Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

Screenshot 2021-07-14 at 5.12.30 PM

IMAS has been actively promoting the adoption of ESG-principled investments and collaborating with industry stakeholders.

As part of our efforts to foster good investor stewardship in Singapore, IMAS strongly supports the adoption of the Singapore Stewardship Principles (SSP) for Responsible Investors launched in 2016 by the SSP Steering Committee, which IMAS is a founding member of. The Singapore Steward Principles (SSP) for Responsible Investors are intended to enhance a positive investment environment by encouraging companies to pursue the spirit of good governance and stewardship, with the ultimate objective of helping companies secure their performance over the long term. The application of responsible stewardship is important to all successful long-term investment processes.

With shifting investor preferences for sustainable investing necessitating a focus on ESG matters, IMAS has collaborated with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and committed to provide strategic guidance to the Asia Sustainable Finance Initiative (ASFI) Advisory Group, so as to ensure that their future initiatives are aligned with broader goals of the investment management industry. IMAS joined the ASFI Advisory Group in 2019, which aims to bring together global industry, academic, and science-based resources to support financial institutions in the region in implementing ESG best practices.

IMAS ESG Initiatives

In line with the broader push for greater awareness and adoption of ESG investing, IMAS has organised various workshops, masterclasses and forums to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and discussion around various ESG-related issues. For example:

  • To promote the adoption of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) practices in the investment management industry, IMAS ran, with the support of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), a 3-part Master Class programme together with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in 2017 and 2018. This programme presented international investors and sustainability experts who discussed the business case for ESG integration, and how it can benefit our industry. We also held masterclasses in collaboration with WWF in 2019 to explore ESG integration in infrastructure finance and how to integrate climate change into business strategies.
  • Through recent IMAS annual conferences and luncheon sessions, we had also invited various asset owners to share their views on ESG investing.
    • Mr Hiro Mizuno, Executive Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund revealed what it takes to be a cross-generational investor, and shone the light on the future of ESG investing and how Asia’s buyside leaders can play a role in ESG integration.
    • An international panel of asset owners, including Singapore sovereign wealth fund, GIC, Canada’s Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Thailand’s Government Pension Fund, also gave their views on the role of illiquid alternatives as a tool of diversification and futureproofing long-term portfolios in a volatile economy.
    • We also had panel discussions involving AIA, GIC and KLP, a Norwegian Pension Fund, discussed about the future of Asia’s ESG Playbook and how global investors are integrating sustainability into their processes, assimilating alternative climate data sources and risk analytics into their portfolio to better manage climate exposures.
    • IMAS also hosted luncheons with KLP and Unisuper, Australian superannuation fund, to share on the role of best practices in responsible investment, value of active ownership in ESG, and how ESG considerations could be integrated into investing processes.
  • We also held ESG workshops on topics such as practical ESG applications in investment risk and performance. For more information about IMAS’ upcoming events on ESG, please click here.


IMAS, as a member of the UNCTAD Sustainable Investment Advisory Council, is also happy to share that UNCTAD has launched the following ESG initiatives that our members can tap on:

Launch of the UN Global Sustainable Finance Observatory (GSFO)
As a platform supporting partnerships across organizations in the sustainable investment space, the GSFO features three newly developed products:

  • Sustainable Funds Database: Assesses the sustainability profile of self-claimed sustainable equity funds, addressing their alignment with the SDGs, exposure to climate change and other risks, and their average ESG rating. The database covers almost 3000 sustainable funds, about half of the global sustainable fund universe. The database aims to bring more transparency to the global sustainable finance market and thus help address greenwashing issues.
  • Sustainable Finance Regulations Platform: Maps the latest developments in sustainable finance-related regulations in G20 member states, major developing economies, and other financial centers, providing a comprehensive overview of the global regulatory landscape in sustainable finance. The database spans 35 economies and country groupings, accounting for 93% of the world’s GDP.
  • Asset Owner Sustainability Rankings: Monitors and ranks the sustainability performance of the world’s 100 largest public pension funds (PPFs) and sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), including their strategies, policies, and practices in integrating the SDGs and climate issues into their investment decision-making.

The Sustainable Finance Track of the 2023 UNCTAD World Investment Forum

Launch of the Sustainability Integration Framework for Institutional Investors

  • As a joint product with UNEP Finance Initiative, the framework serves as a practical guide for institutional investors to integrate the SDGs and sustainable development considerations into their decision-making processes and operations. The framework was launched at the 2023 UNCTAD World Investment Forum.

The 2nd UNCTAD Sustainable Fund Awards

  • Based on data from the Sustainable Fund Database, the Award recognizes the achievements and best practices of the best-performing sustainable funds that demonstrate a high level of sustainability and impact while outperforming their financial benchmarks. Winners of the 2023 Award were announced at the 2023 World Investment Forum.

Chapter III on Capital Markets and Sustainable Finance in the World Investment Report 

  • A perennial component of the World Investment Report, the chapter provides a comprehensive analysis of global trends in sustainable finance and addresses contemporary policy and regulatory issues at national and international levels.

An Integrated Framework and Action Menu on Sustainable Finance Regulation

  • To be launched in 2024, the document will provide regulators and policymakers with a framework and action menu on sustainable finance regulation and policymaking


EnRM Guidelines

In a bid to enhance financial institutions’ resilience to and management of environmental risk, IMAS co-created the Guidelines on Environmental Risk Management for Asset Managers (“EnRM Guidelines”) with MAS, which set out MAS’ supervisory expectations for asset managers in their governance, risk management and disclosure of environmental risk.  To support the industry’s efforts to implement the EnRM Guidelines, IMAS, being a Strategic Partner to the Green Finance Industry Taskforce (GFIT), co-sponsored the  Handbook on Implementing Environmental Risk Management (“Handbook”), which offers guidance to banks, insurers, and asset managers on best practices in implementing environmental risk management.

As part of IMAS’ continued efforts to support the upskilling and reskilling of our industry, in particular in the ESG space, we launched our inaugural ESG module on IMAS’ iLearn platform, “Sustainable Investing and MAS Guidelines on Environmental Risk Management”. The module was created with the support of IMAS Environmental Risk Management Working Group, which comprises representatives from fund management companies who had previously worked with the MAS on the EnRM Guidelines


“IMAS has an important role in Singapore’s strategy to go green, and will provide further support in the nation’s most recent initiative, the Singapore Green Plan 2030. Just this year, we co-drafted the EnRM guidelines and co-funded a handbook on implementing environmental risk management. Moving forward, we believe that the launch of this ESG e-learning module will reinforce our focus on building capability within the industry and help asset managers develop the knowledge and skillsets they require”
– Susan Soh, Chairman of IMAS.

Through our participation on the Singapore Fund Industry Group (SFIG), IMAS is working with industry stakeholders to identify and address capabilities gap by introducing new and relevant training for asset management professionals, with an initial focus on ESG (and digitalisation).

As the ESG landscape continues to evolve and mature, IMAS will continue to work closely with our members to collectively represent your views in cross-industry committees, offer relevant training programmes and create platform for members to come together to discuss further on ESG matters

Contact Us
3 Phillip Street
Royal Group Building #07-01
Singapore 048693

Email: enquiries@imas.org.sg
Tel: +65 6223 9353
Fax: +65 6223 9352