Finance industry, NGOs, academics to help firms be more sustainable
NGOs, academics and financial institutions come together to help businesses
Financial institutions, non-governmental organisations and academics will work together under a new initiative to help businesses be more sustainable.
The Asia Sustainable Finance Initiative (ASFI), which was launched yesterday at the Parkroyal on Pickering hotel, aims to help shift the region's financial flows towards sustainable outcomes.
It will bring together the finance industry, academia and science-based organisations to help Singapore-based financial institutions operating in the region to deepen their expertise in sustainable finance.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is the secretariat and knowledge partner. Other knowledge partners include the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, United Nations Environment Programme - Finance Initiative and the National University of Singapore.
The Association of Banks in Singapore, Life Insurance Association, Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore and the Singapore Exchange Regulation are among the finance sector partners.
An ASFI spokesman said: "The financial sector is crucial in creating resilient and sustainable economic growth through its ability to influence companies to adopt best practices and to direct financial flows towards sustainable development.
"As a key global financial hub, Singapore is an important conduit for capital flows into the Asia region, and as such its financial institutions have significant potential to shape resilient regional economies."
Sustainable finance is also key to addressing the region's increasing vulnerability to climate change, the degradation of land and ocean ecosystems, labour and human rights, and water risk, she added.
Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance and Education, said at the launch: "Financial institutions play an important role in influencing how capital is allocated to economic activities with sustainable development outcomes.
This will facilitate decision-making... that delivers financial performance as well as positive impacts on society."
She added that institutions here have significant potential to catalyse sustainable finance in the region.
"While we are still at the early stages... we have seen some success in encouraging the use of debt capital market financing towards sustainable projects."