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The Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards (ASRA) recognise and honour sustainability reporting leaders in Asia. ASRA celebrates best practices in sustainability reporting and communications,  providing an annual opportunity for organisations to build trust and awareness amongst their stakeholders by showcasing their corporate social responsibility initiatives.  
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28 Jan

Inaugural Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards Recognise Companies for Sustainability Reporting Excellence

Companies in Asia can draw on US$21.4 trillion in Socially Responsible Investment Funds.

There is an estimated US$21.4 trillion in Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) funds available globally for investing in companies that disclose their social and environmental performance such as through annual Sustainability Reporting.

The total amount of SRI funds has seen a phenomenal growth; in 2012, they totalled only US$550 billion. They are meant for investing globally in companies that qualify for them. Regular disclosure of sustainability performance through sustainability reporting by a company can potentially attract SRI investors.

In Singapore, there has been a slow start in Sustainability Reporting. Of the 770 listed companies on the SGX, only about 30 have Sustainability Reporting based on international standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. SGX has said it is making changes to the reporting and listing rules to require listed companies to publish annual Sustainability Reports from FY2017. However, it will be only at a “comply or explain” basis.

To encourage more companies to have Sustainability Reporting, CSRWorks International, a Singapore company, has created the Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards for companies in Asia which practice Sustainability Reporting.

“We want to create a platform to recognise the efforts of such companies,” said Mr Rajesh Chhabara, Managing Director, CSRWorks International. “This is also intended to be a platform for showcasing best practices of companies in Asia, as well as for sharing knowledge and learning, discussion and addressing common challenges.

“In line with global trends, more and more companies in Asia are embarking on sustainability reporting. Our aim is to encourage and promote sustainability disclosure by honouring those who have demonstrated leadership in sustainability reporting,” he added.

“With increased Sustainability Reporting and the creation of sustainability indices on local stock exchanges, listed companies in Asia will be better placed to draw investments of SRI Funds. Currently, only 0.6% of SRI funds are invested in Asia,” he said. This translates to a paltry US$12.8 billion invested in Asia.

He added that the United States has the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Britain has the FTSE4Good and both Shanghai and Shenzhen have CSR indices. To create a sustainability index requires sufficient companies having sustainability reporting.

He pointed out that Sustainability Reporting is mandatory, for example, in Taiwan from 2015. Bursa Malaysia has required companies to publish sustainability reports since 2007. In China, all state-owned companies are required to publish CSR reports. The Indonesia Bapepam requires companies to disclose sustainability information. In Hong Kong, all listed companies are required to comply with the Environmental, Social and Governance Guide of Hong Kong Exchange from 1st January 2016.

“The Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards will create a much needed platform for sharing best practices, bench marking and peer learning by bringing together the leaders in sustainability reporting. The Awards will also provide an excellent opportunity to organisations to showcase their sustainability excellence and build trust among their stakeholders, he added ”

CSRWorks International’s inaugural 2015 awards have drawn 180 entries from companies in Hong Kong, China, Japan, India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, the Middle East, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines. These companies are a virtual crème-de-la-crème of listed companies in Asia, mainly among the top 50 in their respective exchanges.

They include Hang Lung Properties (Hong Kong), Airport Authority of Hong Kong,
Chunghwa Telecom (Taiwan), Bharti Airtel (India), Majid Al Futtaim Properties (United Arab Emirates), Commercial Bank of Ceylon, PT Pertamina EP (Indonesia), Sime Darby Plantations (Malaysia), Kulim Malaysia, Maybank (Malaysia), Singtel and Star Hub (Singapore), and Olam International (Singapore).

An independent panel of judges with distinguished backgrounds judged the entries. They hail from Hongkong, India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Israel and Sri Lanka.

The Awards ceremony and Gala Dinner will be held at Eden Hall (the British High Commissioner’s residence) in Nassim Road on January 28.

Twelve companies, including two from Singapore, have been shortlisted for the top award – Asia’s Best Sustainability Report. The other contenders are from Hong Kong, India, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Thailand. The Singapore companies are Singtel and Olam International. Awards will also be handed out in 13 other categories including Asia’s Best Integrated Report, Asia’s Best Sustainability Report (SME), Asia’s Best First Time Sustainability Report and other specialised categories with focus on carbon disclosure, stakeholders, supply chain, community and many more.

“The good response from Asia was a pleasant surprise, especially as the awards are inaugural,” said Mr Chhabara. “Representatives from some of the companies are travelling out here in groups with senior management for the Awards Ceremony.

“Our vision is to become the most inspiring recognition for sustainability disclosure in Asia.”

These awards are CSRWorks International’s not-for-profit multi-stakeholder initiative, and is part of its own corporate responsibility programme.

Note to editors:
Please see attached map with geographical indication of the SRI Funds

More comprehensive information on the Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards can be viewed at: http://www.csrworks.com/events.html

About CSRWorks
The Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards are organised by CSRWorks Events, a unit of CSRWorks International, Singapore’s leading sustainability advisory, research and training firm with a more than 10 years track record. CSRWorks closely works with businesses and other stakeholders to promote excellence in sustainability across the region. Our vision for the Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards is to become the most inspiring recognition of sustainability disclosure in Asia.

Supporting Organisations
The Awards are supported by diverse organisations keen on encouraging responsible business practices and sustainability disclosure in Asia. Some of the supporting organisations include British High Commission, The Global Compact Network Singapore, High Commission of Canada in Singapore, British Chamber of Commerce Singapore, Canadian Chamber of Commerce Singapore, Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development, Ethical Performance, ABC Carbon, Beyond Business and Systainability Asia.

Judging Panel for ASRA 2016

Alex P. Mavro,
Chief of Operations,
Center for Sustainability Management,
Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration, Chulalongkorn University,
Bangkok, Thailand

Dr. Artie W. Ng
Deputy Dean for Business Engagement & External Affairs
Nottingham University Business School,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee
Director General & CEO
Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA)
Ministry of Corporate Affairs,
India

Brigitte Holtschneider
Executive Director
British Chamber of Commerce
Singapore

Elaine Cohen
CEO
Beyond Business,
Asia, Middle East and Europe
United Kingdom and Israel

Ken Hickson
CEO, Sustain Ability Showcase Asia (SASA),
Director, ABC Carbon
Singapore& Australia

Dr. Lawrence Loh
Principal Lecturer & Deputy Director
School of Professional Education &
Executive Development (SPEED)
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong

Dr. Avvari V. Mohan
Associate Professor for Strategic Management
Director, Centre for Governance, Institutions & Organisations
Deputy Head & Associate Professor of Strategy & Policy
NUS Business School,
Singapore

Marcellinus bin Frederick Lamhai
CEO
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC),
Malaysia

Nithyanandam Yuvaraj Babu
Chief of Climate Change Initiative
US Aid,
India

Ramakrishnan K T
Head of Operations
Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP)
India and Sri Lanka

Dr. Huijuan Wu
Research Fellow
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
National University of Singapore
Singapore