More Singapore Firms to Fall in Line On Sustainability Reporting

By Tengku Noor Shamsiah

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Singapore, Nam News Network – More Singapore companies are expected to fall in line on sustainability reporting once the Singapore Exchange (SGX) introduces it on "comply or explain" basis in 2017.

 Currently, only 71 per cent of its companies practised sustainability reporting, lagging behind its regional counterparts in terms of mandatory enforcement, said a study.

The study, entitled "Sustainability Reporting in Asean", also revealed that mandatory sustainability reporting enforcement levels in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand had proven to be effective as 100 per cent of the companies there were communicating sustainability.

The study was conducted by the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School’s Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations (CGIO)and Asean CSR Network (ACN).

The findings were released today at the Conference on Corporate Governance and Responsibility: Theory Meets Practice, organised by CGIO, in partnership with ACN.

The conference, from today to Friday, is designed to provide a platform for key stakeholders engaged in teaching, researching and implementing corporate governance and responsibility to participate in high-level lectures, interactivedialogue and consultation and sharing of practices and experiences, including site visits and executive meetings.

Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Masagos Zulkifli, officiated the opening of the conference which attracted some 200 speakers and delegates.

Among them were senior representatives from universities and think tanks, aswell as corporate practitioners, civil society leaders, and policymakers.

The study also revealed that government-linked companies and state-ownedenterprises fared better in terms of the quality of disclosures.

It examined the top 100 main board companies by market capitalisationas of June 30, 2015 in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, coveringdisclosed information from Jan 1, 2014 to Dec 31, 2015.

Director of CGIO at NUS Business School Associate, Prof Lawrence Loh, saidthe research clearly demonstrated that both government and industry stakeholdershad a role to play in enhancing sustainability reporting as a key component of corporate governance.

"Through this public-private partnership, Asean can truly be a world-classplace to do business," he said.

Chair of ACN, Yanti Triwadiantini, said: "This is a unique platform where both academia and practitioners are getting together to exchange ideas and lead the way for stronger corporate governance and responsibility in the region."

She said with a platform like the conference, Singapore hoped academics willfind this a good opportunity to strengthen their research and teaching practices, help nurture a new generation of business and public leaders that will take CSR and sustainability to the next level.--NNN-BERNAMA