Melting glaciers and rising sea levels are not just bad news for the inhabitants of Greenland or Tuvalu. They have direct and indirect global implications, particularly in today’s interconnected world.
Southeast Asia, for instance, is increasingly exposed to climate change. The Asian Development Bank forecasts that if left unaddressed, climate change could reduce the region’s GDP by 11 per cent by the end of the century.1 Meanwhile, a recent United Nations report points to rapidly rising sea levels in Southeast Asia, driven by manmade greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and warming waters.2
With governments and multilateral organisations making long-term plans to combat global emissions and pollution, it is in companies’ own interests to step up efforts to help fight our planet’s climate emergency. However, many companies in Asia still find it hard to recognise the magnitude and urgency of the problem, let alone act on it.
One survey found just 24 per cent of Asian respondents have an environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy compared to 48 per cent of corporates globally, and 87 per cent of European and UK companies.3 Yet a growing number of businesses are recognising that the opportunity to do good isn’t reserved for green companies. What’s more, non-action comes with risks, which is why many are increasingly looking to shore up their resilience.
Here’s why firms of all sizes should make sustainability a key part of their plans.