We sat down with a Chief Sustainability Officer to understand how reporting supports a core business strategy focused on sustainability.
Integrating sustainability in business strategy may increase the attractiveness of business to lenders, investors, and customers. However, with the multitude of sustainability reporting frameworks for multinational companies, it can be difficult to determine the best way to tell a unified story to all stakeholders that is consistent with the company’s overall sustainability strategy.
In this episode, host Heather Horn welcomes Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer of Singapore-based real estate firm City Developments Limited, to discuss how companies can manage multiple disclosure frameworks while utilizing sustainability reporting as a catalyst for business innovation, investment, and impact.
In this episode, you’ll hear discussion of:
  • 5:02 - Esther’s professional background and sustainability leadership in Singapore
  • 12:06 - How COVID-19 accelerated awareness of sustainability
  • 17:35 - Creating business value through sustainability and achieving the “triple bottom line” of profit, people, and planet
  • 20:58 - Four pillars — integration, innovation, investment, and impact — to shift sustainability from a compliance exercise to a winning business strategy
  • 24:11 - The importance of truthful sustainability reporting and how to manage multiple frameworks
  • 29:37 - The challenge of obtaining an approved target from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)
  • 32:20 - Common questions investors pose related to sustainability reporting
  • 35:05 - How sustainability as a business strategy attracts greater investment
  • 37:27 - Tips to enhance sustainability reporting practices

Looking for more information on getting ready for mandatory ESG reporting? Check out our publication, Preparing for tomorrow's rules today. Additionally, listen to our previous podcast on how investments in technology that support sustainability reporting can also drive business value.
About our guest
Esther An is the Chief Sustainability Officer of City Developments Limited (CDL). For over two decades, she has advocated for ESG principles underlying sustainable development within her home base of Singapore and abroad. She has helped set global benchmarks for green construction and sustainability, and initiated sustainability reporting in Singapore a decade ago. Esther is involved in many sustainability organizations, including as a founding and current member of the Business Council for Sustainable Development Singapore; a member of the property working group of the United Nations Environment Programme – Finance Initiative; and part of the corporate advisory board of the World Green Building Council in London.
About our host
Heather Horn is PwC’s National Office thought leader, responsible for developing our communications strategy and conveying firm positions on accounting and financial reporting matters. She is the engaging host of PwC’s accounting and reporting weekly podcast and quarterly webcast series. With over 30 years of experience, Heather’s accounting and auditing expertise includes financial instruments and rate-regulated accounting.
Transcripts available upon request for individuals who may need a disability-related accommodation. Please send requests to us_podcast@pwc.com.
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