Lab; Mr. Federico Donato, President of EuroCham Singapore and Executive Director & Team Head Philippines at Credit Suisse, Wealth Management Asia Pacific; Mr. Federico Vescovi, President of Barilla Group - Asia, Africa & Australia; Ms. Gemma Byrne, Deputy Director of Outreach and Partnerships at The National Volunteer And Philanthropy Centre; and Ms. Leong Wai Leng, Managing Director and Head of Asia Pacific at CDPQ Mondial. The session was skillfully moderated by Ms. Guylaine Audet, Regional Leader Commercial Aviation and Flight Training – APAC at CAE.
During the panel discussion, the participants explored the broader concepts of ESG and emphasized the critical link between strong governance and the financial stability of companies. They stressed the importance of robust frameworks to mitigate risks and prevent defaults. The panelists also highlighted the significance of blended finance, which integrates financial practices with ESG objectives, ensuring companies fulfill their tax obligations while aligning with sustainable principles.
The integration of ESG considerations throughout the entire business ecosystem was another key aspect discussed. This involves establishing dedicated sustainable teams to evaluate portfolio companies, ensuring their compliance with ESG standards. The panelists emphasized the importance of corporate talent and raising awareness around ESG issues, noting the potential for companies to create positive societal impact beyond traditional social enterprises and non-profits.
The discussion further focused on the shift from shareholder-centric approaches to stakeholder-centric models, recognizing the pillars of people and society in ESG frameworks. The panel emphasized the need for companies to adopt a corporate purpose and blueprint framework to enhance their ESG performance. This holistic approach takes into account environmental and social impacts alongside financial outcomes. The importance of gender diversity on corporate boards was also highlighted, acknowledging the long-term benefits it brings to both business performance and social equality.
CanCham and its partners express their gratitude to event sponsor Singapore CAE Flight Training, panelists, moderator, and attendees for their valuable contributions to this significant discussion on ESG. This event marks a notable step towards a more resilient future, as it promotes the adoption of sustainable business practices and creates awareness around the importance of ESG considerations in driving positive change.