The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region has a diverse range of sustainability initiatives and policies. In our previous article, we focused on Korea, Singapore, and Thailand as case studies to provide an overview of country-specific efforts in achieving carbon neutrality. We also set the context for businesses to tap into these individual markets as these decarbonisation policies spill over into business strategies and operations.
Indeed, governments in APAC are following international calls by taking the lead in environmental sustainability. There are many opportunities in the broader APAC region for corporations and investors to integrate sustainability in their business practices and operations. Following the COP26, businesses must take action to offset their carbon footprint and shift their operations towards renewable energy sources.
Businesses should consider the following practices to drive a more sustainable world:
Invest in Renewable Energy
The technology sector is already the largest corporate contractor of renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs). Tech businesses are both consumers and enablers of renewable energy. In Asia, where renewable resources are scarce, businesses can ride on the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero to collaborate with the financial services sector to invest in battery storage systems for power-hungry data centres. This is a far more effective solution to cut emissions compared to purchasing carbon credits to compensate for excessive emissions.
Innovate to Develop Technological tools for Verification and Certification in Global Carbon Markets
Some of the governments and businesses in APAC will continue to depend on carbon offsets in the long term. Following the COP26 agreement for a global carbon market, there will be high demand for mechanisms to verify carbon offset credits. Digital tools such as cloud-based data platforms will allow effective measurement and tracking of environmental and social impacts across value chains, hence avoiding the risk of double counting emission reductions.
Report Climate Risks in Business Operations
Climate change poses a financial risk for many businesses, including tech firms. Following the recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, there has been increasing investor demand for corporate disclosures on climate risks. Many jurisdictions have also adopted mandatory climate risk disclosures. Tech companies need to report extensively and transparently on their climate risks, targets, and goals. The incorporation of climate risk disclosure in the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility practices would ensure accountability and transparency of the climate risks in data centre operations.
Engage with Governments on Climate Issues
The continuous battle against climate change requires multilateral cooperation between governments, companies, and investors. To achieve the Paris Agreement goals, businesses can contribute new insights and first-hand experiences to help drive the effective implementation of sustainability efforts. Faced with the new pressures of climate change on business operations, many companies are developing innovative solutions for renewable generation, storage technologies and carbon decoupling solutions like electric vehicles (EVs). One key example is Tesla’s accelerated production of EVs to lead the sustainability charge in the automotive industry.
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