Cambodia Investment Review

Give A Day 20: Lessons from Global Markets on Managing Impact and Transparency for SDG Achievement

Give A Day 20: Lessons from Global Markets on Managing Impact and Transparency for SDG Achievement

Cambodia Investment Review

The 20th edition of Give a Day was hosted on February 1, 2024, at the Khmer Enterprise Office focused on enhancing sustainability practices, titled “Navigating Impact Management and Transparency to Achieve the SDGs: Learning from Key Global Markets.”

The event, attended by 46 participants and 13 organizers, featured insights from sustainability leaders including:

  • Fai Wechayachai and Santiago Sueiro of GSG
  • Jo Fackler from the Impact Management Platform
  • Chea Yaeem of the Securities Exchange Commission of Cambodia
  • Michael Tan from Aquarii
  • Devahuti Choudhury from the UNDP Sustainable Finance Hub

Read more: 19th Give a Day Wraps Up 2023, Thanking Keynote Participants & The Growing Cambodian Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

The meeting aimed to deepen the understanding of how transparent practices can drive private capital towards societal and environmental improvement. Discussions revolved around the latest trends in sustainability reporting and their regional impacts, equipping organizations with the necessary tools to foster transparency and impact management within their operations, and contributing to global sustainability efforts as advocated by the GSG.

The Foundations for Managing Impact

The meeting, broken into four groups, discussed how to better integrate impact management in both non-profits and businesses. They highlighted the need for clear guidelines, better understanding of impact measurement, and the importance of choosing the right frameworks in a sea of options.

The groups also noted the private sector’s increasing interest in impact management, seeing it as a way to drive sustainability. They discussed the challenges of building the necessary skills, managing costs, and creating supportive policies. However, they also saw opportunities in aligning with global sustainability goals and attracting investments focused on impact.

The 20th edition of Give a Day.

Overall, the meeting emphasized the need to shift focus from risk to impact measurement and increase awareness about sustainability and governance. The discussions pointed out the challenges in managing impact but also underlined the potential for significant progress by leveraging resources and increasing awareness about sustainable practices.

Impact Transparency and Sustainability Reporting

In the session, experts tackled the readiness of businesses for escalating sustainability disclosure demands. They identified challenges such as the misalignment with varied standards, viewing disclosures as a cost unless mandated, and the technical and operational hurdles in adopting these practices.

Read more: AVPN Hosts Inaugural Impact Investment Roundtable 2023: Building a Collaborative Ecosystem for Social Impact in Cambodia

However, opportunities were also recognized. Shifting perspectives to see disclosures as value-adding, attracting investment through robust sustainability practices, and contributing to global governance and climate goals were highlighted as key benefits.

The 20th edition of Give a Day.

The discussion also proposed national strategies to ease businesses into these growing disclosure demands. Encouraging a culture of transparency through investor relations, connecting companies with impact investors, and considering financial incentives like tax breaks were suggested as ways to turn compliance into a competitive advantage. These approaches aim not just to meet standards but to integrate sustainability deeply into business strategies for long-term benefits.

Impact Transparency in Asia

The panel discussion emphasized the importance of effectively utilizing the wealth of impact data for strategic decision-making, particularly in integrating Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) into governance and disclosures. However, challenges persist, notably within the investor community, where skepticism stems from misconceptions about impact and ESG practices, and concerns over the high costs and time required for ESG integration.

To counter these challenges, the panel advocated for a broader and more accessible impact education. By redefining ESG as a crucial aspect of attracting capital rather than a mere compliance step, it’s possible to shift investor perceptions and encourage a more inclusive approach to impact investment.

The 20th edition of Give a Day.

This focus on education aims to bridge knowledge gaps and promote a more informed, receptive stance towards impact and ESG initiatives within the investment community.

Give a Day is organized monthly meetings to provide a platform for ESOs in the Cambodian entrepreneurial ecosystem to deeply explore critical issues and foster peer-to-peer learning. To learn more about the program click here.

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