In this podcast - Looking at ESG in the digi-infra space in Asia: In conversation with Control Risks – Alex Roberts and Gilly Hutchinson sit down with Clare Morton and Rosie Hawes at Control Risks to discuss ESG in the digi-infra space in Asia, breaking down issues falling under each of the “E”, “S” and “G”.
ESG continues to rise up the agenda in the tech space.
Looking at the “E” of ESG, many different technologies will need to be rapidly developed and scaled if the world is going to achieve the transition to net zero by 2050. They will require significant public and private investment in 2023 and beyond. Investment will be needed across all stages of technology evolution - from equity financing of deep-tech start-ups producing next generation solutions to high value project financing to develop large scale storage and generation facilities for more established technologies. The sources of finance are diverse with venture capital, private equity, sovereign wealth, and pension funds alongside corporates, banks, multilateral agencies, asset managers, and national governments (for further discussion on financing net zero tech see our Tech Legal Outlook 2023). Faced with increasing regulation and scrutiny, market participants and regulators alike in Asia are looking to harness innovation and technology to promote green finance ecosystems and support organisations monitor compliance with regulatory obligations and net zero commitments.
In respect of the “S”, the themes range from diversity and inclusion of management – at board level and within partnerships – to labour standards in supply chains, to health and safety, human rights, product safety and privacy and data protection – being a key concern for tech sector businesses.
And finally, on the “G” - governance is the final prong to the ESG umbrella and another theme which has been coming to the fore in the last 12 months for tech businesses in Asia. Governance captures transparency, culture, business ethics and remuneration – and focuses on putting frameworks in place to develop and monitor strategies beyond pure short-term profitability, to ensure the sustainability and resilience of business models.