Deloitte Private Southeast Asia leader: Singapore businesses expected to increase ESG adoption amidst attractive economic incentives

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Richard Roy said Singaporean companies need to rethink their business strategies to fully adopt environmental, social and governance (ESG) postures with long-term ESG performance in mind. rice field.

Richard Loi is the Southeast Asia leader for Deloitte Private, dedicated to serving the needs of private clients in the region. He has over 30 years of experience in public accounting and has worked for public and private clients in a variety of industries.

As an audit partner, he has extensive experience in complex global engagements. In addition to providing audit and advisory services, he advised companies on initial public offerings on the Singapore Stock Exchange and led special investigations and system audits.

In addition, Richard leads the Family Enterprise Consulting practice in Singapore helping business families thrive across generations, both from a business and family perspective.

He works closely with Southeast Asian families to articulate their vision and values, facilitate family meetings, and bring about alignment through the creation of family structures among family members for the future. We also advise on family governance structures and succession planning.

Richard highlighted supply chain instability and talent shortages among the challenges faced by Singapore-owned companies in the previous year. However, he noted that these issues are likely to be dynamic and not temporary. He advised businesses to remain resilient amid these challenges.

In an interview with Singapore Business Review, Richard discusses how companies are recovering from the economic challenges of the past few years, the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) programs and compliance, and fostering a thriving workforce. I’m here.

In your role as Deloitte Private Leader for Southeast Asia, what do you think were the main issues that plagued Singapore-owned companies in the previous year? How have they adapted to these challenges?

In 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact the world with the emergence of new subspecies, repeated waves of infections, and many countries either delayed easing measures or tightened them further. This has affected the Singaporean company in his two main areas: his chain of supply and his workforce.

Businesses continued to face supply chain instability. Growth slowed in key sub-indices of new orders, new exports, factory output, inventories and employment. There were many risks, especially in terms of timeliness and reliability, coupled with the disruption caused by the strict lockdown in China, the world’s largest exporter.

In this case, it is difficult to predict a “black swan” event like the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is essential to act proactively rather than simply react. To this end, companies in Singapore should significantly mitigate supply chain volatility through preventative measures such as establishing flexible networks, securing multiple suppliers, considering local suppliers, and adopting technology that helps foresight. I have been well relieved.

Ultimately, it’s about being resilient. The problem is dynamic and probably temporary. Supply chain instability will eventually return.

The talent shortage brought on by the pandemic has not only affected Singapore. It is, and has always been, a global problem. In fact, companies in Singapore still struggle to recruit talent, partly due to the global talent shortage.

A way to mitigate this challenge is for businesses to embrace the digitally enabled future of work in the form of hybrid work models that offer employees the flexibility to work anywhere, anytime. It is also important to promote employee benefits, create work experiences that enable collaboration and co-creation, and foster strong relationships within the organization through mentorship programs, buddy systems, and more. The key is meeting the needs of the current and future workforce.

In the long term, it is imperative to reimagine talent in ways that optimize human potential for thinking, conceiving, collaborating, and being productive while furthering the purpose of the work people do. Having a clear, compelling and differentiated talent strategy goes a long way in attracting and retaining the right talent for a company’s sustainable future.

Most countries and organizations are now working towards a more sustainable future and implementing their ESG programs. How do you think this evolving situation will affect Singapore-owned companies?

In Singapore, sustainable development is on the government agenda under the Singapore Green Plan 2030.

There are other developments, programs and initiatives that support this. For example, the National University of Singapore’s new Sustainable and Green Finance Institute. investment decision; establishment of Climate Governance Singapore, a local chapter of the Climate Governance Initiative, aimed at mobilizing boards around the world to accelerate the transition to net zero; Recent Monetary Authority of Singapore guidelines aimed at mitigating greenwashing risks and helping retail investors better understand their ESG funds in which they invest.

Globally and across jurisdictions, regulators are finalizing new rules requiring companies to disclose information about their ESG footprint in their annual reports and mainstream regulatory filings. In Singapore, the Singapore Exchange has announced that he will launch his ESGenome disclosure portal in July 2022. This portal can also be used by companies to improve his ESG reports to meet their requirements. Unlike other regulatory changes, the introduction of ESG data into financial reporting will be a permanent part of how business is conducted, as these signals from regulators respond to deeper truths about what matters to the world today. can have a significant impact.

These initiatives will encourage governments and businesses to consider ESG factors, understand that sustainability is a global concern, and adopt a global mindset when it comes to sustainability for Singapore businesses and the country at large. I urge you to do so. This mindset enables Singapore businesses to interact and build relationships with like-minded local and international companies and ecosystem stakeholders.

What steps can these business owners take to ensure ESG compliance and create a competitive advantage in the marketplace?

Rather than simply complying with ESG regulations, Singapore companies need to rethink their business strategies to fully adopt an ESG posture with long-term ESG performance in mind. ESG integration is an opportunity for companies to improve, protect and create business value.

From an investor perspective, as organizations begin to cultivate new value-creating opportunities to address ESG issues, investors should likewise identify companies addressing these issues and seizing opportunities. I’m looking for useful data for Board members are required to explain how decisions reflect the interests of stakeholders, including the environment and the long-term sustainability of the organization. Setting a commitment that is rooted in business strategy and loyal to that purpose shows stakeholders that the organization’s leader has integrated her ESG into the way she thinks about the business. This authenticity builds trust, and trust is the foundation of business value.

From a consumer perspective, customers and end users are becoming more ESG conscious. The need to meet customer demands drives the company to implement his ESG initiatives to remain competitive in the market.

From a risk perspective, boards and management teams that are able to get ahead of ESG disclosure regulations should integrate ESG meaningfully into their strategic plans and be poised to manage risks while delivering shareholder value and organizational recovery. You can build a business that empowers you. Today’s world changes rapidly.

It’s no secret that digitization is becoming an integral part of many industries’ operations. How do you think Singapore-owned businesses can leverage the latest technology to ensure operational efficiency and keep up with the times?

Technology can play a key role in galvanizing recovery from COVID-19 and ensuring scalability. Given the complexity of the pandemic, there is reason to believe that the COVID-19 recovery phase will require unprecedented levels of orchestration, communication and changes to existing structures. This period can be difficult and protracted, all brought about by technology. You can make it more seamless.

The pandemic has also brought changes to customer demands and expectations. Technology is driving the “next” by reimagining the customer experience with a focus on human-centered design, bridging the physical and digital worlds to deliver new value, and establishing trust as a key business value. By shaping the ‘normal’, it helps companies prosper in the long run.

Another way to reach consumers is through Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) technology. This increases customer attraction and retention. For example, Visa expands its offerings to give merchants access to global markets, stimulating local and global economies. In addition, BNPL has provided businesses with access to digitization, resulting in simplified payment options. Due to Singapore’s wealth of funds, investment opportunities in fintech and cashless payment methods are easily accessible. Additionally, Singapore has set up a group under the Singapore Fintech Association to develop a code of conduct for BNPL providers. This allows for more access and comfort for both users and vendors.

In addition, the acceleration of digitization has culminated in the use of technology to embrace future jobs such as hybrid work, reskilling and upskilling, and along with other global supply chain issues, talent and skills shortages. can handle the challenges that arise from However, with the rapid adoption of digitization, it is important that companies ensure their cyber security as rigorously as they implement physical security.

Where the sustainability agenda is concerned, blockchain can promote ESG through trust and transparency in sustainable business practices, which are essential ingredients for maintaining competitive advantage.

Where do you see Singapore-owned and growing businesses in the near future? Are there any key trends to watch in the coming years?

The sustainability/ESG agenda will continue to be one of the dominant trends as Singapore strives to be at the forefront of Asia in this area. Singaporean companies are expected to increase their adoption of her ESG practices as the Singapore government offers attractive economic incentives.

Singapore’s aging population presents business opportunities in areas such as healthcare, technology and insurance. Companies also need to tap into an increasingly mature workforce, leveraging experience and competencies that can add value to their business.

Additionally, it is important for companies to focus on training and mentorship. A more skilled workforce is always beneficial to stay competitive. These efforts can also empower employees. This can improve job satisfaction, reduce employee turnover, and impact business momentum.

What are the main considerations when choosing this year’s Made in Singapore Award and Design in Singapore Award winners?

Innovation and digital transformation are the keys to survival and success in today’s ever-changing business environment. Apart from these, paying attention to ESG and sustainability is an increasingly important aspect and will greatly help businesses to thrive and grow towards a sustainable future, so why should companies consider them in their business strategy? It is essential to work on

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