Singapore recently launched two ESG initiatives to accelerate the growth of a “vibrant and robust” ESG ecosystem in the city state. The ESG Impact Hub (Hub) and ESGenome were launched on 5 October 2022 and 12 September 2022, respectively.
ESG Impact Hub
Located in Singapore’s central business district, the Hub seeks to encourage co-location and collaboration between ESG FinTech start-ups and other stakeholders including solution providers and financial institutions.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) launched the Hub with the following objectives:
- facilitating the development and growth of ESG FinTechs to power innovation and address the ESG needs of companies and financial institutions, in particular in the area of ESG data solutions;
- anchoring ESG enablers such as investors, financial institutions and knowledge partners to organise training and capacity building workshops, thought leadership events and other accelerator programmes at the Hub; and
- supporting ESG stakeholders through engagement with the Hub community to deploy MAS’s programmes and solutions to drive transition with a particular emphasis on the focus sectors identified by the Green Finance Industry Taskforce (GFIT) (see our previous blog posts on GFIT’s first and second consultation papers on Singapore’s proposed green taxonomy for financial institutions here and here).
Fifteen ESG FinTechs and other organisations were participating in the Hub at the time of launch. These included companies such as Climate Impact X, Terrascope, MUFG Bank and KPMG.
A few weeks before the launch of the Hub, MAS and the Singapore Exchange (SGX) jointly launched ESGenome, a digital ESG disclosure platform as part of Project Greenprint. Project Greenprint is a set of technology-driven initiatives introduced by MAS in November 2021, to improve the efficiency and reliability of data flows to support green finance.
ESGenome facilitates sustainability reporting by SGX-listed companies and enhance investor access to ESG performance data through structured reporting of ESG data in a comparable format. The disclosure platform is operated by World Wide Generation, a UK-based sustainability Fintech firm, as a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution. ESGenome provides access to SGX’s 27 core ESG metrics that are mapped to global standards and frameworks. ESGenome will also offer a wide range of other metrics mapped across international ESG reporting global standards including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Companies may also elect to create additional metrics customised for a particular entity or industry. All ESGenome input can be automatically mapped across a selected standard or framework to address various investors’ requirements.
Additionally, ESGenome enables users to track ESG performance over time and generate automated sustainability reports from the inputs.
A Leading Sustainable Finance Hub
Singapore has made significant progress in bringing together ESG stakeholders and technology platforms to support its vision to be a leading green and sustainable finance centre in Asia and internationally.
The Hub and ESGenome follow the launch of an earlier Project Greenprint initiative, ESGpedia, in May 2022. ESGpedia is a blockchain-based ESG Registry developed by Hashstacs in partnership with the MAS. The registry contains ESG certifications and verified data from various industry sectors, enabling users to access this ESG data from a single library.
The Hub, ESGenome and ESGpedia are key components of Singapore’s evolving ESG ecosystem. Together, they will help enable the production and sharing of better data, a continuing critical challenge for ESG stakeholders, and facilitate progress in an organisation’s ESG journey and net zero ambition.