SINGAPORE: Sustainable businesses can unlock new market opportunities worth US$5 trillion and generate about 230 million jobs in Asia by 2030, which represents 12% of the Asian labour force, according to a report by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC).
The findings were presented in the Asia edition of its report called Better Business, Better World, which was presented at an annual Ecosperity conference organised by Temasek Holdings. It brings together CEOs, innovators and policymakers from around the world to discuss issues on sustainability growth.
The BSDC report stated that the US$5 trillion in potential market opportunities spread across four areas – food and agriculture, cities, energy and minerals as well as health and wellbeing.
It also found that about half of the opportunities could be found in China, US$1.1 trillion each in India and emerging Asia, and the remaining US$0.7 trillion in developed Asia which include Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.
In his opening remarks, Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng noted how businesses are putting sustainability at the core of their operations.
“Consumers are also driving businesses to focus on sustainability, especially millennial and female consumers. Based on a recent Goldman Sachs study, 93 per cent of millennials and 73 per cent of women agree that environmental and social impact is important in their investment decisions,” he said.
“Investors are also starting to take note of sustainability-themed investments. From 2012 to 2016, such investments have grown 14.6 per cent on a compounded annualised basis, to US$2.3 trillion," Mr Lim added.
Delivering his address, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean outlined Singapore experience on the path of sustainable development: “Today natural gas generates around 95 per cent of our electricity and we are among the 20 most carbon efficient countries in the world. This means we produce low levels of carbon emissions for every dollar of GDP generated."
Mr Teo added that Singapore will intensify its efforts to achieve its commitment under the Paris climate agreement.