STACS at Singapore Fintech Festival 2023: ESGpedia as a one-stop digital platform to empower sustainability in Asia
We are still buzzing from the amazing Singapore FinTech Festival 2023 where we had our STACS booth at the ESG Zone in Hall 5 for the full three days, and showcased our latest upgraded ESGpedia platform.
All hands were on deck and our success was only made possible with the teamwork from the entire STACS team, together with our clients and partners across ASEAN.
We had the privilege to welcome a constant stream of visitors – both new and old faces from around the globe – at our booth, and are grateful for the enthusiastic responses on the ground.
Visitors were keen to find out more about how we are actively scaling ESG data and sustainable finance across Asia through our AI-powered ESGpedia.
The event was a culmination of our hard work over the past year to further enhance the live ESGpedia platform that empowers banks, investors, insurers, corporates, and SMEs, to attain their sustainability goals and comply with increasing ESG regulations through credible ESG data.
Day 1: ESG Workshop at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)’s gprnt.ai Pavilion stage
Benjamin Soh, Managing Director at STACS presenting at the gprnt.ai Pavilion, Basil-seeds bookmarks for giveaway at STACS booth, and STACS team for Day 1
Day 1 saw our Founder & Managing Director Benjamin Soh conducting an ESG workshop at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)‘s gprnt.ai Pavilion stage, covering how we help plug the ESG data gaps in Asia Pacific with a dual approach on our ESG data platform, ESGpedia’s AI-powered Nexus and Intelligence engines.
Benjamin covered how ESGpedia Nexus can enable corporates and SMEs regardless of their ESG maturity to take action with our end-to-end suite of sustainability solutions. Businesses can create a free ESG profile on the ESG Reporting Portal with simplified ESG metrics scalable to support international frameworks and standards reporting such as GRI, IFRS, TCFD, and more. As of November 2023, the platform is live across several Asian markets and has over 120,000 company profiles.
He shared that ESGpedia Nexus provides an in-built Carbon Calculator that automatically converts operational data to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the standard GHG Protocol and more.
Learn more about ESGpedia Nexus: https://esgpedia.io/platform-nexus
Benjamin also covered how ESGpedia Intelligence helps the financial sector and large corporates overcome data fragmentation by aggregating over 5 million sustainability data points across different countries and sectors today. Financial institutions and corporates are empowered to conduct taxanomy regulatory mapping, gain access to companies’ ESG profiles with product and asset level data and more. Benjamin highlighted one recent example of how ESGpedia had empowered Ghim Li to achieve a $16 million Sustainability-Linked Loan from OCBC.
Learn more about ESGpedia Intelligence: https://esgpedia.io/platform-intelligence/
We also ran an exclusive giveaway at our booth at the Singapore Fintech Festival 2023 sustainable gifts (basil-seeds bookmarks and $10 Grab vouchers) to those that created an ESG profile at our booth and were grateful to welcome keen interest from Corporates, Financial Institution, and SMEs globally.
Day 2: ESG Stage Fireside Chat: How fintech is seeding a green transition in ASEAN
Benjamin took the official ESG Stage at Singapore Fintech Festival 2023 to share how fintech is seeding a green transition in ASEAN alongside financial sector leaders Arthur Leong (Executive Director of Group Channels & Digitalisation at UOB), Wanyi Wong (FinTech Leader at PwC Singapore), and Kelvin Teo (CPA, Co-founder & Group Chief Executive Officer at Funding Societies).
Below is a selection of the key points Benjamin shared with the audience:
- ESGpedia as a one-stop platform to empower Asia: “STACS developed the ESGpedia platform, which powers various national and regional ESG (environmental, social and governance) registries. ESGpedia harmonises more than 5 million sustainability data points of 120,000 companies (as of Nov 2023) – and growing. ESGpedia also digitally enables companies in their sustainability journey, from day one to full readiness, empowering small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), corporates and financial institutions.”
Starting the ESG journey: “Increasingly, more consumers and investors are preferring to support ESG-conscious companies. With regulators mandating sustainability reporting, larger corporations are more cautious with their procurement. Our advice is for businesses to start collecting sustainability data now, as it will help them get a baseline understanding of their performance and identify areas for improvement. This presents opportunities for businesses in terms of attracting new investors and customers, and de-risking their operations by addressing risks early on.”
- Lack of ESG data: “Many businesses do not have the data they need to comply with mandatory sustainability disclosure requirements. Technology solutions which streamline the collection of data aligned with global standards can dramatically lower the barriers of entry, and scale up the wider adoption of companies towards their sustainability journeys.”
- Decarbonising supply chains: “Asia is the largest supply chain in the world, and with sustainability requirements being mandated by regulators globally, there is an increasing focus on getting companies in Asia-Pacific to be more sustainable, and compiling more data from the region.
- Partnerships: We are well-poised to capitalise opportunities by expanding our outreach in APAC. We partnered with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to host the ESCAP Sustainable Business Network’s Asia-Pacific Green Deal for Businesses initiative on ESGpedia. It provides recognition in the form of digital badges for companies in Apac that have done well in sustainability.”
Day 3: Singapore Fintech Festival 2023 Interview with Dollars&Sense
We had the privilege to be interviewed by Dinesh Dayani from Dollars&Sense in a quick but insightful Q&A discussion with Benjamin (read the highlights here).
We have included his comments below:
- Seeds of entrepreneurship: Life has never been smooth sailing for anybody at all. Life is always full of unpredictability and changes. When I was small my father had his own business and was relatively doing well, but because of times changing and because of trends moving, the business suffered. At least from a young age, I was able to see the work that my father has put in and also the work that he has put in to evolve and innovate. That has really struck me from a very young age [and helped me] to understand entrepreneurship.
- Urgency of ESG: Before getting into the ESG business, our business was originally focused on digitalization in general. While we realize that digitalization is a major need, it is still not urgent for most companies today. Whereas ESG is something that’s urgent. For us to really pivot, drop the old business, and drop the old clients that were already on board, it was a painful decision to start all over again – the classic story of entrepreneurship, period.
- Sustainability: Sustainability is not so daunting. For most people, they may think that sustainability is for the larger companies. But actually, I would like to say that sustainability is really for everyone. There are simple ways to get started, no matter how small or how early you are in your stage of maturity.
- Advice for other entrepreneurs: Being an entrepreneur anywhere, especially in Singapore, is tough. It’s important to get a support network. A lot of ideas came out through my conversations, through my interactions with other entrepreneurs, and a lot of collaborations and partnerships were forged. Find a strong network of like-minded people – they may be entrepreneurs, they may not – but find a strong network, and they will support you through the journey of ups and downs.
We thank everyone who supported us at Singapore Fintech Festival this year and look forward to seeing you again in 2024!