Media OutReach – 21 December 2022 – Stewardship Asia Centre (SAC), INSEAD Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society, WTW and The Straits Times unveiled the Steward Leadership 25 (SL25), the inaugural annual listing of 25 organisational initiatives that showcased notable efforts to create a collective better future for stakeholders, society, future generations and the environment.
The 25 initiatives were honoured at the Steward Leadership Summit, which was held at Shangri-La Singapore on 30 November. The inaugural event was organised by SAC to highlight the importance of steward leadership across the Asia Pacific. Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Education, Singapore, graced the event as the guest of honour and delivered the keynote address. Some 350 participants attended the event.
Steward leadership excellence demands genuine desire and persistence to pursue a corporate agenda beyond profit-making.
The 25 were selected from 95 submissions across the Asia-Pacific region. They were from diverse industries, including financial services, transportation, agribusiness and real estate. These initiatives were chosen for their steward leadership strategy and actions in creating sustainable economic value, and all 25 hold equal merit.
“A rapidly changing world reinforces the principle of taking ownership to do the right thing, and a mindset shift that is critical to driving all of us to work together towards enduring value creation for the benefit of stakeholders, society, the environment and our future generations. These organisations’ initiatives have made a difference, and I hope they will inspire others to act,” said Mr Lim Boon Heng, Chairman of Temasek Holdings, who unveiled the inaugural list at the Steward Leadership Summit.
“It is really heartening to see the efforts and persistence of so many organisations striving to create lasting positive change in the environment and community. In honouring these 25 inspirational initiatives, our eventual goal is for steward leadership excellence to be the norm instead of the exception, where every firm is committed to establishing a win-win-win outcome for employees, shareholders and society at large,” said Mr Rajeev Peshawaria, CEO of SAC.
“I hope the SL25 list will encourage other companies to look beyond their shareholders, to include their employees, customers, suppliers, and the larger communities that they operate within and be effective stewards for all. By intentionally delivering profit with purpose, responsible business leaders can prioritise the needs of current and future generations and our planet. As the recent discussions at COP 27 have highlighted, the problems that we need to solve require the combined and urgent stewardship efforts of all of us,” said Dr Vinika D. Rao, Executive Director of INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute, Gender Initiative and Africa Initiative, and Asia Director of the Hoffmann Global Institute for Business & Society.
“Progressive companies have moved past the moral imperative and are realising the tangible business benefits. WTW is proud to be associated with this list of SL25 so that we can help shine the spotlight on progressive companies, across various sectors and sizes and company types, that are role models for balancing purpose, profits, people and planet,” said Mr Shai Ganu, Managing Director and Global Leader of the Executive Compensation & Board Advisory at WTW.
“At The Straits Times, we have been covering developments in Singapore, Asia and the world since 1845, helping our readers understand events around them. Especially at this time of significant economic, environmental and geopolitical uncertainty, it is heartening to learn of and support the efforts of companies which aim to do good for all their stakeholders,” said Mr Jaime Ho, Editor of The Straits Times, SPH Media Trust.
Mr Frank E. Mars, Board Chair and Advisor, Strategic Programs, Mars, Incorporated, joined the summit virtually. He highlighted the role of corporate organisations in solving today’s existential challenges, based on his discussion theme with Mr Peshawaria, “Successful Stewardship Requires More Than a Purpose.”
Mr Jaime Alfonso Zobel de Ayala, Head of Business Development and Digital Innovation, Ayala Corporation, explained how the Philippine conglomerate balanced profit and purpose.
Ms Erika Cheung, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Ethics in Entrepreneurship, and a former Theranos employee, talked about her courage to speak out and highlighted the importance of corporate ethics.
Ms Aw Kah Peng, Chairman of Shell Companies in Singapore, Mr Bey Soo Khiang, Vice-Chairman at RGE and Chairman of APRIL Group, and Mr Edward Booty, reach52’s CEO, tackled the issue of whether “Can Addressing Existential Challenges Be Profitable?” The panel discussion was moderated by Mr Munib Madni, Founding Panvestor and CEO, Panarchy Partners.
In the second panel, Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore, Dr Vinika D. Rao, Mr Jamie Ho and Tan Sri Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, Executive Director, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Secretariat, Singapore, shared the key highlights from the SL25 initiatives. Mr Shai Ganu was the moderator.
The SL25 initiatives and their companies
(in alphabetical order) are:
Improving the livelihoods of motorcycle taxis
Transforming workplaces for gender inclusion
Human Resource Consulting
Steering a collective Covid-19 response
Climate action through voting and engagement
BNP Paribas Asset Management
Innovating sustainability for the built environment
CapitaLand Investment Limited
Constructing collaborative spaces to empower sustainability
City Developments Limited
A different kind of bank
DBS Bank Limited
Fuelling growth with renewables, community art
Writing and Colouring Instrument
Producing dairy through sustainable farming
Farm Fresh Berhad
Food and Beverage
A work-integration model for social inclusion
Foreword Coffee Pte. Ltd.
Providing work opportunities for disadvantaged groups
Genashtim Pte. Ltd.
Scaling sustainable impact through ecosystem management
Hospitality and Travel
Protecting Java’s coffee and primate landscape
Mandai Wildlife Group
Conservation and Education
Equipping farmers with sustainable agricultural methods
Ahead in net positive carbon and gender equality
Enabling financial well-being for low-income households
Noburo Platform Co., Ltd.
Driving the green movement
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited
Addressing health access in rural areas
From tin-mining wasteland to sustainable township
Enabling communities through technology
Tata Consultancy Services
Creation of bioplastic from farm-led innovation
Thai Wah Public Company Limited
Creating plant-based food, PWD opportunities
The Social Kitchen Pte. Ltd.
Bio-innovation for food security and sustainability
UAL Biotech Pte. Ltd.
Directing capital towards UN SDGs
Collaborating to drive a sustainable ASEAN
United Overseas Bank Limited
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