Over 180 attend sustainability awareness webinar

UOB Asset Management (UOBAM) Brunei kicked off the first of a series of sustainability-related webinars on the importance and impact of incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investments yesterday.

The webinars are organised in collaboration with Universiti Brunei Darussalam School of Business and Economics (UBDSBE) and focus on raising awareness on how investors can take action through investments.

This marks the university’s first webinar series dedicated to ESG and sustainable investing.
According to the Asian Development Bank Institute, ESG awareness in Brunei is still in its infancy stage.

As the younger generation deepens its understanding of global ESG issues such as climate change, UOBAM Brunei anticipates that they will help to drive the demand for sustainable investments either personally, through their connections or as they enter the workforce.

UOBAM Head of Sustainability Office Victor Wong said, “With over three decades of investment expertise in Asia, UOBAM is committed to steering wealth to sustainable investments that create long-term value and positive impact for stakeholders. In line with the global push to achieve net-zero sustainability targets, we have seen growing investor interest and demand, in particular among the younger generation, in sustainable investing. Through our webinar series, we want to provide the public in Brunei with more in-depth understanding of ESG trends so that they can better navigate the complex and evolving ESG landscape. For example, they will learn about the different indicators for the evaluation of companies’ ESG performance. As we invest for both profit and purpose, we can help forge a sustainable future for all.”

UOB Asset Management Head of Sustainability Office Victor Wong speaks at the webinar. PHOTO: UOB ASSET MANAGEMENT

International initiatives, such as the Paris Agreement signed by 195 countries in 2015 to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius, gave rise to investor activism and awareness. As a result, corporates face increased pressure to adopt sustainability practices by environmentally and socially conscious investors who want to contribute to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals. There is also greater emphasis on how a company is run, including its business ethics and shareholder protection practices.

In 2020, sustainable investment assets globally surpassed USD35 trillion, up from USD30.6 trillion in 2018 and which accounted for a third of total assets under management. By 2025, sustainable investment assets are expected to exceed USD50 trillion.

As a signatory of the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), UOBAM is committed to integrating ESG considerations into its investment practices. The UN PRI is recognised as the leading global network to promote sustainable investments.

UBDSBE Deputy Dean (Academic) Dr Mohd Hairul Azrin bin Haji Besar moderated the inaugural webinar titled ‘Sustainability – the Key to Global Investing’.

UBD Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Global Affairs) Dr Joyce Teo Siew Yean was the guest of honour. Over 180 UBD students, faculty members and the public participated in the session.