Why Singapore can be Asia’s Leading Centre for Green FinTech

As one of the world’s most developed fintech markets, Singapore has been clear in her ambition to become a leader in Green FinTech specifically, a vision part of a broader movement for the nation to be sustainable.

During the annual Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) 2021, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and STACS announced our partnership to build the official Project Greenprint ESG Registry, an industry-wide DLT-based platform that aims to provide accessibility to quality ESG data of various industry sectors and enhance the mobilisation of ESG capital. In the same week following the announcement, STACS Managing Director Benjamin Soh officially unveiled the Greenprint ESG Registry on Day 2 of STACS Showcase, and also demonstrated a live platform showcase in an exclusive SFF Roundtable led by the MAS.

As 2021 draws to a close with the recent conclusion of SFF, STACS Showcase, and not forgetting the global COP26, we are taking this opportunity to reflect on Singapore’s status as Asia’s leading Green FinTech hub, and what makes the country a pioneer in leveraging technology and data to enable Sustainable Finance.

Going all-in on Sustainability

As a small city-state, the impact of climate change is felt even stronger here.

In recent years, especially over the course of 2021, financial institutions and corporates alike have been rapidly embracing green technology and sustainable practices, driven by regulation as well as to future-proof themselves and create profitability, both immediate and in the long run.

In their journey towards achieving net zero, companies are quickly recognising that Green FinTech is no longer a good to have, but a must have.

Singapore’s green finance ambitions are spearheaded by the nation’s financial regulatory authority and central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), under Project Greenprint, which focuses on leveraging innovation and technology to deliver better data to support enhanced sustainable finance.

Greenprint ESG Registry as the common green data infrastructure for all sectors

Serving as the common ESG data platform for companies in all sectors, the Greenprint ESG Registry built by STACS in partnership with the MAS, exemplifies the nation’s green fintech capabilities, and eradicates the issue of fragmentation that is largely prevalent in the sustainability and financial industry space globally, fuelled by inconsistent certifications, the lack of a single standard set in place, and legacy infrastructures.

The launch of the Greenprint ESG Registry is a monumental step forward for Singapore in the sustainability space, and a testament of the nation’s progression in being the leading Green FinTech Hub in Asia.

With more than 10 leading financial institutions and corporates from various sectors already onboard, the MAS and STACS seek to continue bringing scale to the Greenprint ESG Registry with financial institutions, ESG data service providers, certification bodies, ratings agencies, other fintech firms, and corporates from various sectors, to collectively optimise the nation’s common ESG data platform across all sectors, and bring forward the future of Sustainable Finance today.

Full Press Release here.

Bringing this to a global stage – Complementing Singapore’s infrastructural advantage with Blockchain

As a city-state, Singapore is a relatively small part of a much larger ASEAN region with over 650 million people.

This in fact contributes to Singapore’s infrastructural advantage: Many local companies, including banks, have presence in various other countries across the region.

In line with our nation’s Green FinTech ambitions and in order to accelerate our planet’s race towards achieving net zero and the Paris Agreement to hold the global average temperature increase well below 2°C, we seek to bring regional and global scale to the Greenprint ESG Registry together with the MAS.

For this to succeed, we recognise the imperativeness of building the trust and confidence of the multinational partners. Blockchain technology is a powerful tool in providing this trust, offering the assurance of immutability and perpetual synchrony amongst all parties.

This is where the blockchain-based Greenprint ESG Registry can demonstrate its robustness: The immutability of the digital, distributed ledger that forms the core of the Greenprint ESG Registry means it cannot be tampered with, without triggering alerts, effectively verifying and authenticating all actions carried out, and preventing greenwashing.

With the Greenprint ESG Registry serving as a common data platform with increasing ecosystem partners collaborating to innovate and optimise the platform with technologies such as blockchain, Singapore is well-placed to cross borders with our Green FinTech solutions, without sacrificing the quality of our impact reports and data tracking.

What does good look like to us? In a simple liner, it’s one where all companies across the world can easily quantify and reliably show their projects’ “greenness”, and in turn secure better sustainable finance.

Singapore as global leader

Earlier this year on the Singapore FinTech Awards Night, Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment of Singapore, highlighted Singapore’s massive fintech ecosystem, which currently represents more than 40% of all fintech companies in the Southeast Asian region. Simultaneously, the nation is ASEAN’s largest green finance market, accounting for close to 50% of cumulative green bond and loan issuances. These attributes make Singapore poised to become a leader in green fintech.

Singapore is STACS’s home market, and we are well-placed in this leading Green FinTech hub from which to collaborate with key industry players, supportive regulatory bodies, and a broad network of global stakeholders.

Leveraging the proven strength of governance and infrastructure here in Singapore, STACS has a critical role to play as the ESG Nexus between the financial industry and sustainability.

The nation’s commitment to sustainability and specifically sustainable finance, in close collaboration with regulators like the MAS, is one which other countries should emulate in their own practices. We are confident that Singapore will continue to spearhead Green FinTech in the region and pioneer many more breakthrough solutions for sustainable finance, leveraging on technology and data.

Article link: https://stacs.io/why-singapore-can-be-asias-leading-centre-for-green-fintech/