ESG Reporting Essentials – Your Guide to ESG Reporting in Singapore

ESG Reporting Essentials – Your Guide to ESG Reporting in Singapore

ESG Reporting Essentials – Your Guide to ESG Reporting in Singapore

In Singapore, ESG reporting is rapidly becoming a norm amongst businesses, driven by heightened investor and consumer interest in sustainability and ethical practices. For listed companies, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) introduced a phased approach to mandatory climate reporting on a ‘comply or explain’ basis, based on the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”). From 2027 fiscal year, large non-listed companies with annual revenue of at least SGD 1 billion and total assets of at least SGD 500 million will be required to make climate disclosures.

Besides regulatory requirements, ESG reports are increasingly influential in guiding decisions, fostering positive transformations, mitigating avoidable risks, and enhancing trust and transparency. In this article, we explore the basics of ESG reporting, its importance, different frameworks, and best practices for successful implementation.

What is ESG?

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) serves as a framework extensively employed to assess the sustainability and ethical footprint of a company’s operations and policies. It includes criteria that investors, stakeholders, and organisations examine when evaluating and disclosing a company’s non-financial performance. ESG elements offer a comprehensive perspective for assessing companies, focusing on their environmental impact, social contributions, and governance standards within the community.

Understanding ESG Reporting in Singapore

ESG reporting involves transparently sharing standardised details about a company’s sustainability initiatives, objectives, and advancements to underscore its dedication to ethical business conduct. This enables stakeholders to understand the extent of a company’s sustainability efforts.

Operating within the ESG framework, sustainability reporting enables companies to highlight their endeavours in tackling environmental issues, fostering social accountability, and instating effective governance measures. It serves as a channel for companies to communicate their sustainability strategies, objectives, and achievements to investors, clientele, workforce, and the broader community.

Understanding ESG Reporting in Singapore

Distinguishing ESG from Sustainability Reporting in Singapore

Although ESG and sustainability share overarching objectives, they diverge in their reporting approaches.

ESG reporting entails a set of criteria used by investors, stakeholders, and organisations to assess a company’s non-financial performance. It evaluates a company’s environmental, social, and governance practices and their implications for long-term sustainability and risk management. Factors such as climate change initiatives, employee relations, board composition, executive compensation, and risk mitigation strategies are examined.

On the other hand, sustainability reporting takes a comprehensive approach, considering the long-term sustainability of the planet, society, and economy. It aims to meet current needs while ensuring future generations can meet their own. This involves evaluating businesses’ impacts on the environment and implementing strategies to enhance resilience, resource efficiency, and social progress.

Significance of ESG Reporting in Singapore

Prioritising ESG reporting holds significance for organisations in Singapore, as it can enhance corporate reputation and help mitigate potential risks. In 2016, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) introduced the Sustainability Reporting Guide, making it mandatory for all listed companies to disclose their sustainability practices on a ‘comply or explain’ basis.

Environmental Sustainability Overview in Singapore
Singapore prioritises environmental sustainability with a range of initiatives aimed at mitigating environmental impact and promoting conservation efforts. Organisations are urged to reduce their environmental footprint in daily operations by cutting down on carbon emissions, preserving natural habitats, and conserving water resources. These actions align with Singapore’s national sustainability goals and contribute to efforts in combating climate change.
Social Responsibility in Singapore
In Singapore, social responsibility include initiatives such as promoting fair labour practices, fostering diversity and inclusion in employment practices, and ensuring ethical supply chain management. ESG reporting may include the company’s strategies for employee well-being, community outreach programs, and adherence to human rights principles. These demonstrate the company’s commitment to fostering a socially conscious and inclusive business environment.
Regulatory Governance in Singapore
The regulatory framework in Singapore is evolving to prioritise ESG reporting. Examples include the Singapore Exchange (SGX) Listing Rules and the Environmental Protection and Management Act. These regulations urge organisations to disclose their ESG performance. The SGX Listing Rules require listed companies to disclose material ESG risks and their management strategies. Additionally, the Environmental Protection and Management Act sets standards for environmental compliance. By adhering to these regulations and adopting ESG reporting, organisations in Singapore can ensure legal compliance, mitigate reputation-related risks, and showcase strong governance practices.
Common ESG Reporting Frameworks in Singapore

Common ESG Reporting Frameworks in Singapore

Industries in Singapore have increasingly adopted diverse ESG frameworks in recent years. These are some of the prevalent reporting frameworks.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in Singapore

GRI is a globally acknowledged reporting framework that offers guidelines for organisations to report their economic, environmental, and social impacts. It provides a comprehensive range of indicators and metrics enabling organisations to gauge and disclose their ESG performance. In Singapore, many companies leverage the GRI framework to compile their sustainability reports, enhancing their credibility and enabling comparisons. 

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) in Singapore

Another notable framework is SASB, which offers industry-specific guidelines for reporting financially significant ESG information. The SASB standards are customised to each sector, concentrating on the ESG matters most important to them. By following SASB standards, organisations in Singapore can customise their ESG reporting to suit their industry’s requirements and fulfil the expectations of investors and stakeholders.

Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) in Singapore

The TCFD framework has garnered attention in Singapore as well. It provides a framework for organisations to evaluate and reveal climate-related risks and opportunities. It prompts companies to disclose details concerning governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets on climate change. Employing ESG reporting in this manner allows organisations to showcase their readiness for climate risks and their efforts to transition toward a low-carbon economy.

The benefits of a robust ESG strategy

Effective Approaches for ESG Reporting in Singapore

In ESG reporting, it’s crucial to adhere to certain principles when sharing insights with stakeholders.

Materiality Assessment
Identify, analyse, and report pertinent ESG issues that align with the company’s industry, business model, and stakeholder interests. Conduct thorough due diligence during data collection to ensure the accuracy of your reporting.
Clear and Transparent Reporting
Deliver transparent and concise ESG disclosures that stakeholders can easily access. Opt for standardised frameworks like the GRI, SASB or TCFD to ensure consistency and comparability of reports across industries.
Stakeholder Engagement
Engage with stakeholders to understand their expectations and concerns regarding ESG matters. Regularly communicate and solicit feedback from investors, employees, customers, local communities, and other important stakeholders to address their interests effectively.
Integration with Governance and Business Strategy
Integrate ESG considerations into the organisation’s governance framework and decision-making processes. Ensure that the board of directors and executive leadership prioritise and oversee ESG issues, integrating them into strategic planning and risk management initiatives.

How Can BoardRoom Assist You with ESG Reporting and SME Grants?

Navigating the complexities of ESG reporting demands precise data collection, reporting, and analysis. BoardRoom’s ESG Access offers a comprehensive software solution tailored to simplify sustainability reporting for companies in Singapore.

ESG Access presents an array of tools that streamline data requests, response collection, and evidence gathering, ensuring seamless access and collaboration to essential information. The software incorporates functionalities for reviewing, validating, and auditing, empowering stakeholders to contribute, review, and endorse reporting timelines, all within a unified platform. Entity reporting allows you to easily organise users into groups (entities) and control/assign ESG metrics specific to each group, so you can improve decision making, identify growth opportunities and manage group risks. Additionally, it allows you to craft and personalise your sustainability reporting to align with the specific requirements of your stakeholders.

SMEs in Singapore can leverage the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)  to offset costs associated with ESG services provided by BoardRoom. This grant enhances accessibility and affordability for SMEs seeking to improve their sustainability practices while complying with ESG reporting standards. 

Get a free 7-day trial on our ESG Access reporting software now.

Contact BoardRoom for more information:

Tina Thomas_profile

Tina Thomas

Head of Environmental, Social and Governance

E: [email protected]

T: +65 6536 5355

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