26 July 2023
Witnessed by Minister Grace Fu, the partnership aims to drive research, offer tailored training, & provide resources for sustainable transformation. A strategic move towards a greener, more resilient future.
The Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) has taken a significant step towards fostering sustainable practices among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by signing a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the esteemed professional services firm RSM. The collaboration aims to empower SMEs in embracing sustainability and integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices into their business models and operations.
The momentous MOU signing ceremony was graced by the presence of Ms Grace Fu, the esteemed Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, who witnessed the alliance between SUSS and RSM.
In the contemporary global landscape, ESG issues are significantly influencing how organizations are perceived by the public. As businesses increasingly witness the tangible benefits of incorporating sustainable practices, it has become imperative for Singaporean SMEs to embark on a journey of sustainable transformation.
The strategic partnership between SUSS and RSM, led by the renowned Centre of Excellence for Social Good (CESG) at SUSS, aims to address the key challenges faced by SMEs while encouraging them to prioritize sustainability. To achieve this, the partnership has outlined a series of planned initiatives encompassing three essential areas:
- Joint Research on Impact of Sustainability and ESG Performance on SMEs: SUSS and RSM will collaborate on research endeavors aimed at exploring the influence of sustainability and ESG performance on SMEs. The findings from this research will provide valuable insights into effective strategies for integrating sustainable practices into SME business models.
- Developing Frameworks, Case Studies, and Guidelines: The partnership will focus on creating frameworks, case studies, and guidelines that SMEs can use to better incorporate sustainability principles into their day-to-day operations. By providing practical resources, the aim is to equip SMEs with the necessary tools to embark on their sustainable transformation journey.
- Tailored Training Programs: SUSS and RSM will work together to develop customized training programs catered to SMEs. These programs are designed to enhance their capabilities and foster greater understanding of ESG practices, making knowledge more accessible and applicable to their specific needs.
Speaking on the collaboration, Professor Tan Tai Yong, President of SUSS, stated, “With the rollout of efforts under the Singapore Green Plan 2030, SUSS recognizes the need to provide greater support to SMEs on their sustainable transformation journey. This partnership with RSM demonstrates our commitment to fostering greater synergy with industry partners, providing tailored applied learning opportunities to upskill our SMEs. By equipping the SME community with the necessary tools, knowledge, and guidance to navigate the ESG landscape, we hope to smoothen the journey for SMEs to embrace sustainable practices and contribute to a better future for everyone.”
Echoing the sentiment, Professor Ang Hak Seng, Director of the Centre of Excellence for Social Good and Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at SUSS, said, “Our conversations with SMEs have revealed a key pain point, where SMEs want handholding to put their sustainability education into practice. Hence, in partnership with industry experts, we will be offering affordable consultancy services to address this concern.”
Mr. Dennis Lee, Partner and Deputy Leader for ESG Practice at RSM, emphasized the importance of starting the ESG journey even with incremental steps, stating, “Companies beginning their ESG journey can be overwhelmed by the information available today. However, business owners should not be fazed and can begin by taking incremental steps to kick-start their ESG journey. As the backbone of Singapore’s economy, the collective efforts of SMEs will have a big impact towards tackling climate change and nurturing the green economy.”
Beyond the initiatives mentioned in the MOU, SUSS is set to offer several sustainability-focused programs, including the launch of the Master of Social Entrepreneurship (Sustainability track) program in 2024. Additionally, other programs such as Social Entrepreneurship programs employing a multidisciplinary approach, Graduate Diploma in Sustainability Management, and short-term Continuing Education and Training (CET) courses on sustainability-related topics will be made available, catering to the diverse learning needs of individuals seeking to upskill in the field of sustainability.
Through this transformative partnership, SUSS and RSM are spearheading a movement that will not only enable SMEs to embrace sustainability but also pave the way for a greener, more sustainable future for Singapore and beyond.