It has been critical these days to develop sustainable strategies and approaches for growth and prosperity. This is also the topic shared by senior leaders during a Viet Nam – Singapore Board Forum (VSBF) themed “Driving sustainability and inclusive growth in the digital era”, co-organized by VIETSTAR Training & Consulting JSC (VIETSTAR) and Singapore Management University (SMU) on May 12 2023 in Ha Noi.
It is urgent to integrate sustainability into business
The economic landscape of the world in general, and of Viet Nam and Singapore in particular, has been negatively influenced by such uncertainty as rising temperatures, or extreme weather. According to Mr Lim Boon Heng – Former Singaporean Cabinet Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office of Singapore and Chairman of Temasek Holdings – IPCC released its AR6 Synthesis Report on Climate Change 2023 in March this year, ahead of COP 28 in Dubai which will be held later from November 30 to December 12. The report showed that it is “more likely than not” that global warming will exceed 1.5°C this century, with a “best estimate” that this will occur before the year 2040.
Mr. Lim stated that businesses that regard the transition as an opportunity, and not just a risk, will be best positioned to succeed. To succeed, businesses must proactively develop new products, services, and relevant and innovative business models, innovative ways of operating, greater workforce capabilities, and better ways of communicating with their investors, customers, regulators, and other stakeholders.
According to Ms. Mary Pham Thu Hang, Director of VSBF and CEO of VIETSTAR, VSBF 2023 is joined by policymakers, business leaders, and national and international academics to update global trends and discuss policies, solutions, and strategic implications toward sustainable inclusive growth.
“It can be said that VSBF has been engaged by businesses in key moments and until today – it has been hailed in Vietnam, Singapore, Southeast Asian countries while spreading its influence on broader scope outside Asia with the presence of leaders from General Electric (GE)-USA, or Energy Transition Partnership (ETP)-UNOPS, etc.,” said Ms. Thu Hang.
Lesson learned from leading businesses
Sharing Temasek’s transition experience, Mr. Lim said that, “sustainability is at the core of everything we do”. Our annual Ecosperity is one of our key platforms for engagement and advocacy. It brings together key decisionmakers, such as business leaders, policymakers, investors, and civil society, to share best practices and push the agenda on sustainable development. This year, the conference is held on June 6-8.
Mr. Wong Kim Yin, Group President and CEO of Sembcorp Industries Ltd, said that to bridge the gap between sustainability and profitability, Sembcorp has driven growth by renewables and storage systems. The corporation also invests more in renewable energy and storage systems, which generate sustainable solutions for customers, partners, and suppliers, particularly setting the sustainability KPIs for operations, processes, and technology.
Stemming from investors’ increasing demands for sustainable investment, businesses in the public and private sector are focusing more on ESG (Environment – Society – Governance) and making ESG practices a reality in business activities at different levels.
According to Mr. Hoang Quoc Vuong, Chairman of Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, the corporate has been practicing ESG, such as discussing and assessing serious ESG issues, balancing E-S-G in the ESG process, and building an ESG management structure.
“Currently, energy transition is defined as an inevitable development process. Therefore, in addition to an established structure of ESG governance, relevant steering committees have been established, namely the Energy Transition Steering Committee. Specifically, the risk Management Team is responsible for identifying, assessing and raising warning of financial, legal, environmental and governance risks during operation as well as proposing control measures accordingly.”, said Mr. Hoang Quoc Vuong.
Affirming that delivering a sustainable development orientation is an inevitable trend, Assoc. Dr. Ho Sy Hung – Vice Chairman of the Committee for State Capital Management at Enterprises said: “Sustainable development is a global strategy, realized on a correlate and harmonious combination of such aspects as social-economic developement and environmental protection, which align with the inclusive goal pursuited by the Government of Vietnam. However, it is imporatant that the Government continues to promulgate standard regulations, and define clear roadmap for implementation. At the same time, it is necessary to focus on green technology development policies regarding greening existing industries, transforming to a more advanced industrial structure…”