ASEAN Nations Fail in Corporate Social Responsibility

According to a report from the global conservation group, The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) South-East Asian financial institutions are falling far behind their focus on responsible lending and corporate social responsibility. In comparison to its counterparts in China, Brazil, Hong Kong, and South Africa, experts are urging that this gaping hole must be addressed as it could cause adverse long term effects on the environment.

Singapore has responded in launching a second ‘Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources’ last week. This was organized by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs which focuses on solutions to three areas of corporate social responsibility (environmental, social and governance issues) when measuring sustainability and ethical impact of corporate investments.

Study Reveals Poor CSG Results for South East Asia

The study evaluates the extent to which some of the prime movers in the Southeast Asian market tackle issues on sustainability as integrated in their lending and investment initiatives. Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are noted to be the top three contenders in this area.

According to WWF, the report on “Sustainable Finance in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia: A Review of Financiers’ ESG Practices, Disclosure Standards and Regulations” is a comprehensive compilation of data made public by the subject financial institutions.

Banks from Southeast Asian countries such as, Singapore DBS, CIMB of Malaysia, and Bank Negara Indonesia, are the main focus of this report. This also includes Indonesian investment firms Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Permodalan Nasional Berhad, and Temasek.

It is important to note the growing palpability of environmental and social issues across Asia which puts social stability and economic growth at risk.

But according to the report filed by co-author and WWF Asia’s Finance and Commodities Specialist, Jeanne Stampe, banks are yet to be seen actively participating in addressing these concerns.

Of the 18 banks analysed and evaluated, only 4 apply ESG methods in exercising their credit processes. Three of these banks are from Indonesia while one is from Malaysia. Accordingly, only one of these banks have included a forest sector policy — the Bank Negara Indonesia.

Advertisment - Learn more

Of all the banks mentioned, Singaporian bands found their way to the bottom of the pile. They were reported as the poorest in terms of generating statements and policies on ESG issues from its three local financial institutions — the DBS, UOB and OCBC.

This is comparison to slightly beter results from their Indonesian and Malaysian counterparts.

Public Pressure Grows for More Sustainable Future

Another disappointing conclusion was revealed in the investment sector with only 2 out of 12 investors disclosing their corporate social responsibility.

EPF and KWAP of Malaysia were the two investors who met CSG requirements, both clearly delineating the ESG expectations for their subsidiaries.

Singapore’s Temasek and Malaysia’s Khanzanah are considered the biggest institutional stakeholders and shareholders in local firms in their respective regions, with many of their investors owning a huge chunk of commodities and agriculturally oriented businesses. Such vast investment portfolios place huge responsibility on the institutions to adopt ESG principles.

The Author

Hi, my name is Georgia and I am an editor and content creator working at Australian Solar Quotes. I have a passion for sustainable and ethical living. I want to inform and educate others on sustainable practices like using renewable energy. I invite you to join the conversation by commenting below with your thoughts.

×

michael from Glencoe, New South Wales asked for 3 quotes for solar about 5 hours ago!

Kylie from Lammermoor, QLD asked for 3 quotes for solar about 21 hours ago!

John from Tanah Merah, QLD asked for 3 quotes for solar about 22 hours ago!

James from Lota, QLD asked for 3 quotes for solar about 22 hours ago!

Tony from Kensington Grove, QLD asked for 3 quotes for solar about 22 hours ago!

Michelle from Oak Valley, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar about 23 hours ago!

Tanya from Kingston, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 1 day ago!

Tracey from Mooroolbark, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 1 day ago!

Kris from Dimbulah, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 1 day ago!

Barbara from Bass, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 1 day ago!

GAyle from Point Cook, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 1 day ago!

Sue from Witta, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 1 day ago!

Cj from Toomulla, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 1 day ago!

Ilyas from Narre Warren South, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 1 day ago!

Lesley from Andergrove, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 1 day ago!

Sailesh from Werribee, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 1 day ago!

Tanya from Beaconsfield, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 1 day ago!

Anna from Seymour, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 1 day ago!

matti from Innisfail, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 2 days ago!

Timothy from Peregian Springs, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 2 days ago!