GIC increasing focus on sustainable investments

Electric vehicle charging spaces at the Singapore Zoo. GIC launched its Sustainable Investment Fund last July. ST PHOTO: YONG LI XUAN
GIC's Sustainable Investment Fund will invest in companies that are leaders in sustainability. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - GIC has, in recent months, been investing in technologies geared towards reducing food waste and transitioning towards electric vehicles.

The sovereign wealth fund launched its Sustainable Investment Fund last July, as it seeks to identify sustainability-related opportunities amid shifts towards a lower-carbon economy.

It noted in its annual report out today that the fund will invest in companies that are leaders in sustainability, as well as those with strong potential to transition towards more environmentally friendly business practices.

Group chief investment officer Jeffrey Jaensubhakij told a briefing yesterday that measures taken to battle climate change may not be adequate, and pressures on companies to become more energy-efficient will only increase.

He added that GIC helps its portfolio firms as they move to lower-carbon operations and more sustainable ways of doing business, noting that a lot of companies will need to change their manufacturing processes or energy sources, which require capital expenditure.

For example, one of its portfolio companies, American utility firm Duke Energy, will use proceeds from GIC's investment to accelerate its clean energy transition. GIC will also work with the firm to explore opportunities in decarbonisation efforts.

GIC linked up with 12 other members of the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change last month to participate in the Asian utilities engagement programme.

The programme aims to work with utilities in the region to cut their carbon footprint and help them reduce emissions, while also strengthening disclosure and governance standards.

GIC measures the carbon footprint of its own operations as well as its portfolio firms. It achieved its target of being carbon-neutral in its global operations by the financial year ending March 31.

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