The Future of the Sustainability Agenda – A GlobeScan Salon Event

The Future of the Sustainability Agenda

GlobeScan Singapore’s inaugural Salon Event hosted at the Singapore Sustainability Academy brought together leading experts, thought leaders, and professionals in the field of sustainability to explore the vital role that sustainable business practice will play in shaping our future.

Chris Coulter, GlobeScan CEO, kicked off the event with a presentation on the latest findings from proprietary GlobeScan research, including the 2023 Sustainability Leaders Survey, by GlobeScan and The SustainAbility Institute by ERM, and APAC-specific findings from GlobeScan’s Healthy and Sustainable Living Survey. He highlighted the most urgent sustainability challenges, how the public in Asia is affected, what business actions were viewed as the most significant breakthroughs, and which NGOs and corporates were most recognized by sustainability experts both globally and in the Asia Pacific region.

The presentation was then followed by a panel discussion that delved into the dynamic world of sustainability and provided diverse perspectives from their own industries.

Growing a Culture of Sustainability

Amita Chaudhury, Group Head of Sustainability at AIA, discussed the significance of growing a culture of sustainability over the long term, which includes developing champions across the business who can help increase engagement and alignment so that everyone is moving in the same direction.

Importance of Collaboration

Kirsten van Zandwijk, Sustainability & Partnerships Director ASEAN & South Pacific at The Coca-Cola Company, highlighted the importance of collaboration in driving the sustainable agenda at The Coca-Cola Company, from cross-departmental synergies to external NGO partnerships. Notably, Kirsten discussed supporting suppliers on their sustainability journeys, as companies as influential as Coca-Cola need more than the license to operate; they need the license to lead.

Innovation, Integration, Investment, and Impact

Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer at City Developments Limited, emphasized the 4Is in sustainability: Innovation, Integration, Investment, and Impact. While ESG reporting and disclosures have become a pivotal lever of sustainable growth, it is necessary to balance this with authentic impact on social and environmental issues.

The event closed with a message from the panel around the need to move beyond a compliance mindset of reporting and disclosure so that more time, energy, and capital can be spent on innovation and finding solutions to the environmental and social challenges that need to be addressed. Incorporating sustainability into core business functions and day-to-day operations is key to enabling much-needed systemic change.