A Year of Rejuvenation and Re-Invigoration

A Year of Rejuvenation and Re-Invigoration

A Year of Rejuvenation and Re-Invigoration

The RHT G.R.A.C.E. Institute (“RGI”) was initially conceived as a social enterprise under the education pillar of the RHT Rajan Menon Foundation, to be a forum for the advocacy and education of  G.R.A.C.E. (Governance, Risk, Anti-Money Laundering, Compliance and Ethics/ESG) principles and practices. Our inaugural RGI Forum took place last year on 5 November 2020, two days after the US Presidential Election. It therefore wasn’t surprising that the US Election was the dominant theme for last year’s event.

This year, the RGI Forum took place on 26 November 2021, less than two weeks after the conclusion of the much anticipated 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference or “COP26” as it is better known, in Glasgow, Scotland. Needless to say, the theme for this year’s RGI Forum centred around addressing the four COP26 goals from the perspective of the G.R.A.C.E. principles, and it was organised in conjunction with RHT Green, our consulting practice that advises organisations in sustainable value creation strategies. The Forum featured a wide range of themes helmed by several expert panels, with topics covering (1) Governance & Climate Change: Ambition to Action in Achieving Net Zero, (2) Sustainability and Ethics in Business, and (3) Partnership for Change for a Sustainable Future in ASEAN.

Amongst our distinguished panellists were Thomas McMahon, CEO & Co-Founder of AirCarbon Exchange (himself having just returned from COP26), Raul Rosales, Senior Executive Fellow, Centre for Climate Finance & Investment at Imperial College Business School, Marwa Elnahass, Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance at Newcastle University Business School, Harald Heubaum, Deputy Director & Co-Founder, Centre for Sustainable Finance SOAS University of London, Jessica Denoyelle, Head of Legal & Public Affairs, ClimateSeed, Samuel Gill, Co-Founder & COO of Sylvera, Thomas Thomas, CEO, ASEAN CSR Network, Rajeev Peshawaria, CEO, Stewardship Asia Centre, Frederico Donato, President, EU Chamber of Commerce, and Dr Farshad Shishehchian, Group President & CEO Blue Aqua International.

As part of the ongoing Distinguished Speaker Series, we also had an insightful and engaging presentation by Managing Director and Group Chief Financial Officer of Olam International Limited, Mr Neelamani Muthukumar, who spoke about Olam’s own sustainability journey and how the company creates a positive impact on all aspects of ESG, from fostering sustainable agricultural systems, how it contributes to feeding the under-nourished particularly in Asia and Africa, to its robust reporting and governance structures for implementing its sustainability strategies.

Lest one may think that RGI is only an organiser of high-profile conferences, between the time of the 2 RGI Forums, we had entered into several strategic partnerships:- with the UOB-SMU Asian Enterprise Institute (“UOB-SMU AEI”), the Centre for Executive Education and the Disruptive Leadership Institute, and the Australian Alumni Singapore, all with the aim of collaborating with these distinguished organisations to encourage professional, business, social and other interactions between the members of each of these organisations through joint activities, events, and functions. There are more partnerships in the pipeline which we are confident will be sealed in the coming year.

In 2021 RGI had also organised two webinars jointly with Straits Interactive, with the theme of Repositioning Yourself in GRC (Governance, Risk & Compliance), one focused in Singapore and after its successful run, another primarily targeting a Malaysian audience. We also held a joint event with UOB-SMU AEI on Responsible Retrenchment & Outplacement, where RHT Communications & Investor Relations was invited to discuss the importance of Crisis Communications, an essential skill in today’s increasingly unpredictable business environment.

While the above activities have certainly kept the RGI team quite occupied this year, the most exciting part of RGI’s evolutionary journey has yet to happen, and the team has been working hard over the last few months to lay the groundwork for the next transformative step that RGI will be embarking on in the first half of next year. With everything going according to plan, RGI may become the portal through which the other entities in #ONERHT will be able to leverage on to facilitate the next steps in their growth journey. Stay tuned for more exciting news and Happy Holidays!

Raymond Ang & Yang Eu Jin
Council Members
RHT G.R.A.C.E. Institute