Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat underscores the importance of cross-sectoral collaboration at the launch of the Sustainability Innovation Lab, emphasizing the role of technology, finance, and credible reporting in advancing sustainability in Asia and globally.

Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, Heng Swee Keat, delivered a keynote address at the launch of the Sustainability Innovation Lab, held at Republic Plaza on 20 November 2023. The event saw the presence of key figures such as Mr. Jack Ehnes, Chairman of the Board, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Mr. Emmanuel Faber, Chairman, International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), and Mr. Eelco van der Enden, Chief Executive Officer, GRI.

DPM Heng Swee Keat commended the partnership between GRI and ISSB, highlighting the lab’s role as a catalyst for innovation in sustainability reporting in Asia and beyond. The lab aims to address evolving sustainability disclosure requirements by providing professional development, training, and promoting supply chain solutions and innovative thinking.

As global challenges, especially those related to climate change, intensify, the Deputy Prime Minister stressed the need for collaboration across borders, sectors, and domains. The Sustainability Innovation Lab, with its focus on Asia, is seen as timely and essential, considering the region’s expected contribution to global economic growth.

Key drivers identified for building a sustainable future in Asia are technology and innovation, along with finance. DPM Heng Swee Keat emphasized Singapore’s commitment to investing in research, innovation, and enterprise capabilities, dedicating around 1% of GDP to initiatives supporting decarbonization and sustainability.

The lab’s immediate focus on Asia aligns with the International Monetary Fund’s projections of higher economic growth in the region compared to the global average. However, the Deputy Prime Minister cautioned against unchecked growth, emphasizing the importance of balancing progress with long-term environmental sustainability.

DPM Heng Swee Keat highlighted two critical factors—innovation and finance—as pivotal to Asia’s sustainable development. The lab’s four initial focus areas—digital taxonomies, audit and assurance, smaller enterprises, and public sector reporting—are designed to address specific needs in the reporting and disclosure landscape.

The Deputy Prime Minister concluded by expressing Singapore’s commitment to hosting the Sustainability Innovation Lab and collaborating with GRI, ISSB, and other partners. He commended the lab’s potential to contribute innovative solutions to sustainability challenges and wished it success in advancing sustainability reporting in the region and globally.

Source – PMO