Championing Environmental and Social Impact in Asia-Pacific: Steward Leadership25

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28 February, 2024

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The Stewardship Asia Centre (SAC), a non-profit organisation established by Temasek Holdings, has championed Steward Leadership since 2003. The organisation describes Steward Leadership as the genuine desire and persistence to create a collective better future.For businesses, this means integrating stewardship values into growth strategies, creating shared value and empowering all stakeholders to thrive. 

In 2022, SAC established the Steward Leadership25 (SL25) list, recognising Asia-Pacific based initiatives undertaken by for-profit organisations that address global environmental and/ or social challenges whilst also contributing to sustainable business growth. 

Last year, SAC recognised three WBCSD Asia-Pacific members – APRIL GroupDBS Bank, and PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited – highlighting their commitment to tackling climate change and social inequality, as well as showcasing the impact of collaboration and leadership. 

APRIL Group

In 2013, leading provider of fibre, pulp and paper, APRIL Group, established Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER) in Riau Province, Indonesia. Spanning an impressive 150,693 hectares on the Kampar Peninsula, the RER exemplifies effective nature-based solutions. Funded and managed by APRIL Group, RER is integrated into production forestryoperations, adopting a ‘production-protection’ approach. The initiative conserves one hectare for every hectare of plantation forest, contributing to global imperatives and aligned to itsAPRIL2030 commitments. Through committed leadership, sustained investment, and partnerships, RER demonstrates positive outcomes, showcasing the potential of nature-based solutions in achieving environmental goals.

DBS Bank

In line with its ethos as a purpose-driven bank, DBS Bank pledged up to SGD$1 billion over the next decade to significantly step up its support for vulnerable communities and underprivileged. The bank has allocated up to SGD$100 million annually for immediate needs, education, digital literacy, and emotional resilience. In addition, its workforce will commit over 1.5 million volunteer hours over the next decade to give back to society. Championing environmental and social considerations through initiatives like its Business for Impact Chapter and Community Impact Chapter, DBS’s digital inclusion efforts have reached 10,000 beneficiaries. Similarly, initiatives including the DBS 5 Million Hawker Meals and its support for at-risk communities, reiterate DBS’ commitment to creating lasting impactful change in the Asia-Pacific region.

PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP)

PTTEP leads the “Ocean for Life” project, focusing on long-term sustainability and conserving marine biodiversity in the Gulf of Thailand. Aligned with Thailand’s Ocean Health Index and UN Sustainable Development Goal 14, the project aims to create positive ocean impact, increased community income, and establish significant conservation networks. Through three workstreams encompassing sustainable operations, ocean health solutions, and community engagement, PTTEP hopes to ensure environmentally friendly practices, contribute to a comprehensive ocean database, and foster community activities for biodiversity. 

Recognitions such as the SL25 are testament to our members’ commitment to addressing global environmental and social challenges while simultaneously driving sustainable business growth in Asia Pacific. The initiatives spearheaded by these member companies – APRIL Group, DBS Bank and PTTEP – exemplify the core values of stewardship and align seamlessly with our WBCSD’s goal of harnessing the power of collaboration and leadership in advancing sustainability in the region.

Applications are now open for SL25. Find out more or apply for SL25 here. The next SL25 list exemplifying outstanding steward leadership in Asia-Pacific will be announced at the Steward Leadership Summit 2024.