Singapore Best Practices in Sustainability Reporting

Singapore Best Practices in Sustainability Reporting

Singapore Best Practices in Sustainability Reporting

  • Posted by kalyani
  • On February 12, 2024
  • 0 Comments

By

Share via

Share

Introduction

Singapore, a bustling global financial hub known for its innovation and economic prowess, has recognized that the path to long-term success lies in sustainable business practices. As the world grapples with pressing environmental and social challenges, Singaporean companies are increasingly embracing sustainability as a fundamental pillar of their operations. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the landscape of sustainable business practices and reporting in Singapore, shedding light on the significant strides made, the regulatory framework in place, and the manifold benefits for businesses and society at large.

The Singaporean Business Landscape

Before we delve into sustainable practices, it’s essential to understand the unique business environment in Singapore. This city-state, nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, is renowned for its economic stability, political transparency, and pro-business policies. It has attracted a multitude of multinational corporations and entrepreneurs, contributing to its rapid growth and development.

As Singapore continues to flourish, it has recognized the importance of balancing economic progress with environmental and social responsibility. Sustainable business practices have become a vital component of this balance, leading to numerous innovations and initiatives aimed at ensuring that prosperity is not achieved at the expense of the planet or society.

Sustainable Business Practices in Singapore

Sustainable Infrastructure and Construction

Singapore has set ambitious sustainability goals, including becoming a “Zero Waste Nation.” To achieve this, the city-state has invested in sustainable infrastructure and construction practices, promoting energy-efficient buildings and environmentally friendly materials. Initiatives like the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark Scheme encourage businesses to adopt green building standards.

Green Technology and Renewable Energy

The adoption of green technology and renewable energy sources is on the rise in Singapore. Companies are increasingly turning to solar panels, wind turbines, and other sustainable energy solutions to reduce their carbon footprint. The government’s incentives and grants further encourage businesses to embrace clean energy practices.

Responsible Supply Chain Management

Supply chain sustainability is another area of focus for Singaporean businesses. They are actively seeking to ensure ethical sourcing, reduce waste, and promote fair labor practices within their supply chains. This commitment to responsible supply chain management aligns with global trends and consumers’ increasing demand for transparency.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Corporate social responsibility is a cornerstone of sustainable business practices in Singapore. Companies are actively engaging with local communities, supporting charitable causes, and championing employee welfare. This not only enhances their reputation but also strengthens social cohesion.

Carbon Pricing

Singapore has implemented a carbon tax, which levies a charge on greenhouse gas emissions. This financial incentive encourages businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and accurately report emissions data.

Mandatory Reporting Requirements

Singapore has taken significant steps to ensure transparency in sustainable business practices through mandatory reporting requirements:

Sustainability Reporting

Publicly listed companies in Singapore are required to disclose their sustainability practices in their annual reports. This includes environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. The intention is to provide stakeholders with a comprehensive view of a company’s sustainability performance.

Voluntary Reporting Initiatives

In addition to mandatory reporting, businesses in Singapore are increasingly participating in voluntary reporting initiatives:

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

Many companies in Singapore use the GRI framework to report on their sustainability performance comprehensively. GRI standards help organizations measure and disclose their economic, environmental, and social performance, providing a standardized approach to sustainability reporting.

Sustainability Reporting Guidelines

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has released guidelines encouraging listed companies to report on sustainability practices. These guidelines help companies align their reporting with international best practices and enhance transparency.

In recent years, climate change has exacerbated the effects of global warming, and a new urgency has been created for the fight against climate change. To implement mandatory climate reporting, SGX has adopted a phased approach based on the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Benefits of Sustainable Reporting

The adoption of sustainable business practices and reporting in Singapore offers a multitude of advantages:

Enhanced Reputation

Companies that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability build trust and enhance their reputation among stakeholders. Customers, investors, and partners are more likely to engage with businesses that are actively working to make a positive impact.

Access to Capital

Sustainable businesses are increasingly attractive to investors. A strong sustainability track record can lead to better access to capital, including green bonds and sustainable investment funds, which are growing in popularity.

Compliance

Adherence to sustainability reporting requirements ensures compliance with local regulations. This not only helps companies avoid legal issues but also demonstrates their commitment to corporate governance and accountability.

Risk Mitigation

Identifying and addressing sustainability risks helps companies mitigate potential financial and reputational risks. Proactive risk management can save a company from costly setbacks and crises.

Components of a Sustainability Report

Requirement for sustainability reporting

Sustainability reports must be produced annually and must include the following primary components:

  • Material ESG factors
  • Climate-related disclosures consistent with the TCFD recommendations
  • Policies, practices and performance
  • Targets
  • Sustainability reporting framework
  • Board statement and associated governance structure for sustainability practices

Factors affecting ESG

In order to ensure the continuity of its business, the issuer should examine its business from the perspective of its value chain and determine what ESG factors are relevant to its interaction with its physical environment and social community. Issuers must report the criteria and process they used to make their selection, including how these factors contributed to the creation of value.

Disclosures concerning climate change

In accordance with the TCFD recommendations, the issuer should provide climate-related disclosures. In order for TCFD recommendations to be implemented, supplemental guidance has been issued on both a general level and by sector. A climate-related risk or opportunity may have an impact on the issuer’s income statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet.

Policies and targets

Sustainability reports should outline the issuer’s targets for the upcoming year regarding each material ESG factor. Targets should be defined for defined short-, medium-, and long-term horizons, and if they are not consistent with those used in strategic planning and financial reporting, the reasons should be explained. In the sustainability report, the issuer should describe and quantify its policies, practices, and performance with respect to the identified material ESG factors.

Sustainability reporting framework

It is crucial that the issuer selects a sustainability reporting framework based on its business model and industry and explains its choice. This requires the issuer to use a global-recognised framework to gain broader acceptance in an increasingly global environment. By comparing the issuer with its peer group in Singapore and other jurisdictions around the globe, it can be more easily understood and compared.

Sustainability practices and the associated board statement

The sustainability report should include a statement indicating that the Board has considered sustainability issues in the issuer’s business and strategy, identified material ESG factors, and overseen their management and monitoring. Additionally, the sustainability report should outline the roles of the Board and management in sustainability management.

Corporate Governance stipulates that the Board is collectively responsible for ensuring the issuer’s long-term success. Sustainability issues are specifically considered as part of its strategic formulation. Sustainability reporting is ultimately the responsibility of the Board.

Conclusion

Sustainable business practices and reporting in Singapore have become integral to success in the modern business landscape. Companies that embrace sustainability not only contribute to a better world but also position themselves for long-term growth and resilience in an ever-changing market. By aligning business strategies with sustainable values, Singaporean businesses can drive positive change while thriving in a sustainable and responsible manner.

 3

0 Comments

Leave Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *