Event Report

The Legal 500 was honoured to host the Green Summit Singapore in collaboration with Allen & Gledhill (A&G), as this event builds upon the success of last year’s inaugural gathering in Southeast Asia, highlighting environmental concerns, but also sharing new opportunities and ideas to improve corporate efforts within the subject of environmental sustainability. Bringing together prominent practitioners and in-house counsel in Singapore, the summit served as a platform for the legal community to actively engage in discussions regarding the green transition and explore innovative pathways toward sustainability.

Structured as a dual-panel session, the summit was dedicated to addressing the pressing challenges confronting in-house lawyers as they strive to transition towards net-zero emissions. Furthermore, the event provided insights into the anticipated landscape of 2024, encompassing forthcoming regulations, emerging innovations, potential opportunities, and evolving trends.

Following a welcome address by Francisco Castro, The Legal 500’s editorial lead for the summit, Allen & Gledhill’s Managing Partner, Jerry Koh, set the tone for proceedings with some opening remarks on the importance of tackling such a meaningful issue, and doing it promptly, as well as on how the country has been evolving on this issue.

Prior to the commencement of sessions, A&G held a significant ceremony as part of their collaboration with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the international standards organisation. A virtual ceremony was conducted to mark the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two entities, solidifying their partnership and commitment to mutual cooperation and shared objectives on environmental sustainability.

Soon after, the first panel session commenced, delving into the pivotal role of in-house legal departments amidst the accelerating transition to a net-zero economy. The amazing panel of guest speakers emphasised their departments’ evolving responsibilities, navigating legal frameworks, and spearheading sustainability initiatives. Central themes revolved around the intersection of legal compliance, corporate strategy, and environmental stewardship.

Key points underscored the necessity for legal departments to proactively engage in assessing and mitigating legal risks associated with carbon emissions, climate change policies, and renewable energy investments. They emphasised the importance of aligning legal strategies with broader corporate objectives to achieve carbon neutrality targets.

The session wrapped up with an engaging Q&A segment that sparked intriguing discussions. Panellists offered valuable insights into their companies’ long-term strategies and shared perspectives on ESG initiatives. Drawing from their experiences, they emphasised the enduring significance of embracing ESG principles, underscoring its lasting presence in business landscapes.

The second and final panel session of the afternoon explored ESG and sustainability expectations for companies in 2024 amidst ASEAN’s changing regulatory landscape. Esteemed guest speakers highlighted the growing importance of ESG factors in corporate governance and investor decision-making.

The discussion underscored the need for in-house lawyers to anticipate and adapt to evolving regulatory frameworks, including increased transparency and reporting requirements. Speakers underscored the role of legal departments in integrating ESG considerations into business strategies, fostering stakeholder engagement, and mitigating legal risks. The panel concluded with a call for proactive collaboration among legal teams, regulators, and stakeholders to navigate the complex and evolving ESG landscape in ASEAN.

Following two exceptionally successful and enlightening panel discussions, Elsa Chen, partner at Allen & Gledhill, concluded the conference with impactful remarks, setting a fitting conclusion to the session, before inviting attendees to partake in drinks and canapés, fostering networking opportunities for speakers and attendees to delve deeper into the ideas and strategies exchanged throughout the sessions.

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