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Nov '23

Spanning Diverse Domains to Build an Engaged City University – SMU shares Unique Perspective at Global Forum 2023 – Yahoo Finance

BEIJING , Nov. 27, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The "Green Finance and Governance: From Commitments to Actions" Global Forum, co-organised by Singapore Management University (SMU) and Renmin University of China (RUC), was concluded on 21 November, 2023. The Forum brought together experts, industry leaders and academics from Singapore, China and around the world. SMU representatives shared their insights and experiences on the theme with other guests and attendees at the Forum.

In the opening speech, SMU Provost, Prof Timothy Clark, representing SMU, expressed gratitude to RUC and a warm welcome to the forum participants. He said, "SMU's vision is dedicated to addressing societal challenges and issues through interdisciplinary and impactful research that are aligned to our three strategic priorities, namely Digital Transformation, Sustainable Living, and Growth in Asia." SMU actively seeks collaborations with partners in Singapore and neighboring regions who share similar visions. Prof Clark also highlighted the role of the university in driving change, especially in integrating research and industry expertise, as well as the university's contribution to advancing green finance development.

Prof Hao Liang, Associate Professor of SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB), Ho Bee Professorship in Sustainability Management and Co-Director of Singapore Green Finance Centre, made a keynote speech on the topic of "Green Finance: Opportunities and Risks at the Same Time". In his speech, he called for the adoption of transition financing, i.e. providing capital to traditional "brown businesses" to help them improve energy efficiency and gradually transform into "green businesses". He introduced a framework model for assessing the net impact value of an enterprise, which guided investment decisions by quantitatively evaluating and weighting different impact factors, taking into account the financial, social and environmental impacts. In addition, Prof Liang shared projects of Singapore Green Finance Centre in collaboration with universities, which aimed at integrating different assessment criteria to create a complete impact assessment and reporting framework. He emphasised the importance of international cooperation, setting values for different fields, quantification, and data generation to support businesses' sustainable and zero-carbon emission goals.

During the panel discussion session, Prof Simon J.D.Schillebeeckx, Assistant Professor of Strategy and Innovation of SMU LKCSB, Co-founder and Director of the Global Mangrove Trust and Handprint.tech, said that Singapore is very good at internalising and absorbing the experiences of other countries and translating them into local experiences; in terms of ESG governance, Singapore has taken several key steps. He also referred to Europe's leadership in the area of climate change and emphasised the indispensability of global cooperation for sustainable development. He argued that even if Europe could achieve carbon neutrality, global climate change could not be solved without the support of other countries and the reduction of their carbon footprint. In response to a question about ESG and government goals, Simon emphasised the important role of governments in the SDGs. He argued that governments should be responsible for managing core areas such as climate, and noted that ESG and government goals can be mutually reinforcing. He highlighted the importance of accountability in the final execution and evaluation by the government, emphasising the need for governments to play a role in achieving a better green finance transformation.

In the interview after the meeting, Prof Sun Sun Lim, SMU Vice President (Partnerships and Engagement), pointed out that SMU aims to provide students with a deeper understanding of various issues in Asia through its in-depth research and teaching. As an engaged city university, SMU not only focuses on the major challenges in society, but also looks forward to cooperating with more top Chinese universities in the future. Such collaborations will provide opportunities for both parties to engage in dialogues with Chinese academic and industry leaders on platforms such as global forums to discuss important issues such as environmental sustainability and digital transformation. This collaboration will not only be a tremendous boost to the international reputation of SMU, but will also help promote in-depth research and solutions to the many challenges facing society today.

The Global Forum provided a platform to address key societal issues and promote collaboration between academics, policymakers and the business community, and the perspectives and insights expressed by SMU representatives at the Forum demonstrated SMU ambition to be an "engaged city" university – one that focuses on building interdisciplinary specialisms and impactful research to address the challenges faced by society today. This not only demonstrates SMU’s forward-looking vision and broad academic landscape, but also highlights its tireless efforts and contributions to building a Smart Nation for Singapore.

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