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About Sustainability…

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About Sustainability…

Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

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About Sustainability… is a podcast presented by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, featuring IGES staff and guests having in-depth discussions about sustainability-related topics. Each episode addresses a different topic of conversation -- be it an upcoming event, a debate of interest, or an interesting research finding. With the topic as a starting point, we see where the conversation takes us. We aim at a broad audience, so we avoid using jargon and try not to assume lots o ...
 
Asia-Pacific banks are facing existential threats from technology company disruptors, economic uncertainty, business transformation, capital inefficiencies and COVID-19. The EY NextWave Banking in Asia-Pacific Podcast features experts from the world of the Banking and Capital Markets (BCM) sector offering insights and analysis on a wide range of topics that will help banks reinvent themselves to emerge stronger and leaner than ever.
 
The banking industry is undergoing a radical shift, one driven by new competition from fintechs, changing business models, mounting regulation and compliance pressures. Join us on Digital Banking Trends in Asia-Pacific by Temenos, a podcast where we speak to industry experts and practitioners to help banks chart a clear path forward to attain digital transformation.
 
Startup Snapshot is a Tech in Asia podcast that uncovers the raw emotions and roller-coaster journeys that startup founders face when trying to turn their innovative ideas into reality. Host Nathaniel Fetalvero talks to entrepreneurs and business leaders from across the region, discussing how the lessons they've picked up on their startup journey helped shape them into who they are today. Aside from Startup Snapshot, you can tune in to Deep Dive on the first Wednesday of each month, where Na ...
 
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show series
 
It is a ideal time to take a temperature check of the state of sustainable finance in Asia as the year draws to an end. The episode’s guest is an expert in all things sustainable finance given his background and interactions with regulators, corporations, and investors. Tasos Zavitsanakis if the head of Sustainable Finance for Greater China at UBS’…
 
In this episode of About Sustainability… Erin and Simon caught up with Andre just before his trip to Montreal, Canada for the second part of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15). A few things have changed since the release of our CBD episode back in March. CBD COP15 will now be conv…
 
Our guest is Jan Napiorkowski, global head of clean energy at Ariel Re. Jan first discusses his background and his work in insurance in clean energy, an area which is vital to sustainable finance. The elephant topic! Then we launch into two sections. In the first part of the episode, we look at some of the basics. Namely, the insurance and reinsura…
 
The recent Bali summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping underscored two things about the U.S.-China relationship as we near the end of the year 2022: first, that many of the differences between the United States and China are, in the end, irreconcilable; and second, that notwithstanding that, both sides have a state…
 
In this episode of About Sustainability… Bob kicked off a new experimental format, tentatively called “Sustainability Afoot”. The concept is simple: go for a walk near the headquarters of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in Hayama, Japan, and discuss some basic questions about a topic, concept, or methodology that IGES works…
 
Welcome to the 20th episode. Our guest is Nicolas Leong from Wärtsilä Energy, based in Tokyo. We first discuss the company, a leading technology provider, as a case study of a firm heavily involved in the energy transition and decarbonization in Asia. A firm which, amongst other things, is focused on grid balancing gas engines and energy storage sy…
 
This is the second part of our episode on SDG4 and education for sustainable development. In this part we focused on whether the right skills are taught in schools to equip people with skills and priorities necessary to bring about a more sustainable world rather than one characterized by competition and scarcity. Robert shared more information and…
 
Andrew Koscharsky, Energy Markets Project Director at Australia’s Squadron Energy, shares his views on Singapore as a Asian clean energy hub at the operational level and at the sustainable finance levels. We compare and contrast two highly different clean energy markets Singapore and Australia and he evaluates key recent developments and challenges…
 
Vibe Check: Mental Health in the Startup World is a Tech in Asia podcast where writer and editor Winston Zhang speaks to startup leaders and mental health professionals to see what he can learn from them when it comes to managing his mental well-being. Listen to Vibe Check: Mental Health in the Startup World on your podcast platform of choice to ca…
 
In this episode we talked with our good friend Robert Didham. He is Centre Director and Associate Professor at the Centre for Collaborative Learning for Sustainable Development Faculty of Education, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. We talked to Robert about education for sustainable development and its place in Agenda 2030 as SDG 4. He…
 
Once a rising fintech company that drew in investors such as Y Combinator and Stripe, Philippines-based PayMongo now finds itself in a precarious position. Allegations of questionable spending and employee harassment from senior leaders cropped up a few months ago, leading Francis Plaza, the startup’s CEO, to go on voluntary leave. What happened at…
 
Brief yet comprehensive discussion on current developments in climate finance in mainland China, Hong Kong, in Taiwan. We first touch on the recent evolution of international Environmental and Social Performance Standards related to project financing. We then discuss what international banks require to make a project “bankable”. We talk about some …
 
The issue of human rights has long been one of the thorniest issues in the U.S.-China relationship. Both countries publish annual reports lambasting the perceived human rights violations of the other country, and U.S. condemnation of Chinese policies in Xinjiang affecting the Uyghur population routinely dominate media headlines as well as the atten…
 
We are all witnessing the evolution of the payments industry. The fast-changing and dynamic payments landscape has enabled banks to focus extensively on agility and scalability as customer expectations continue to transform. Moreover, banks are drawing inspiration from digital players in adopting their digital payments model and considering innovat…
 
Digitalization is no longer an option but an experience for consumers today. As a result, the future of digibanks is bright, and we may expect new innovations in banking services in the near future. ASEAN region, including Malaysia, is poised to be the next battleground for digital banks, with existing players stepping up their expansion plans, in …
 
Southeast Asia is a massively important region given its population of almost 700 million and fast-growing energy consumption of 30 exajoules – the EU’s was 57 EJ. Many of the individual economies in the region are in the process of decarbonizing. Given the bulk of them are still developing, financing the energy transition is a crucial aspect. We d…
 
In this episode of About Sustainability..., Erin, Andre, and Bob invited Eric Zusman back to talk about SDG3 on Health. Eric works on co-benefits between air pollution mitigation and climate action, which has significant implications for public health. Meanwhile, Erin provided some context and perspectives based on her public health background. We …
 
SUMMARY. We discuss with Fulvio Bartolucci the current state as well as the future of renewable energy trading in the world’s largest electric power market, China. Fulvio, a highly experienced industry participant and GM at Tera Energies, first provides his insights on the nation's energy transition from brown to green emphasising the country’s adv…
 
Everyone knows that staying afloat in today’s fast-moving, transformative business environment means using technology to enable increased agility. It’s not enough to adapt to what’s happening now – the key is to be prepared to adapt to what comes next and beyond. In this episode of the NextWave Banking in Asia-Pacific podcast, host Andrew Gilder an…
 
Summary. In-depth discussion with UBS Global Wealth Management’s Stephanie Choi about sustainable investing (SI) and finance. The discussion first puts SI into the global context as well as the regional one. Then Stephanie tackles SI products from a variety of perspective. Stephanie also clearly unpacks some of the SI critique which has been grabbi…
 
In the second episode of our series on SDGs, Simon, Andre and Erin invited Prabhakar SVRK, who knows a lot about climate adaptation, food and agriculture. Focusing on SDG2 on Zero Hunger, we talked about the challenges to achieve a world free from hunger while trying to reduce fossil fuel use to limit climate change, given the significant fossil fu…
 
Summary. Ep.14 is a comprehensive, insightful, and honest discussion on ESG and sustainable finance and investing with Matt Orsagh, a thought leader on the subject. It is a lively two-way chat covering all of the latest key trends and developments globally and putting Asia in the global context. Matt also honestly addresses why we are where we are …
 
Every so often on our podcast series we slightly depart from issues within the strict U.S.-China geopolitical context to examine subjects that are indirectly affected. This is just such an episode, where we will speak about the necessity of diversity and community inclusion in both technological advancements, but also in strengthening our nation ag…
 
Today, one of the most hotly debated areas in the banking industry is whether to build or buy banking technology solutions and softwares. There are perks to both. Building allows you to be in complete control of your final product while buying provides a cost-effective, often quick solution that is usually reliable and robust. This episode explores…
 
With a pandemic digital transformation is more important than ever. In fact, digital is the only growing channel in banking. In this episode we talk about operationalizing digital change and the big transformation challenges that the banks are facing. We also discuss the role of SaaS platforms in ensuring business agility and speed, the advantages …
 
Summary. Carbon finance and investing is a crucial area of development in climate and sustainable finance. Fund flows have been increasing exponentially and currently only the tip of the iceberg can be seen from the perspective of opportunities. It is a topic which is complex and, in some marketplaces, generates quite a bit of controversy. The Asia…
 
What’s in an SDG? In an effort to more deeply understand the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), over the next few months, the About Sustainability… podcast will zoom in on each of them in turn. We will invite experts to join us and parse out more about an individual goal, where we are in terms of achieving it, and the challenges it presents. We …
 
Summary. In episode 12 we go back to discuss Australia because of important recent developments in terms of clean energy policy as well as an ongoing energy crisis. Policy-wise the newly elected government is proving to be serious about shifting the energy system to a green and sustainable one. Crisis-wise, the nation has seen its national electric…
 
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not only elevated the risk of a nuclear conflict but also led to some rethinking about the role of nuclear weapons in international affairs. Even before the war, weapon development in North Korea and the breakdown of negotiations with Iran already set back progress in arms control. Meanwhile, China is rapidly expand…
 
Summary. In Ep11 we had the pleasure of chatting with a deeply experienced financier about the financing of clean energy projects around the world, Robert Todd from CIBC Capital Markets, a leading North American financial institutional with a global footprint. He first touches on the key trends that he is experiencing in his day-to-day work and the…
 
Animoca Brands is a name that is practically synonymous with the blockchain scene, with news of its acquisitions, fundraising, and expansions regularly hitting the news. But the Web3 empire’s thrilling crypto success was sparked in a manner that is less grand than its current stature. Though it’s now valued at US$5 billion, it was actually delisted…
 
This is part 2 of the broad discussion that André, Bob, Erin, and Simon went into, which began with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and why it seems so challenging for the world to achieve the goals. Part 2 of the discussion started with Erin’s question on whether the issue with the capitalist system is that negative environmental external…
 
Summary. The episode, recorded on June 16 20022, is an important discussion. It is about Australia evolving into a regional or even global clean energy leader from being a laggard. The Australian energy market may be small by Asian standards, but it has a leading global place in the energy markets. Innovation, ample capital, and a new clean energy-…
 
This time, Andre, Bob, Erin, and Simon went into a broader discussion around the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and why it seems so challenging for the world to achieve the goals despite them constituting the ‘good’ of development. The discussion touched upon many items, including how the SDGs are different than the Millennium Development Goa…
 
Asia-Pacific banks have largely moved cautiously and in lockstep these past years, resulting in offerings that are increasingly commoditized. To emerge from the shadow of COVID-19 and achieve distinctiveness among their peers to pull ahead of the pack, they need to take more decisive actions to eke out fresh approaches for accelerated growth. Only …
 
Summary. In this episode nine we focus on the relative success of the green drive adopted in Singapore. We tried to dig into the various business and finance aspects of the current state and the future outlook of Singapore’s transition towards a green and sustainable future. A transition which has been supported by government but also actively driv…
 
Andre and Erin had a chance to talk to a fascinating person named Wardarina about civic engagement, especially focusing on the Asia-Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism (APRCEM). Simon joined the discussion to provide additional insights, as he too has a lot of experience engaging in this space. Wardarina (or Rina, as she is often known) is cu…
 
As digital banking rises to prominence in Indonesia, tech companies from various sectors have been dipping their toes in the game, partnering with and sometimes even acquiring digibanks. Leveraging their greater and easier access to capital, online and peer-to-peer lenders have also joined the fray. However, some question whether this move toward t…
 
Summary. The podcast focuses on the challenges faced by private equity firms when investing in clean energy projects in Asia. Asia Renewable energy expert Fabian D’Avola provides is insights on some of the key current issues as well as his outlook on the issues. In the first part, Fabian details his background in the clean energy industry as well a…
 
On April 15, senior U.S. congressional members visited Taiwan under the cautious eye of China. This show of support was perhaps an attempt to bolster Taiwan’s faith in the U.S., as an ally that the island can count on should Beijing attempt to invade. And with continued Ukrainian resistance to Russian aggression, Taiwan is reconsidering its own sel…
 
Summary. The conversation started with a discussion on bankable nature solutions. These are financially viable projects which support the development of more climate resilient and sustainable landscapes and economies. Their bankability enables projects to accelerate scaling and replication, realizing large-scale positive impact on nature and commun…
 
Bob and André talked to Sudarmanto Budi Nugroho (“Toto”) and Eric Zusman, two IGES experts who were involved in Working Group III (Climate Mitigation) of the 6th Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The latest report in the IPCC AR6 series, the WGIII Report summarises the latest knowledge on climate mitig…
 
GoTo Group, the new entity formed through the Gojek-Tokopedia merger last year, listed on the Indonesian Stock Exchange this month. While the company’s shares quickly soared past its initial offering price, it also fell just as quickly in a manner reminiscent of the recent public listings of other Southeast Asian firms such as Bukalapak and Grab. I…
 
The Podcast. Energy efficiency (EE) may well be the misunderstood piece of the energy transition. To many EE is all about money saving. In reality EE projects offer attractive returns to asset owners and investors. In the episode, Joseph Jacobelli and Jim Maguire first demystify EE and highlight examples and case studies in Asia. As usual, first th…
 
In this bonus episode of About Sustainability…, André, Bob, Erin, and Simon briefly discussed people’s relationship with nature, from local communities that use natural resources in a low-impact way to large-scale efforts around the world to plant trees. This side conversation happened during our discussion on the Convention on Biological Diversity…
 
Content. In this episode, Joseph Jacobelli discusses with India power expert Arun Kumar how to go about digitally de-risking clean energy investments in India. Joseph first asks Arun about how he became involved in Asia’s energy transition. Then they discuss the crossover of digitalisation and clean energy projects investments and what is the role …
 
In this episode of About Sustainability…, Simon and Erin followed up with Andre and IGES colleague Amila Abeynayaka, an expert on plastics management, on some of the recent outcomes from UNEA-5.2, the second part of the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA). At this year’s UNEA, governments managed to find consensus on 14 …
 
In this audioblog, podcast host Joseph Jacobelli details how Russia's invasion of Ukraine has a negative short term impact on Asia's path to net zero emissions but beyond the 24-month horizon, the region's outlook for decarbonisation remains bright. Full article published in the April 2022 edition of The Energy Industry Times. Production and artwor…
 
Indonesian online lender UangTeman has had a tough few years. Its name has been in and out of headlines since 2018, with stories either focusing on the company’s financial troubles or its apparent recovery. But what’s at the core of UangTeman’s troubles? On this episode of Deep Dive, Tech in Asia journalist Putra Muskita discusses the embattled onl…
 
Conversation about corporate power purchasing agreements (CPPAs) featuring Steven Lu, a four-decade energy and banking veteran. We first discuss how to become part of the energy transition in the Asia Pacific region from the jobs perspective. Then we dig deep into the current dynamics of CPPAs in the region. Finally, we do a bit of crystal gazing o…
 
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