Singapore is APAC trailblazer for ESG reporting platform

By Kate Birch
Tech for good partnership between Singapore Exchange and OneConnect set to deliver first Asia Pacific platform for reporting and applying ESG informatio...

Leading technology-as-a-service platform provider OneConnect Financial Technology is partnering with Singapore Exchange (SGX) to build an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) platform to facilitate and simplify the ESG disclosure process of companies listed on Asia’s most international, multi-asset exchange. 

The proposed platform is part of plans by SGX, as a front-line market regulator, to develop and promote a sustainable ecosystem by raising the quality of ESG disclosures and promoting the application and integration of ESG factors across capital market stakeholders.

While mandatory sustainability reporting was implemented in Singapore in 2016, it’s been an area of constant progress as international standards continue to be refined. The SGX has also been making a bigger push in sustainability with a US$20 million multi-pronged plan to expand its ESG-focused products, services and platforms. 

And with investors globally placing increasing importance on sustainability considerations, leading to significant growth in capital allocated to ESG strategies, “both investors and issuers desire ESG data to be more transparent, standardised and accessible”, says Michael Syn, Senior Managing Director, SGX.

Pioneering an ESG reporting platform for Asia Pacific

Having already partnered with Chinese insurance giant Ping An Insurance to deliver ESG solutions for companies outside of China, OneConnect is now pioneering an ESG reporting platform for the Asia Pacific region. 

Working alongside SGX, OneConect is creating and implementing a robust platform for SGX-listed companies to “better their journey on ESG reporting and strengthen their sustainability risk management”, helping them to manage and make their sustainability disclosures for possible benchmarking more transparent, and improve the standard of overall ESG performance in the long run. 

OneConnect will utilise a suite of tech solutions to establish a framework and streamline ESG reporting through specified standard indicators and templates. Features will include workflow management systems, report and visualisation modules and an ESG disclosure framework mapping to meet listed companies' ESG reporting and data processing needs. 

The partnership merges relevant resources such as ESG datasets and domain expertise while adding new functionalities progressively to better serve companies, investors, research analysts and relevant stakeholders.

The focus is on a core set of indicators that are quantitative in nature and normalised for comparability, which “complements issuers' materiality-based reporting that are highly specific to each listed company's business context”, says Syn. "For investors, the benefit is more seamless integration of this core set of indicators into their investment strategies and capital allocation across portfolios, lowering the information friction they currently face."

Ping An firsts for sustainable frameworks in China

The first company in China to participate in the United Nation's Principles for Sustainable Insurance framework, and the first insurer in China to be included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, Ping An has leveraged its ‘finance + technology’ expertise to develop the Ping An AI-ESG Platform to track, measure and monitor its internal ESG performance. 

Using AI, natural language processing technologies and other ESG tools including greenwashing detection and climate value-at-risk asset-repricing models, the Ping An AI-ESG Platform captures and computes the five-year ESG scores of all Chinese A-share companies for its benchmarking and investment-decision making.  

"As a champion of ESG, Ping An believes in 'tech for social good' where technologies can aptly enable every company to become a responsible corporate citizen,” says Jessica Tan, Co-CEO of Ping An Group. 

“With the development of Ping An's own AI-driven ESG framework in China, we see the synergy in sharing and integrating our expertise in ESG into a platform that can be adopted by other companies, thereby bolstering the ESG culture across Asia Pacific."

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