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Ho Ching urges others to join Temasek to report on electricity, transport usage to fight global warming

BUSINESSES should rise to the challenge of global warming – and the chief executive of Temasek Holdings has asked them to join the Singapore state-owned investment company to take the first step by reporting on their electricity and transport usage from the next financial year.

“This is very simple, whether you are big or small, it’s a very simple step to take. It’s a proxy for our indirect emissions. Producers could also track and report on their direct emissions from burning fossil fuels or green forests,” Ho Ching, who is also Temasek’s executive director, said this morning at the opening address of the Global Compact Network Singapore summit which is into its 11th year. The theme for this year’s summit is “Reimagining businesses for resilience”.

Global Compact Network Singapore is the local chapter of the United Nations Global Compact, which is a non-binding UN pact to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on their implementation.

Ms Ho said that for good measure, companies could also report on their water consumption as many countries in Asia would face water shortages in the next decade or so.

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“Once we track and measure, as all businesses know, we can start to scope our solutions to reduce emissions or reduce waste,” she said.

Ms Ho said that Temasek has been investing in solutions for a cleaner, cooler and more sustainable world. These include plant-based proteins and better fertilisers. Temasek’s senior management has decided that the state-owned investment company would go carbon neutral by 2020.

Ms Ho said that starting next financial year, Temasek would also start to report on its consumption of water, paper, electricity and air miles. “Some of our portfolio companies are well ahead with their climate or UN SDG (UN Sustainable Development Goals),” she said.

“We encourage others to join us to report electricity and water consumption, as well as any direct emissions.”

Temasek aims to halve the greenhouse gas emissions of its entire portfolio by 2030, according to her. “We will also study how we can shape a carbon neutral portfolio sooner than later,” Ms Ho said.