Global Reporting Initiative establishes regional hub in Singapore

10 September 2019 3 min. read

The Global Reporting Initiative has extended its Asian reach with the launch of an ASEAN regional hub in Singapore – backed by a number of firms including KPMG, EY, PwC and Tata Consultancy Services.

Established in 1997 and aimed at promoting and standardising corporate and government sustainability reporting across the world, The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has extended its activities to the ten nations of the ASEAN bloc with the launch of a new regional hub in Singapore. Contributed towards funding for an initial three-year startup period, the launch was backed by a number of firms, including consultancies KPMG, EY, PwC and Tata.

Michele Lemmens, an executive from the latter – Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) – will also serve as the head of the regional hub. Currently APAC Head of Business Sustainability for Tata based out of Sydney, Lemmens has been with the firm for over twelve and a half years, and has served as a business consultant for a number of high profile financial services institutions. Earlier in her career, she spent two years with Ernst & Young Management Consulting in New Zealand.

In addition to TCS and the Big Four members, other support partners for the new hub include CapitaLand and City Developments, DBS Bank, Keppel, Sembcorp, StarHub, Stewardship Asia, and the Singapore stock exchange (SGX). “I am hugely grateful to all of the partner organisations, as well as the Singaporean government, who have supported us launch this Regional Hub,” said GRI chief executive Tim Mohin.GRI ASEAN HUB is open in Singapore“Our ASEAN Hub has a crucial role working with companies in Southeast Asia to unlock the benefits of sustainability reporting,” Mohin continued. Economic growth in the ASEAN region presents an historic opportunity to embed corporate responsibility at an early stage and align capital to sustainable ways of working. The only way to do this is with high quality ESG disclosure based on a global common language – the GRI Standards.”

According to GRI, its new office will support ASEAN companies with relevant services and training, aiding them in identifying, managing and reporting their “most material environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts.” The new hub – which joins an existing Asian outlet in Hong Kong – will also liaise with governments, capital markets, civil society and other stakeholders, while support partners will participate on the GRI ASEAN Advisory Committee.

“TCS follows the Tata Group philosophy of building sustainable businesses that are rooted in the community,” said GRI Board member and TCS Asia-Pacific President Girish Ramachandran. “Our company believes that corporate sustainability extends to the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit; and sustainability reporting provides the transparency and accountability that are the driving forces in business leaders’ decision-making processes.

The launch of the hub – co-located at the offices of the Singapore chapter of the United Nations Global Compact Global – was marked with a ceremony hosted by the SGX. “We welcome the establishment of GRI’s Regional Hub in Singapore where it can generate valuable know-how for ESG reporting and sustainable finance, and in turn contribute to the development of Singapore as a global financial center,” said SGX Regulation CEO Tan Boon Gin.