16

September 2021

Unlocking capital for sustainability 2021: Scaling sustainable finance for a green recovery

Hybrid | The St. Regis, Singapore

0930hrs to 1800hrs (SGT / GMT +8)

Organisers

Organised by

In Partnership With

In Support of UN SDGs

In Support of

Strategic Partners

Supporting Partners

Outreach Partners

Rebuilding our economies in a post-Covid-19 era has never been more urgent.​

All around the world, countries are still facing social and economic fallout from the global pandemic. The International Monetary Fund estimates that global GDP shrank an unprecedented 3.3 per cent in 2020 — the world’s worst recession since the Great Depression.​

Yet, vaccination rollouts and new responses are providing glimmers of hope. The IMF is now predicting a stronger recovery with growth projected to be 6 per cent in 2021. ​

Daunting challenges remain, however. Recoveries are diverging across and within countries — particularly in the Asia Pacific region — creating large gaps in living standards, vaccination programmes and government support. ​

Against this backdrop, the role of finance in this recovery has come sharply into focus, with a growing chorus of stakeholders demanding sustainable recovery investments. In 2020, ESG investments more than doubled — with investors pouring in a record US$51 billion.​

While a positive sign, the lack of global standards on ESG funds and sustainable finance instruments has attracted widespread criticism of greenwashing. How can the financial sector adequately respond to these global concerns? What is the role of finance in the green recovery in Asia Pacific, and how can public and private sectors collaborate to scale credible ESG investments?​

This September 16, we will convene leading minds from government, financial institutions and civic society around the world for this important conversation.

Watch the forum's proceedings here!

Partner events for Unlocking capital for sustainability 2021:

  1. The Board perspective: ESG and climate-related risks and opportunities on 2 September 2021
  2. The role of finance in restoring our natural ecosystems on 9 September 2021
  3. Sustainable Finance Roundtable with Fair Finance Asia on 15 September 2021

Guest of Honour

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Speakers

Iwona Piórko

European Union Ambassador to Singapore

Neil Buhne

Regional Director, Asia-Pacific for the United Nations Development Coordination Office

Jessica Cheam

Founder and Managing Director, Eco-Business

Dave Chen

CEO and Chairman, Equilibrium

Herry Cho

Managing Director, Head of Sustainability and Sustainable Finance, SGX

Perpetua George

General Manager for Group Sustainability, Wilmar International

Robin Hicks

Deputy Editor, Eco-Business

Deborah Ho

Managing Director, Head of Southeast Asia, BlackRock

Georg Kell

Founding and Former Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact; Chairman, Arabesque

Nikki Kemp

Director, Sustainable Development Investment Partnership (SDIP) ASEAN Hub Director, World Economic Forum

Dr Daniel Klier

President, Arabesque

Lim Hwee Hua

Co-Chairman, Tembusu Partners, former Second Minister of Finance, Singapore

Eric Lim

Chief Sustainability Officer, UOB

Liu Chunyen

Chief Investment Officer, AIA

Vincent Magnenat

Limited Partner & Chief Executive Officer, Asia Lombard Odier Group

Gerry Mattios

Partner, Bain & Company, Singapore

Benjamin McCarron

Founder and Managing Director, Asia Research and Engagement

Conor McNamara

Managing Director, ASEAN, AWS

Mike Ng

Managing Director, Head of Structured Finance and Sustainable Finance at OCBC Bank

Gillian Parker

Assistant Editor, Eco-Business

Elena Philipova

Elena Philipova, Director of Sustainable Finance, Refinitiv

Assaad Razzouk

CEO, Gurīn Energy

Meaghan See

Director of Partnerships, Head of Events and Engagement, Eco-Business

Steven Stone

Chief of UN Environment Programme Geneva Based Resources and Markets Branch

Tan Guo Jian

ESG Product Manager, APAC, AxiomSL

Zhang Weijie

Director of Energy & Climate Policy at the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment

Hosts and moderators

Gillian Parker

Assistant Editor, Eco-Business

Benjamin McCarron

Founder and Managing Director, Asia Research and Engagement

Agenda

9:30 am

Registration

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10:00 am

Welcome Remarks

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Jessica Cheam

Founder and Managing Director, Eco-Business

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10:15 am

Welcome Keynote

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Georg Kell

Founding and Former Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact; Chairman, Arabesque

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10:30 am

Opening keynote

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Neil Buhne

Regional Director, Asia-Pacific for the United Nations Development Coordination Office

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10:45 am

Opening Plenary: Scaling sustainable finance for a green recovery

The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored the urgency of the climate crisis and exposed deep-rooted vulnerabilities in public health systems, social safety nets and supply chains — exacerbating inequality, particularly in poorer nations. As with climate change, governments have led the charge on pandemic responses and stimulus measures.  

However, rebuilding the economy will also require private sector capital. Sustainable finance has emerged as a key instrument through which investors can support a recovery that will address the effects of the pandemic while transitioning to a low carbon economy that is aligned with the growing number of net zero pledges by countries under the Paris Agreement. What is needed to ensure that capital is adequately allocated to a sustainable recovery? What are the most effective mechanisms, and where are the green finance opportunities in Asia?

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Mike Ng

Managing Director, Head of Structured Finance and Sustainable Finance at OCBC Bank

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Deborah Ho

Managing Director, Head of Southeast Asia, BlackRock

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Eric Lim

Chief Sustainability Officer, UOB

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Herry Cho

Managing Director, Head of Sustainability and Sustainable Finance, SGX

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Jessica Cheam

Founder and Managing Director, Eco-Business

11:45 am

Special keynote and dialogue

The role of digital transformation and fintech in driving Asia’s recovery

In partnership with AWS

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Conor McNamara

Managing Director, ASEAN, AWS

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Tan Guo Jian

ESG Product Manager, APAC, AxiomSL

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Robin Hicks

Deputy Editor, Eco-Business

12:45 pm

Networking Lunch

(Bento boxes for in-person guests)

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2:00 pm

Plenary #2 - ESG risks and opportunities: Strategy and implementation

ESG-related issues are being increasingly recognised by regulators, business leaders and investors as being material to a company’s operations and bottom line. Amid rising stakeholder pressure for sustainability performance, business leaders are grappling with how to integrate ESG principles into business strategy to mitigate risks as well as uncover new opportunities.  

But what are the key ingredients in developing and implementing a strategic ESG roadmap and framework? In this session, we discuss how companies are integrating ESG metrics into their core business by examining the cornerstones to a solid strategy: corporate governance, risk management, target-setting, effective disclosure and assurance standards. How can companies align their objectives with ESG values to tap opportunities in sustainability-linked indices and capital? Our expert panel will unpack the challenges around devising an ESG strategy for improved business performance.

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Assaad Razzouk

CEO, Gurīn Energy

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Elena Philipova

Elena Philipova, Director of Sustainable Finance, Refinitiv

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Perpetua George

General Manager for Group Sustainability, Wilmar International

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Gerry Mattios

Partner, Bain & Company, Singapore

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Gillian Parker

Assistant Editor, Eco-Business

3:00 pm

Plenary #3 - The future of ESG investing

Global ESG assets are on track to exceed US$53 trillion by 2025 according to Bloomberg Intelligence, representing more than a third of the US$140 trillion in projected total assets under management. As major economies such as the US, EU and China deploy their green recovery plans post Covid-19, ESG investments have emerged as a powerful vehicle that can support a sustainable economy, particularly with a new wave of younger investors inheriting a massive amount of wealth and who are more attuned to impact investing.

In the aftermath of the global pandemic, there is greater urgency to identify and finance solutions, from access to healthcare, education and affordable housing to sustainable food supply chains. From institutional investors to individuals, the opportunity to make a positive impact with capital has never been more attractive, but how will returns be balanced with impact? As awareness among investors on ESG products grow, how are finance institutions responding to market changes?

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Dr Daniel Klier

President, Arabesque

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Liu Chunyen

Chief Investment Officer, AIA

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Nikki Kemp

Director, Sustainable Development Investment Partnership (SDIP) ASEAN Hub Director, World Economic Forum

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Vincent Magnenat

Limited Partner & Chief Executive Officer, Asia Lombard Odier Group

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Meaghan See

Director of Partnerships, Head of Events and Engagement, Eco-Business

4:00 pm

Networking Coffee Break

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4:30 pm

Closing Plenary - The role of government and public-private partnerships in sustainable finance

Limited fiscal flexibility and high sovereign debt burdens can pose obstacles for governments pursuing green recoveries in the aftermath of Covid-19. With pressure increasing on governments and companies to ‘build back better’, there is an urgent need to deploy sustainable finance as a key driver of stimulus measures and future investments.

How are ESG principles being integrated into public-private partnerships (PPPs), and what are some mechanisms for safeguarding against greenwashing? In this closing discussion, speakers will focus on how governments can influence the private sector to multiply any commitment it makes on sustainable finance, and to finance sustainable projects with outcomes aligned to the SDGs.

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Dave Chen

CEO and Chairman, Equilibrium

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Lim Hwee Hua

Co-Chairman, Tembusu Partners, former Second Minister of Finance, Singapore

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Steven Stone

Chief of UN Environment Programme Geneva Based Resources and Markets Branch

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Zhang Weijie

Director of Energy & Climate Policy at the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment

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Benjamin McCarron

Founder and Managing Director, Asia Research and Engagement

5:30 pm

Closing Remarks

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Iwona Piórko

European Union Ambassador to Singapore

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Register Now


Watch the forum's proceedings
here!



Watch the forum's proceedings
here!


Register


Watch the forum's proceedings
here!


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