The Covid-19 pandemic changed plenty in 2020 and, in the Asia-Pacific region, reinforced the trend of companies and governments to increase their focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. And the related health crisis has become a stress test of the resilience of their ESG preparedness. As individuals and institutions reflect on the scale and the magnitude of the disruption, it is accelerating inevitable and much-needed changes. The adoption of ESG is no longer questioned. Discussion now focuses on ESG integration and materiality, and staying ahead of the curve, especially on climate and social change, given the region’s share of greenhouse gas emissions and level of poverty.
To build the new world that defines the Asia-Pacific region and complete a true picture of sustainability, ESG factors must be integrated into a framework that reflects a genuine understanding of the risks companies face while disclosing those risks in a manner that is honest and quantified. In addition, as ESG gains traction there is going to be a much more involved examination around measurements, setting targets, and achieving them. (As of May 2020, there were US$7.7 trillion of assets under management in Asia-Pacific that supported ESG.)
Herein lies the region’s opportunity of a lifetime. As regulatory engagement on ESG picks up, Covid-19 becomes the point of inflection to rebrand what the Asia-Pacific should be all about in the next decades. As the public and private sectors pivot toward sustainability, ESG should become the catalyst for viable commercial activity over the medium to long term, driving the innovation of tomorrow, producing growth that is equitable, bringing opportunities to a wider array of people, transforming the brand of Asia-Pacific companies to become synonymous with sustainability, and making them ESG champions in the post-Covid-19 global marketplace.
The Asset Events+ is pleased to host a series of webinars as part of the recognition for The Asset Triple A Best ESG Awards. The Asset 3rd ESG Forum on Emerging, Energized, ESG in the Asia Pacific brings together ESG thought leaders to share their insights on the progress of ESG integration in the Asia-Pacific. With Covid-19 still very much a concern across the globe, this is adding urgency to the need for the businesses of tomorrow to accelerate their push towards sustainability.