SDG Ambition: Mobilizing Ambitious Corporate Actions Towards the Global Goals – Leaders Summit Session 2022


Covering “SDG Ambition: Mobilizing Ambitious Corporate Actions Towards the Global Goals” live from UN Global Leaders Summit floor.

Featuring Sue Allchurch, Chief, Outreach & Engagement at UN Global Compact, Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer at City Developments Limited (CDL); Azzahraa Annuar, Director – Governance, Risk & Compliance at edotco Group; Gloyta Nathalang, Executive Vice President, Corporate Branding, Communication and Sustainability Activation at Bangchak Corporation Public Company Limited; Elim Sritaba, Chief Sustainability Officer at Asia Pulp & Paper.

  • Business leaders across ASEAN regions discuss the importance and value of setting and integrating ambitious goals across operations and supply chains for businesses and the principle-based approach to achieving the SDGs.
  • Discussants share examples of the ambitious goals they are setting and the enabling instruments to drive the successful implementation.
(From Left to Right: Esther An, Azzahraa Annuar, Gloyta Nathalang, Elim Sritaba, and Sue Allchurch (moderator))

The SDG programs provide useful templates and guidance for companies across industries to implement sustainable goals. Collaboration with governments and communities also contribute to the success of these goals and programs. Internally, companies must also seek to keep learning from the youth as well as from other industry veterans so we can achieve climate action goals as well as progress human rights. The four women energetic and passionate leaders across four different industries show that each step matters for long term commitments.

From the panel

Esther An (Chief Sustainability Officer at City Developments Limited (CDL))

  • Set reasonable targets while understanding you can be more ambitious.
  • “It’s really important to understand how SDG can bring positive impact aligning with your business strategy.”
  • Sustainability also means looking at labor practices and equality because we use a lot of migrant works.
  • “All of this is a step-by-step. It’s progressive steps to achieve what we want to and we’re far from where we want to.”
  • We can’t do it alone. Engage with your whole ecosystem. “Partnerships really amplify impacts.”
  • Unearth really good talent and help them grow. Discover the “unicorns.”
  • “Innovation doesn’t come free” so you must have sustainable finance. Green bonds and sustainable linked loans matter.
  • We’re not building for past of today, we’re building for the future. Ask questions like “How do we build for physical and mental health?”
  • Inaction will cost more. From a business perspective, it’s never been a stronger case. If you don’t plan for future and your impact, you can’t manage.

Azzahraa Annuar (Director – Governance, Risk & Compliance at edotco Group)

  • “Internet and connectivity is a basic human right.” Edotco services nine countries and 91 million of the population still has no internet or connectivity.
  • There are three distinct challenges: country, industry, and culture challenges. “If you’re a company like ours, you cannot operate alone.” You should work closely with government and regulators to figure out what the country needs. Additionally, you should find the common dominator across the industry and revamp systems to do the basics. Continue to revisit your systems and procedures to adapt to changes.
  • “I cannot think of any initiative that we can do alone without others.”
  • We’re based in Malaysia so it’s important to support the government as well.
  • “It’s important for companies to learn from those who have done it before us. It’s better for the industry. At a company level, we can control that. It’s doing business responsibly.”
  • “Don’t be afraid to start small. It’s ok. Different companies have different levels of maturity.” It’s ok to push the reset button.

Gloyta Nathalang (Executive Vice President, Corporate Branding, Communication and Sustainability Activation at Bangchak Corporation Public Company Limited)

  • “The word of the day is agility. We need to be agile to adjust to the situation.”
  • As an energy company, it’s challenging. “The world cannot last long with fossil fuels.” So, we diversified our company profile. We’re working on a seagrass project that is one of the best [carbon] sequestration.  
  • Brand your cause because you get recognized. It’s good for business.
  • “I want our company to be a happy workplace. The fact we have gender equality, LGBTQ is no issue for our company. We want to be inclusive. What is most rewarding is that our employees feel this is a good place to work for.”
  • “You cannot be a hero alone.” Bring out the best of you, and help the world together.

Elim Sritaba (Chief Sustainability Officer at Asia Pulp & Paper)

  • “Without implementation, the goals will not be done.”
  • As an energy company, it’s challenging. “The world cannot last long with fossil fuels.”
  • Climate action is an overarching umbrella across all our business models.
  • “A lot of people cannot read or write in Thailand so one of our fundamental problems is to tackle literacy” using online programs.
  • It’s important to know benchmarks. It’s a journey, we have to drive the change. It’s nothing simple. Find your local network.

This article is part of a series covering the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit. The UN Global Compact (UNGC) Leaders Summit is an annual convening of global stakeholders from the UN, the public and private sectors, and civil society that takes stock of progress of the SDGs so far, and addresses the gaps in knowledge, resources, and funding. The 2022 Leaders Summit, like last year’s summit, will be a hybrid event of live and virtual speakers. Featured venues this year include an in-person event held in Bangkok, as well as virtual plenaries in Latin America, Australia, East Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, in addition to UN Headquarters in New York. This inclusive global event — which will run continuously for more than 24 hours — aims to empower business leaders at every level to take collective action and inspire future leaders to embed a
sustainability mindset in their work. ESG News is the exclusive media partner of the event, and will cover all 26 panels. To read all of the articles in
the series, visit here.

Event Details

Day/Time of Panel: Day 1; 11:30 pm EST

Sequence of Panel: Last panel of Day 1