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Engaging Asia on ESG

FAIRR Index Breakfast Series
Asia Roundtable Event
Key Topic(s)

Event Overview

In April 2023, the FAIRR Index Team invited a group of investors and industry experts to FAIRR’s first Asia Index Event. Institutional investors attended the event alongside the CEO of Stewardship Asia Centre’s (SAC), Rajeev Peshawaria and the Asian Corporate Governance Association’s (ACGA) Head of Research, Jane Moir.

During the roundtable, the group discussed the current trends FAIRR has seen within the Asian animal protein sector, the added value FAIRR membership provides to investors interested in engaging Asian markets, and how both stewardship and governance can play a role in reducing ESG-related risk and improving company’s sustainability performance, with a focus on Asian companies.

Asian companies account for 45% of the global market based on revenue, and the companies within FAIRR’s Index account for 21% of this market’s revenue. This acts to highlight the large impact which engaging Asian companies can have in terms of reducing ESG risk globally.

FAIRR commonly receives feedback from investors that Asian companies, particularly those based in China, are difficult to engage with from a shareholder perspective, and the roundtable event provided valuable insights and experiences on navigating this challenge successfully.

FAIRR’S Increased Engagement with Chinese Companies

Last year FAIRR brought onboard a market specialist to engage with Asia, starting with the Chinese companies in our Index universe.

  • FAIRR has now successfully engaged with ten companies.

  • Five companies now provide feedback on our assessment.

  • Six companies now take part in one-to-one calls with FAIRR to discuss their assessment results.

SAC Overview

Rajeev Peshawaria has over 30 years of experience working within corporate governance, being appointed CEO of the Stewardship Asia Centre in 2020, and enlightened the group with a talk on the impact steward leadership can enact on ESG-related issues. Through implementing steward leadership, guided by a set of core values to ‘do better’, Rajeev spoke of companies being able to transform into leaders of the space instead of being box-checkers, simply working to meet regulations.

ACGA Overview

Jane Moir is the Head of Research at the ACGA, a non-profit organization which advocates for improved governance through engagement at both a regulatory and company level. Jane spoke to the group about common hurdles and themes when trying to engage the Board members of Asian companies. Namely, difficulty in directly meeting board members, boards that lack climate expertise and training, most sustainability expertise is found within middle management, and companies often not willing to expose themselves to scrutiny on climate governance.  

FAIRR in Asia

FAIRR’s Engagements Involving Asian Companies

Capacity and relationship-building trip to China

  • Co-host of workshop with CDP China (Beijing)

  • Panel speaker at event hosted by RSPO China (Beijing)

  • Attendance in the Climate Bond Initiative APAC Conference (Hong Kong)

  • Keynote speaker at event hosted by CLSA U (Hong Kong)

Responsible Investor (RI) Japan Event

If you want to learn more about our activities and work in Asia, don't hesitate to contact Erika Susanto.  


FAIRR Index Reports

Key Information
Date:26 April 2023
Time:07:00 - 11:00 BST (UTC+1)
Location:London, United Kingdom
Address:FAIRR Initiative, London, United Kingdom