The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) is the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative that calls on companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment...
The 2022 RGE Bankers’ Forum welcomed close to 400 of the regional and international banking community in-person and via Zoom. Themed “Leading the Bioeconomy from its Core”, the 7 April 2022 event saw RGE senior management team and business group leaders deep dive into the market trends that RGE is well-positioned to leverage on.
This year’s edition at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore focused on key milestones that RGE’s group of companies have achieved since the last RGE Bankers’ Forum held in 2019, RGE’s business priorities moving forward, and how the group will lead the way and grow at the heart of the circular bioeconomy.
RGE President Tey Wei Lin opened the session with an overview and update of the group’s global businesses. Mr Tey highlighted that despite the global pandemic and its impact on businesses around the world, RGE “has not stood still” during this period, but continued growing, learning and improving.
In his sharing, Mr Tey said RGE has earned the distinction of being the world’s largest producer of dissolving pulp and viscose; that Apical would soon be one of the top palm oil processors and exporters in Indonesia; and RGE businesses have plans to expand further downstream in value-added products.
Mr Tey’s presentation was followed by business group-level updates and a panel discussion comprising Mr Tey, RGE Managing Director Anderson Tanoto, APRIL Group President Praveen Singhavi, Apical Executive Director Pratheepan Karunagaran and Pacific Energy President Ratnesh Bedi.
Strong business fundamentals aside, the executives pointed out that many stakeholders and consumers have yet to fully comprehend the magnitude and scale at which RGE operates in the global supply chain. RGE manages resources that are eventually made into everyday products that touch the lives of millions worldwide.
The panel outlined key market trends marked by increasing consumer demand for biodegradable and renewable products. As RGE occupies strategic nodes in the bioeconomy and the global supply chain, it is well-positioned to deliver meaningful impact to consumers, partners, communities and the environment.
The panel also reiterated key focus areas in its operations in recent years. They include RGE’s ramped up commitments toward net-zero carbon emissions; sourcing from alternative renewable energy sources; increased efforts in circularity and recycling; and an increased momentum on sustainability certification and supply chain transparency.
APRIL Group’s Sustainability and External Affairs Director Lucita Jasmin and Anderson Tanoto spoke at length on RGE group’s sustainability commitments. A key point that came through clearly was that RGE’s efforts on ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) are not for the purpose of business risk mitigation, but ESG is right at the heart of the business.
Both remarked that business growth and sustainability are on the same side of the equation, given that sustainability facilitates business growth. In addition to reducing water and energy consumption across RGE’s operations, they shared that the group has been leveraging partnerships and working with the ecosystem to achieve positive outcomes in conservation, restoration, innovation and circularity.
Referencing her fellow presenter Mr Tanoto, Ms Jasmin remarked that she could not ask for a better champion in the group for sustainability – that it was empowering that a managing director could be a strong supporter and driving force in embedding sustainability throughout every process within the global group.
A closed-door panel discussion on “The Greater Risks of not Going Green” rounded up the evening. The panel comprised former Indonesia Minister for Finance, National Development Planning and Research and Technology Bambang Brodjonegoro; former United Nations Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim; former Monetary Authority of Singapore Deputy Managing Director of Financial Supervision Ong Chong Tee; and Mr Anderson Tanoto.
These distinguished leaders from both the public and private sectors shared their insights and views on why companies and nations are pivoting towards green financing, and what else can be done to smoothen the transition to green.
The evening concluded with a sustainable meal curated by the chef at The Ritz-Carlton. Wine, dinner and wonderful company. A much appreciated get-together after two years of virtual meetings.