New initiative to help businesses go green via workshops, consultations with experts

(From left) Common Ground director and creative strategist Kuik Shiao-Yin, SGX senior vice-president Matthew Song, GIC's head of sustainability and head of total portfolio sustainable investing Rachel Teo, and DTC World regional general manager Cheng Yee Chin at a panel discussion during the launch of the initiative. PHOTO: GIC

SINGAPORE - Businesses will get help in going green, through steps such as workshops for employees and one-to-one consultations with experts, beginning with the adoption of energy-efficient solutions.

Participating companies seeking to reduce their carbon emissions will also be able to attend technology demonstrations under an initiative by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), in partnership with sovereign wealth fund GIC.

In a strong pitch for firms to go green, Ms Rachel Teo, head of sustainability and head of total portfolio sustainable investing at GIC, said companies that are poorly rated on sustainability ratings may lose out on gaining large corporate accounts as their clients.

Speaking at a panel discussion during the launch of the initiative on Tuesday, she added: "Employees also want to work for companies with purpose and values that align with theirs... Companies that are more thoughtful about aligning their purpose, values and culture to how they're contributing to making the world a better place can better attract and retain talent."

There has also been an increase in the number of investors conscious about environmental, social and governance issues, especially in Europe and among the younger generation. This means that companies with good sustainability practices are better positioned to attract capital from these sources, said Ms Teo.

The panel discussion was part of a training programme under the Map initiative aimed at getting companies to go green. More than 200 business leaders across various sectors attended the programme. Map stands for mindset change, analysis of potential, and pathway assignment.

This is the third run of Map since 2021 and is focused on sustainability. The first two runs focused on the wholesale and retail trade sector and logistics sector, and have helped a total of about 600 companies to date.

The third run of the Map initiative is expected to benefit over 500 participants from 300 companies.

Under the initiative, businesses can gain hands-on experience to implement sustainable solutions through a workshop, or work with SP Digital, a wholly owned subsidiary of utilities company SP Group, to find out how they can leverage digitalisation, analytics and in-house solutions to manage utilities and costs efficiently.”

Mr Tan Chee Wee, executive director of SBF's advocacy and policy division, said sustainability can also be a key factor for companies that will differentiate them from other companies, especially with escalating energy costs.

"They can look for means through sustainability that help them to streamline or alter their processes to cut energy costs," he added in an interview at Tuesday's launch event.

Interested participants can find out more about the Map initiative via the SBF website.

Correction note: SP Group would like to clarify that SP Digital is a wholly owned subsidiary of utilities company SP Group. The story has been updated for clarity.

Follow ST on LinkedIn and stay updated on the latest career news, insights and more.