The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Singapore Exchange (SGX Group) on Monday jointly launched ESGenome, a digital disclosure portal for companies to report environmental, social and governance (ESG) data in a structured and efficient manner, and for investors to access such data in a consistent and comparable format.

Both parties said in a statement ESGenome is a joint initiative by the MAS and SGX Group under project Greenprint, to develop a common disclosure utility that will facilitate sustainability reporting for SGX-listed companies.

Project Greenprint is a collection of initiatives that aims to harness technology and data to enable a more transparent, trusted and efficient ESG ecosystem to enable green and sustainable finance.

With corporate sustainability disclosures representing one of the largest sources of ESG data globally, both parties opined that there is great scope to harness technology to enhance such disclosures and comparability of data to support the financing decisions needed for a credible transition.

Currently the proliferation of multiple sustainability reporting frameworks and guidelines across jurisdictions, and the inconsistent manner in which data is being collected, verified and reported have created significant disclosure challenges and resulted in poor ESG data comparability.

According to the statement, ESGenome is a software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution operated by World Wide Generation (WWG), a United Kingdom-based ESG solution provider.

It helps SGX-listed companies simplify the disclosure process using a core set of metrics that is mapped across global standards and frameworks.

With the solution, companies can carry out their baseline sustainability reporting based on a set of 27 SGX core ESG metrics.

Companies can also make additional disclosures in line with globally recognised ESG reporting standards and frameworks across more than 3,000 ESG metrics, depending on materiality and their business needs.

Besides, companies need only provide a one-time input for each ESG metric – these inputs can be automatically mapped across their selected standards and frameworks to cater to different investor requirements.

A sustainability report can also be automatically generated from the inputs.

For investors and financial institutions, ESGenome provides access to relevant and comparable ESG data that allows for meaningful peer benchmarking and tracking of sustainability commitments. This enables capital to be mobilised more efficiently toward sustainable companies and projects.

MAS will also draw on the learnings from ESGenome to address the reporting needs of the broader universe of corporates, notably small and medium-sized enterprises, and supply chain partners and suppliers, as part of its ongoing work on Project Greenprint.

MAS Chief Sustainability Officer Darian McBain said high quality sustainability data is critical for better decision making by corporates and financial institutions as they look to deliver against the UN SDG 2030 goals and their net zero transition pathways.

“Technology is an important enabler for the efficient, timely and accurate reporting of this data against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving global disclosure landscape,

“We are excited to launch ESGenome together with SGX to help listed entities in Singapore reduce the effort required to report on sustainability, assess impact, and drive informed decision making in their sustainability journey,” he added.

SGX Group Senior Managing Director and Head of Equities Michael Syn said ESGenome is designed to capture corporate sustainability disclosures in a simple and effective manner useful to investors and the broader capital market ecosystem.

“We are optimistic that by being frontrunners in ESG data disclosure via ESGenome, our listed companies will be in a better position to raise capital and attract international investors who are actively looking for leading ESG firms,” he added.

The Director of the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) Ong-Ang Ai Boon, Director said, the association welcomes the initiative.

“This is a good common disclosure utility, giving ABS a timely use case for our banking members to collect data directly from the private sector and in particular, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) clients, an important data set that is currently missing,

“ABS looks forward to collaborating with our regulator, businesses, solution providers and stakeholders to continue accelerating the financing and transition to a much-needed greener future,” he added.

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