How BCG is leading on social impact in the Asia-Pacific region

21 January 2019

Companies which outperform their peers on environmental, social, and governance boast higher valuation multiples and margins according to analysis by BCG, with the American strategy and management firm keen to follow its own findings. 

“Our analysis provides compelling evidence that companies can develop a robust strategy to make positive contributions to society with confidence that such an approach will increase enterprise value, not diminish it,” said CEO Rich Lesser of a 2017 BCG report which found that top performers in specific environmental, social, and governance (ESG) topics enjoyed valuation multiples up to 19 percent higher than median performers.

While Boston Consulting Group has been giving back to the community for years, such as through its ongoing global partnership established with Save the Children in 2006, the findings offered a clear additional incentive to continue doing so, and as recently as this week the firm through its Digital Ventures division was in the headlines for helping to co-develop a blockchain-enabled platform to help consumers better track their food supply-chain.

Elsewhere, BCG has been applying its organisational and technical nous to enhance food security for Syrian refugees in Jordan, while in the Asia Pacific the firm has partnered with a number of non-profit organisations over recent years, aiding efforts in diverse areas such as access to early education and nutrition, programmes in environmental protectionism, and support for indigenous leadership and community development initiatives in Australia. How BCG is leading on social impact in the Asia-Pacific regionOne such partnership in Asia is with the Chinese branch of WWF-founded conservation network TRAFFIC, which works globally to reduce the environmental harm caused by trade in wild plants and animals such as elephants, tigers, rhinos and pangolins – the world’s most trafficked mammal due to increasing demand from China and Vietnam, where the meat is considered a delicacy and its keratinous scales are believed to cure hangovers. 

Having been a partner with the WWF globally since 2012, the project undertaken in conjunction with TRAFFIC in China included a review and set of recommendations to improve the conservation organisation’s efficiency and capabilities, as well as helping to launch an on-the-ground educational campaign targeted at local consumers of endangered wildlife products with the aim of reducing demand in the legal and illegal markets. 

A founding partner since the 2001 establishment of Australian indigenous development agency Jawun (which means ‘friend’ in the Kuku Yalanji language from around the Daintree Rainforest region in the far northeast of the country), BCG works with the agency in its mission to empower indigenous leaders and communities to achieve self-determination toward their own development goals, with projects over time in housing, health and tourism among other areas. 

A practical world away in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, and the firm has been supporting the local government with the some 60,000 Anganwadi – or rural childcare centres –  which provide developmental services in areas such as nutrition and early childhood education; previously without any data validation systems. BCG has assisted with the programme’s digital transformation, with busy centres seeing an above 50 percent improvement in performance.

Renewable energy investment partnership targets projects in ASEAN

29 January 2019

A new $60 million Singapore-based investment entity has been formed to pursue renewable energy projects in Southeast Asia, with projects in the Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar first in line.

To be based in Singapore, a trio of firms has announced the formation of CleanGrid Partners – a $60 million investment entity which will finance and operate renewable energy projects in Southeast Asia, with $20 million available for short term deployment and plans to build and manage a $100 million microgrid project portfolio in the Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar within the next three to four years.

The companies which have come together on the new enterprise as equal shareholders include Singapore’s WEnergy Global, which has previously taken on several public and private sector clean electrification projects in the region, Greenway Grid Global, an investment company also based in Singapore and which counts Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Company as a major shareholder, and ICMG Partners – a global management consulting firm.

Founded by Hitoshi Funahashi in 2000, and with decade-long ex-McKinsey staffer Fumihiro Ohba as its Head of Consulting, ICMG has operations in Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, India and California, providing a range of business support and management services with a focus on sustainable growth – from intellectual capital management and corporate innovation to new business creation and strategy execution.New renewable energy investment partnership targets projects in Southeast Asia

With respect to the freshly announced CleanGrid Partners enterprise, IMCG aims to leverage its international resources and network to bring in innovative technologies and new corporate leaders and partners operating in a variety of sectors from around the world – using new business models and structures in an effort to address regional and global challenges and enhance electrification projects throughout Asia.

“We believe that investors, development and commercial banks and technology manufacturers worldwide must address the challenge to electrify the one billion people on our planet who have no or little access to electricity – of which over 100 million people live in Southeast Asia,” said ICMG Director Gen Funahashi, who came to ICMG via the M&A wing of Deloitte. “We can make an impact by leveraging on the best available intellectual capital and transforming the management mindset of companies and governments to bring innovative clean energy solutions to this part of the world.”

Already, CleanGrid partners has a microgrid project by WEnergy Global underway in the Western Philippines island of Palawan, with several other projects in the Philippine, Indonesia and Myanmar said to be in the pipeline. CleanGrid states its aim is for a rapid replication of the Palawan project to meet the growing demand for off-grid and decentralised electrification across Southeast Asia, including through smart micro-grids at industrial estate level in Singapore.

Referring to the issue of limited access to electricity in ASEAN and the approach of the new partnership, WEnergy Global CEO Atem Ramsundersingh said; “The near-term solution that delivers on immediate on-the-ground benefits is to build, own and operate smart micro-grids for off-grid electrification, which most multilateral agencies, investment companies and mega power companies are reluctant to embark on.”