The Asia Context
Over the past five decades, Asia has experienced rapid economic development, lifting millions out of poverty. Yet while this growth has generated countless social and economic benefits, the consequences of unsustainable consumption and production practices are now becoming clear.
- In the last 30 years the Greater Mekong has lost more than 30% of its forests due to unsustainable business practices, threatening the local economies that depend on the region’s rich natural resources.
- In India, water stress threatens 40% of the country’s thermal power-plants, posing a material risk to energy companies and the communities that rely on their services.
By transitioning their business models to account for environmental and social impacts, Asian companies can significantly reduce their environmental footprint, their own exposure to risk, and can capture opportunities to enhance value. In doing this, they form the bedrock of a thriving regional economy.
Importantly, the region’s financial sector has significant untapped potential to link financial flows with sustainable development.
While many governments throughout Asia recognize that the transition to more sustainable economic growth is crucial, and have committed to the Paris Agreement and to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, the region’s capital flows are not yet aligned to this vision. Asia’s banks, investors, regulators and stock exchanges have the power to change this.
The shift is already underway. From national stewardship codes to responsible banking guidelines to comply or explain sustainability disclosure requirements, the region’s financial institutions have begun signaling their commitment to sustainability.
We look forward to supporting the finance sector as it harnesses its power to drive sustainable development.
Our focus areas:
By 2050 it is anticipated that the region will account for slightly more than half of the world’s GDP
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Asia is now a global financial power house, home to 4 of the world’s top 6 financial centres.