The Business Times

New platforms to tackle ESG data gaps in Singapore

Published Tue, Nov 9, 2021 · 12:21 PM

CLIMATE-change fears in an increasingly digital world have opened up fresh opportunities to marry tech and sustainability to address challenges in green finance.

To that end, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the industry will together develop 4 new interoperable platforms to address the financial sector’s needs for good data on sustainability under Project Greenprint - a technology and data platform launched last year to support Singapore's green finance ecosystem.

Unveiled by MAS managing director Ravi Menon at the Singapore Fintech Festival on Tuesday (Nov 9), the new initiatives include a common disclosure portal co-developed with the Singapore Exchange for financial institutions and corporates.

It aims to simplify the environment, social and governance (ESG) disclosure process by converting data inputs into different reporting frameworks as required under different jurisdictions and purposes.

This makes company and project disclosures more easily accessible by international investors and financial institutions. Companies can also use the portal as an internal ESG monitoring and management tool.

A data orchestrator will also be launched to aggregate ESG data from different sectoral platforms and trusted data sources and provide access to these key data sources.

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The platform will also enable new data insights to be generated through data analytics services to better support investment and financing decisions.

A blockchain-based ESG registry, in partnership with Hashtacs Pte Ltd, will be established to record and maintain the provenance of ESG certifications accorded by certification bodies in different sectors, as well as data and metrics that are verified by qualified third party auditors.

The registry will provide financial institutions, corporates, and regulatory authorities with a single point of access to these certified data, and facilitate trusted data flows.

Finally, a Greenprint Marketplace, in partnership with API Exchange, will be launched to connect green technology providers in Singapore and the region to a community of investors, venture capital firms, financial institutions, and corporates to facilitate partnership, innovation and investments in green technology.

MAS said it will work with the industry to pilot the 4 common utility platforms, with the pilots expected to be completed in the second half of 2022.

"Project Greenprint provides foundational digital infrastructure that aggregates new and existing ESG data from ground-up across multiple sectoral platforms and solutions to facilitate trusted ESG data flows between the financial sector and the real economy – both within Singapore and globally," said MAS chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty.

In partnership with Project Greenprint, the Singapore Trade Data Exchange (SGTraDex) and a UOB-led consortium of 4 banks (DBS, OCBC and Standard Chartered) will develop digital solutions for the application of clear and consistent green trade-financing standards across industries.

This initiative, which leverages data from MAS's Greenprint Data Orchestrator and ESG Registry, aims to enable data-driven decision-making around ESG factors so that banks can better support their clients' green trade-financing needs, said UOB and SGTraDex in a joint statement.

It will start in end-November 2021, piloting with key industries such as agriculture as well as real estate and construction.

When completed, the initiative will create a transparent green trade-financing data exchange model, facilitated by SGTraDex's infrastructure, for banks to validate required green certification data residing within a centralised repository.

This allows banks to extend green trade-financing to qualified supply chain players in the areas of production, trading or distribution through a more simplified process and in a timelier manner.

SGTraDex chief Antoine Cadoux said: "This initiative will enable empirical decision-making around green and sustainability-linked trade financing which is crucial to bolstering Singapore's role as a green trade-finance hub."

So Lay Hua, UOB head of group transaction banking, said: "A more transparent and efficient process will help businesses advance their green initiatives and strengthen their supply chain resilience."


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