Connect with us

Newsdesk

Restoring the Compact between Business and Society

MD Staff

Published

on

Business leaders at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting agreed that there is an urgent need to restore the compact between business and society, ensuring that companies are responsive and responsible to all their stakeholders. There is a crisis of confidence in leadership, said Jim Hagemann Snabe, Member of the Board of Trustees, World Economic Forum. “We have an opportunity to reinvent how we do business, to refocus our efforts towards ensuring long-term sustainability,” he added.

To restore trust, we need a consistent North Star, stressed Frans van Houten, President and Chief Executive Officer, Royal Philips, Netherlands, and a Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017. “Global companies need to rally around a multistakeholder approach to doing business,” he added. At Royal Philips, an internal values system is focused on shared responsibilities to investors, employees, suppliers and broader society. The company actively pursues a life-cycle concept for its products and has committed to achieve carbon neutrality in its global operations by 2020.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is putting lower- and medium-skilled jobs at risk. More than 60% of jobs and 30% of activities can be automated today, said Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company, USA. “We can’t rely on government to reskill people in the face of rapid technological change and automation; business will have to drive this,” he added. In this regard, McKinsey & Co has announced the Generation Initiative, a philanthropic commitment of $75 million across five countries to develop an approach to getting unemployed and unskilled youth into jobs.

Lubna S. Olayan, Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Chairperson, Olayan Financing Company, Saudi Arabia, stressed the dangers of short-termism. “Social responsibility and philanthropy must be at the core; it’s the only way to be sustainable,” she said. Olayan was one of the first private-sector companies to employ women in Saudi Arabia 15 years ago. This decision, although difficult in the short-term, has delivered enormous long-term benefits.

Collaboration is key, said Hiroaki Nakanishi, Executive Chairman, Hitachi, Japan. Challenges such as climate change, inequality and social cohesion are global in nature and need a joint effort between business and government. “Sustainability is the overarching goal for us; we want to be a solution-based business,” he added.

At the Annual Meeting, The Compact for Responsive and Responsible Leadership, sponsored by the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, is being proposed for signature to all participants of the Annual Meeting 2017. These leaders include chief executive officers, chairs and members of corporate boards, as well as leading investors and asset managers. The goal is to create a corporate governance framework with a focus on the long-term sustainability of corporations and the long-term goals of society.

Continue Reading
Comments

Newsdesk

From Relief to Recovery: PNG’s Economy in the Time of COVID-19

Newsroom

Published

on

Papua New Guinea’s economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis due to weaker demand and less favorable terms of trade, according to the latest World Bank economic update for the country.

From Relief to Recovery, the World Bank’s Economic Update for Papua New Guinea for July 2020 projects that the country will experience an economic contraction in 2020, with pandemic-related global and national movement restrictions weakening external and domestic demand and affecting commodity prices. These impacts are also expected to lead to wider financing gaps for the government and the central bank, and higher unemployment and poverty than previously anticipated in early 2020.

It is estimated that PNG’s real GDP will shrink by 1.3 percent in 2020, the current account surplus will narrow to about 15 percent of GDP, and the fiscal deficit will reach 6.4 percent of GDP.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the PNG government has mobilized domestic resources and is engaging development partners and the private sector for additional support for the people and the economy of PNG.

“The World Bank welcomes the swift actions by the PNG authorities to manage the COVID-19 shock by protecting the lives of the people of PNG and supporting livelihoods of vulnerable households and small businesses,” said Michel Kerf, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific. “While the focus of the authorities is currently on crisis mitigation, it is important to also look beyond the current year to a more robust and resilient recovery over the medium term.”

The report emphasizes that a COVID-19-related revenue shortfall, increased emergency health spending and an economic support package have created an unanticipated fiscal gap of over US$400 million (1.8 percent of GDP) in 2020. The capital budget is expected to be hit harder than the recurrent budget and the government will have to trim non-essential spending.

In addition to the economic analysis, the report contains an additional section dedicated to physical infrastructure development in PNG.

The section recommends that the government’s pre-COVID-19 infrastructure investment plans should be amended amid the current crisis, which may result in the government having to resume its “Connect PNG” infrastructure development program once the pandemic is over while keeping the overall fiscal framework under control.

It also highlights the importance of more equitable access to quality infrastructure once the country moves to the recovery and resilience phase of COVID-19 response as well as the need to improve the balance between infrastructure investment and maintenance with greater emphasis needed on the latter.

The report concludes that PNG can significantly improve its infrastructure situation by strengthening policy design, investment planning, and coordination among agencies and with development partners. However, it will be vital for the government to set the stage for more sustainable and inclusive development by strengthening macroeconomic management and accelerating structural reforms while protecting the vulnerable.

Continue Reading

Energy News

Deloitte: Energy Management – Paused by Pandemic, but Poised to Prevail

Newsroom

Published

on

Since Deloitte began conducting its annual survey tracking clean energy attitudes and actions a decade ago, the percentage of residential consumers concerned about climate change and personal carbon footprints has risen steadily from about half to a consistent 68%, putting increasing pressure on businesses to do more. The year 2020 appeared to be the tipping point, but when COVID-19 hit, many questioned whether the momentum had been derailed as companies focused on survival.

Deloitte’s 2020 Resources Study, “Energy Management: Paused by Pandemic, but Poised to Prevail,” found that despite the pandemic — and maybe in part because of it — progress in efforts to manage energy use, reduce carbon emissions and address climate change will likely continue and even potentially accelerate in the longer term. The study is based on survey data collected from 1,531 residential consumers and 602 business decision-makers.

Consumer concern about climate change is rising, but looking to others to solve
Consumer sentiment about climate change has steadily increased over the past decade. Sixty-eight percent of residential consumers surveyed said they were “extremely or very concerned” about climate change and their personal carbon footprint and 65% said they saw greater renewable energy development as boosting the national economy, the highest level since 2014. While the benefits of clean energy are clear, most consumers (80%) surveyed expect others, such as the government and corporations, to address climate change issues. And about a third of respondents expect action from their employers.

Millennials are a driving force for corporate sustainability
Further emphasizing the corporate role, more than a third of respondents who identified as full- or part-time employees, students and/or job seekers said it’s extremely or very important to work for a company with sustainability and/or climate-risk goals, and this sentiment rose to nearly 50% among millennials. “Employee motivations” has consistently been one of the top three drivers of corporate energy management programs, selected by at least a quarter of business respondents each year. But in 2020, that rose to a third, the highest level ever in our surveys. Employees are becoming more vocal about climate change, and this may be due to the growing influence of millennials in the workplace.

Businesses are feeling increasing stakeholder pressure to address climate risk
In line with rising consumer sentiment, nearly 60% of businesses surveyed feel increased pressure from stakeholders to develop and disclose plans to demonstrate how they’re addressing climate risk. The stakeholders seen as most active are employees (49%), followed by board members (42%), customers (41%) and shareholders (37%). Of those businesses feeling increased pressure, nearly 90% have reviewed or changed their climate-risk disclosure procedures and developed plans to address climate-related risks.

Importantly, although businesses are feeling pressure, they also increasingly see procuring clean energy as doing the “right thing.” In fact, 75% of those surveyed said recent global climate change reports have caused them to focus more on energy management. And almost 90% of respondents now see energy procurement as “not simply a cost to the company, but an opportunity to reduce risk, improve resilience, and create new value.”

Convergence of cost and clean means more green
Over the past 10 years, the “cost” versus “clean” motivations for utilizing cleaner energy resources have been steadily converging as renewable energy costs have declined. This greater affordability is allowing businesses and residential consumers to prioritize clean energy without making bottom-line sacrifices.

Businesses are procuring more renewables through more channels:

  • Sixty-three percent of businesses surveyed have increased emission reduction goals.
  • Three-quarters of business respondents said customers are asking them to procure renewable energy.
  • More than half (51%) of businesses said they’re working to procure more electricity from renewables.
  • Of the 60% of businesses citing having onsite generation, the highest share of electricity supply was generated with cogeneration (15%) and renewables (13%).
  • Microgrids also appear to be growing in popularity with 44% of business respondents saying they’ve considered a microgrid, a spike of 9 points over 2019.

Residential consumers still cost-conscious but putting environment first:

  • For the first time in five years, “utilizing clean energy sources to be better stewards of the environment” was cited ahead of “keeping my total energy bills affordable” as one of the top three most important energy issues to residential consumers.
  • More than half (53%) of respondents said it’s “extremely” or “very” important that part of their electricity supply comes from renewable energy.
  • Thirty-two percent of respondents said they were “very” or “extremely” interested in installing solar panels and 51% of those who don’t already have them on their primary residence, expressed interest if combined with battery storage.
  • Among respondents who had already installed rooftop solar, “clean” beat out saving money for the first time as the primary motivator.
  • Renewables are gaining ground as a reason for respondents to switch providers versus lower electricity costs as renewables rose 3 points in 2020 to take second place from “better service,” while “lower electricity costs” stayed steady in first place.

Continue Reading

Energy News

ADB, IEA Renew Agreement to Collaborate on Energy Sector Sustainability and Resilience

Newsroom

Published

on

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has renewed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the International Energy Agency (IEA) to scale up collaboration and advance progress on sustainability with increased focus on energy sector resilience in Asia and the Pacific.

“The energy sector is a key driver of growth and human development, especially during recovery from the impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. “We are pleased to renew our agreement with IEA, which builds on our successful collaboration to date, and we look forward to advancing our shared objective of achieving a more sustainable and resilient energy future in Asia and the Pacific.”

Under the 3-year agreement, the two organizations will share knowledge and best practice in energy sector data and analysis, on-the-ground engagement, capacity building, technology, and innovation, among other areas. This will help to overcome critical knowledge and experience gaps blocking the development of sustainable energy systems in ADB’s developing member countries and enhance IEA’s data collection and capacity building efforts in Asia and the Pacific.

ADB first signed a 3-year MOU with IEA in March 2017 to facilitate knowledge and analytical work to advance clean energy development in ADB’s developing member countries. As part of this, ADB worked with IEA to study power system flexibility in India to integrate more solar and wind energy in the grids.

The renewal agreement was signed on the occasion of IEA’s Clean Energy Transitions Summit, where Mr. Asakawa gave a speech at the plenary session to an audience of over 50 energy ministers and energy sector leaders. Last month, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol delivered the keynote address at ADB’s 15th Asia Clean Energy Forum 2020. IEA is a knowledge partner of ADB’s leading annual energy forum.

ADB invested more than $23 billion in clean energy, including both sovereign and nonsovereign initiatives from 2008 to 2019. Last year, ADB’s climate financing reached a record $6.56 billion, meeting its target of doubling its annual climate investments from 2014 one year ahead of schedule.

Under Strategy 2030, ADB is targeting $80 billion in cumulative climate financing from its own resources by 2030 and for at least 75% of its country operations to feature climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives.

Continue Reading

Publications

Latest

Russia25 mins ago

The Solidarity of China and Russia Serves to Contain the Hegemony of the United States

Authors: Yang Yi-zhong & Zhao Qing-tong* On July 9, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi revealed that relations between China and...

Diplomacy2 hours ago

3 Ideas for Your Essay on Diplomacy

Taking up diplomatic studies is a practice that long ago earned admiration from young people due to the impressive range...

Energy2 hours ago

Promoting Indonesia’s Renewable Energy for a Better Future

Indonesia has a large target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 29% from business as usual (BAU) emissions by...

Reports4 hours ago

COVID-19 Charts Uncertain Course for Back-to-School, Back-to-College Season

COVID-19 has elevated parent’s anxieties around health and finance, and led them to question the quality of education that students...

East Asia6 hours ago

The implementation of the BRI project at sea: South Maritime and Arctic Silk Roads

In 2013, China started to launch a global system of transport corridors that should connect China with the entire world...

Newsdesk8 hours ago

From Relief to Recovery: PNG’s Economy in the Time of COVID-19

Papua New Guinea’s economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis due to weaker demand and less favorable terms...

Energy News10 hours ago

Deloitte: Energy Management – Paused by Pandemic, but Poised to Prevail

Since Deloitte began conducting its annual survey tracking clean energy attitudes and actions a decade ago, the percentage of residential...

Trending