SINGAPORE (Aug 19): The Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has launched the Maritime Sustainability Reporting Guide, the first sector-specific sustainability reference since the Singapore Exchange’s  inaugural introduction of mandatory annual sustainability reports back in June 2016.

The guide was co-developed by MPA, Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS), SGX and the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), as well as sustainability consultants from Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC.

Targeted at both listed and non-listed companies in the maritime sector, it comprises six chapters to make the sustainability reporting process easier for the maritime industry, including industry best practices and case studies.

The need for the guide was spurred by industry feedback on the growing need for sustainability reporting guidelines, given the benefits that sustainability development practices bring to businesses.

According to chief executive of MPA Quah Ley Hoon, the launch is ‘timely’, in line with climate change emerging one of the key focus points of the National Day Rally 2019 that was delivered by Prime Minister Lee on Sunday night.

“It signals a strong commitment from the maritime industry to do a part for the environment,” says Quah.

In his speech, PM Lee emphasised that Singapore must treat its battle against rising sea levels “with utmost seriousness”, estimating a cost of $100 billion or more over the next 50 to 100 years to protect itself against the phenomenon.

See: No need yet for economic stimulus, PM says, as Singapore looks to infrastructure for the future

“It is only right that the Maritime sector spearheads this effort – as it contributes about 7% of GDP and provides about 170,000 jobs. Singapore is also home to about 5,000 maritime companies both local and international. We can expect the maritime industry to do more on the sustainability front,” adds Quah.

CEO of SGX Loh Boon Chye says, “Global investors are increasingly focused on how companies manage Environmental, Social and Governance factors. The Guide and the exchange’s own initiatives on the sustainability front are efforts that will help elevate interest in Singapore-listed companies as a whole.”