Singapore and Thailand lead Asian markets in making ESG a top business priority – ETCIO SEA

Singapore Google Cloud has revealed the Asia Pacific (APAC) results of its Global Sustainability Survey, which highlights that despite economic headwinds, Singapore and Thailand are among the top three markets where business executives rank environmental efforts , social and governance (ESG) as the number one organizational priority, with the other market being Germany.

Globally, findings show that ESG efforts have moved from being the number one organizational priority in 2022 to number three in 2023. ESG as the fifth organizational priority.

Sustainability is a critical business issue, affecting everything from climate change and clean air to regulatory compliance and brand integrity. The second annual CXO Sustainability Survey, commissioned by Google Cloud and conducted by The Harris Poll, surveyed 1,476 senior executives in 16 markets, including four Asian markets: Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. It highlights the steps executives need to take to avoid new sustainability dangers: stalled progress and non-execution.

Financial performance and the fulfillment of ESG responsibilities are not a zero-sum game

The majority of respondents across the four Asian markets acknowledge that customers are more likely to engage and do business with sustainable brands (JP: 67%; SG: 97%; TH: 85%; TW: 89%) and believe that delaying or downsizing back on sustainability goals damages company value (JP: 52%; SG: 87%; TH: 84%; TW: 88%). However, these respondents also said that their corporate leadership is not fully aligned on sustainability-related decisions (JP: 63%; SG: 85%; TH: 59%; TW: 77%). Uncertain economic conditions therefore mean that they (JP: 60%; SG: 85%; TH: 76%; TW: 75%) are challenged to achieve progress on their companies’ sustainability goals while operating on smaller budgets than before.

APAC markets are showing varying levels of maturity and readiness towards operationalizing sustainability-related initiatives, but have seen a consistent trend: Executives cited lack of leadership alignment in the current macroeconomic environment as a reason for a regression in their organizations’ sustainability efforts, as well as the resulting pressure to prioritize revenue generation and customer relationship optimization, said Karan Bajwa, vice president, Asia Pacific, Google Cloud. Intelligent, data-driven tools like Active Assist, which businesses can use to simultaneously optimize IT costs, improve security and reduce their carbon footprint, are already built into Google Cloud to help business executives demonstrate that financial performance and fulfilling ESG responsibilities are not a zero-sum game. These tools can help quantify the tangible impact and return on investment (ROI) of integrating sustainability into a company’s operations and business model.

Overcome accidental greenwashing with accurate data and measurements

Corporate greenwashing and green hypocrisy are pervasive concerns among executives in Singapore (69%), Taiwan (60%) and Thailand (69%), while fewer in Japan (43%) the lowest percentage of all markets surveyed . Most of these executives (JP: 61%; SG: 92%; TH: 83%; TW: 87%) believe that greenwashing is accidental (that is, when companies are unable to effectively measure results or progress tend to overestimate their sustainability efforts), emphasizing the need for data-driven systems that provide actionable information to help them understand where and how to implement sustainability initiatives that generate the greatest impact and accurately measure progress.

Reassuringly, the majority of executives in Singapore (55%) and Thailand (63%) already have a measurement program in place for their sustainability efforts, compared with 37% of global respondents, 37% of Taiwan and 16% of respondents from Japan. Executives in Singapore (55%) and Thailand (67%) also believe that having access to advanced metrics would go a long way towards furthering their organizations’ sustainability efforts, compared to 47% of global respondents, 36% of respondents from Taiwan and 15% of respondents from Japan.

Promote change through an agile approach and the development of internal capabilities

In addition to accurate measurement, achieving an organization’s sustainability goals requires a review of existing structures and capability programs. Aside from the necessary alignment within C-suites who tend to make sustainability-related decisions on behalf of their companies, executives in the four Asian markets cited an agile approach and internal capability development as critical to success . They believe it would be more effective if their companies took a cross-functional approach, instead of having a dedicated sustainability team (JP: 69%; SG: 93%; TH: 96%; TW: 81%). The majority are looking to access the right talent to advance their companies’ sustainability efforts (JP: 60%; SG: 56%; TH: 45%; TW: 64%).

Companies can mobilize existing talent to design and operate technology- AND sustainability-related initiatives, leveraging the lateral and transferable skills these employees already possess in areas such as cloud architecture, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). Google Cloud has supported enterprises’ internal digital skills efforts through programs such as Google Cloud Skills Boost. Additionally, we offer a hands-on lab that helps engineering teams familiarize themselves with the sustainability features built into the Google Cloud tools they already use, and a tailored training program that equips students with the critical skills to identify and address the sustainability challenges they face. by their employers, Bajwa added.

#Singapore #Thailand #lead #Asian #markets #making #ESG #top #business #priority #ETCIO #SEA

Leave a Comment