新加坡實踐 ESG 的經驗
ESG Values in Practice - A Lesson From Singapore
某些國家在特定 ESG 標準中的得分可能不同。新加坡的情況當然如此。擁有強大公司治理的國家在其他 ESG 領域的評分相對較低。政府反應及時，因此這些統計數據並未對在該國上市的公司產生重大影響。通過實施企業可持續發展計劃，政府希望在所有ESG 基準中取得同樣出色的成績，同時成為其他亞洲發達經濟體的榜樣。
新加坡 ESG 價值觀的發展
新加坡是我們名單上的另一個國家，其政府決定接受環境、社會、治理 (ESG) 價值觀，並鼓勵當地公司付出更多努力來遵守大多數發達國家熟悉的議案。在新加坡運作的企業被推動“走向綠色”，並促進社會正義和長期經濟繁榮等議程。與美國（US）的案例研究相比，新加坡是一個小得多的國家。此外，它的政府更加集中。出於這些原因，可以肯定的是，新加坡政府在實施 ESG 原則時的作用將更加重要。
新加坡以其優質的公司治理而聞名。然而，環境和社會因素是其公司一直在苦苦掙扎的領域。儘管該國在 ESG 實施方面位居亞洲前列，但與其他亞洲發達經濟體相比，在環境和社會決定因素方面的表現一直欠佳。新加坡上市公司的所有權結構可以解釋這種事態的轉變。這些公司主要是政府關聯和家族企業。出於這個原因，機構投資者的影響可能不像許多西方經濟體那樣突出。在環境和社會類別中相對較低的分數可能會影響新加坡公司的整體形象。
幸運的是，該國政府意識到了這一點，並開始推出旨在提高公司在這些分類中的業績的舉措。企業可持續發展計劃於 2021 年 10 月宣布。該項目的預計預算為 1.8 億美元，將在未來四年內分配給 6,000 家公司。作為該計劃的一部分，公司將獲得培訓研討會、項目支持和額外融資。當然，重點是環境和社會因素，因為該項目將支持採用綠色標準並開發創新可持續產品和解決方案的公司。此外，私營公司將能夠與各種行業協會和商會合作。這些因行業而異，包括例如新加坡家具工業委員會和新加坡承包商協會。完全接受綠色價值觀的公司將獲得超越競爭對手的競爭優勢、改善的聲譽、更高的銷售額、盈利能力等。此外，預計可持續方法將創造新的就業機會，使所有新加坡人受益。
總而言之，新加坡在接受 ESG 價值觀方面處於有利地位。 該國擁有強大的公司治理歷史，並且在政府的足夠激勵下，其在社會和環境類別中的得分可以迅速提高。 最重要的是，該國擁有促進可再生能源增長、減少碳排放以及改善勞工標準和人力資本等領域所需的資源。
Certain countries may score differently among specific ESG criteria. That was certainly the case in Singapore. The country with strong corporate governance rated relatively poorly in other ESG spheres. The government reacted in time, so those statistics did not significantly affect the companies listed in the country. By implementing the Enterprise Sustainability Programme, the government hopes to achieve similarly outstanding scores in all ESG benchmarks and at the same time become an example for other Asian developed economies.
Development of ESG Values in Singapore
Singapore is another country on our list whose government decided to embrace the environmental, social, governance (ESG) values and encourage local companies to put more effort into complying with the motion familiar to most developed countries. Enterprises functioning in Singapore are pushed to “go green” as well as promote agendas such as social justice and long-term economic prosperity. Compared to the case study of the United States (US), Singapore is a much smaller country. Moreover, its government is a lot more centralized. For those reasons, it is safe to assume that the role of the Singaporean government will be even more crucial when implementing ESG principles.
Singapore has been well known for its good quality corporate governance. However, the environmental and social factors are the areas where its companies have been struggling. Even though the country ranked among the top Asian countries when looking at the ESG implementation, the performance in environmental and social determinants has been lacking compared with other developed Asian economies. Such turn of events could be explained by the ownership structure among Singapore-listed companies. Those companies are mainly government-linked and family-owned. For that reason, the impact of institutional investors might not be as prominent as in a lot of Western economies. Relatively low scores in the environment and social categories could impact the overall image of Singapore companies.
The Enterprise Sustainability Programme
Fortunately, the country’s government realized that and began introducing initiatives meant to increase companies’ results in those classifications. The Enterprise Sustainability Programme was announced in October 2021. The projected budget for this project is $180 million, which will be distributed among 6,000 companies in the next four years. As part of the initiative, companies will be provided with training workshops, project support, and additional financing. The focus is, of course, on the environmental and societal components, as the project will support companies that adopt green standards and develop innovative sustainable products and solutions. Moreover, private companies will be able to cooperate with various trade associations and chambers. Those vary depending on the industry and include, for example, the Singapore Furniture Industries Council and the Singapore Contractors Association. Companies that fully embrace the green values will be rewarded with a competitive edge over their rivals, improved reputation, higher sales, profitability, and more. In addition, the sustainable approach is predicted to create new job opportunities that will benefit all Singaporeans.
It is essential to show that embracing sustainability in the corporate world provides win-win conditions for all participants. Manufacturers can work more efficiently and create less pollution. Customers who care about the environment have more options to pick from, and investors can allocate their funds to companies that decide to go green. The government providing such a brilliant initiative increases the competitiveness of Singaporean companies worldwide, which as a result, brings more foreign investment to the country.
To sum up, Singapore is in a great position when it comes to embracing the ESG values. The country has a long history of strong corporate governance, and with enough incentives from the government, its scores in the social and environmental categories can improve quickly. Most importantly, the nation has the resources needed to foster the growth of renewable energy, reduce carbon emissions, and improve in areas like labor standards and human capital.
Grover, M., Kerrigan, S., & Agarwala, S. (2019). Embracing ESG in the Financial Services Industry. Embracing ESG in the Singapore Financial Services Industry; Deloitte & Touche LLP. https://www2.deloitte.com/la/en/pages/risk/articles/sustainable-finance.html
Singapore Exchange Limited. (2021). Why ESG? ESG Indices; Singapore Exchange Limited. https://www.sgx.com/esg/indices
Tan, S.-A. (2021, January 10). New $180 million ESG scheme to help 6,000 Singapore companies go green. The Straits Times; SPH Media Limited, Co.
Uhrynuk, M., & Burdulia, A. W. (2021, December 15). Singapore Regulator Prioritizes TCFD, Diversity and ESG Metrics in New Disclosure Rules and Guidance. Eye on ESG; Mayer Brown. https://www.eyeonesg.com/2021/12/singapore-regulator-prioritizes-tcfd-diversity-and-esg-metrics-in-new-disclosure-rules-and-guidance/
About the Author
Patryk Chojecki is a researcher and writer at Taiwan Architecture and Building Center. He is currently a graduate student at National Chengchi University in Taipei. He is passionate about all topics related to international politics, environment, and international political economy.
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