The sustainability message is getting through to local companies, going by yesterday's awards ceremony, but a lot more needs to be done.
Singapore Institute of Directors (SID) chairman Willie Cheng noted ahead of the ceremony that in 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted 17 sustainable development goals for 2030.
"These goals are highly ambitious and far-reaching. The private sector has to play an active part for them to be achieved."
This is also why SID has produced a "definitive resource guide on sustainability for directors", in collaboration with KPMG and the Singapore Exchange (SGX).
The campaign to push firms more in this direction led to the inaugural Singapore Sustainability Reporting Awards, which were conferred yesterday at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Property giant City Developments (CDL), healthcare firm Singapore O&G and United Overseas Bank (UOB) were recognised for their efforts in this area.
The awards honour listed firms that have started issuing sustainability reports ahead of an SGX rule that makes the practice mandatory after Dec 31.
Singapore O&G - a group of specialist medical practitioners focusing on women's and children's health and wellness - took home the award for the best inaugural sustainability report among firms on the Catalist board.
It is one of the few Catalist companies to publish a sustainability report, said SID, which organised the awards with support from the SGX and EY Singapore. SID added that the firm "has taken the initial steps to weave sustainability concerns into its daily operations".
UOB won the best inaugural sustainability report for a mainboard-listed firm. SID said the award "exemplifies UOB's sophistication in narrating the first steps in its sustainability journey".
CDL was honoured for producing the best sustainability report for established reporters - or firms that have long been producing reports on sustainability - among mainboard and Catalist firms. The firm was deemed "a forerunner in sustainability reporting since 2004".
CDL chief sustainability officer Esther An said in a statement: "In Singapore, businesses that do not adopt sustainable practices may face reputational or operational risks that will impact their licence to operate, and be exposed to higher operating costs, with the water price increase and impending carbon tax."