Google Cloud Sets Up Point Carbon Zero Programme Advisory Board

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by KnowESG
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Google Cloud announced three key updates at the Singapore FinTech Festival 2022 as part of the Point Carbon Zero Programme, which was launched in July in collaboration with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to catalyse the incubation and adoption of climate fintech solutions in Asia over the next three years.

These updates include the creation of an Advisory Board to guide the Point Carbon Zero Programme's ecosystem engagement strategy and initiatives, the launch of a Climate Finance Accelerator to give climate fintech firms and startups mentorship and funding opportunities to scale market-ready solutions, and the addition of several high-growth technology firms to Google Cloud so that they can build their digital offerings using carbon neutral cloud infrastructure and services.

The Advisory Board is made up of 12 senior executives from Chubb, DBS, Fidelity International, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, KPMG in Singapore, the National University of Singapore (NUS), OCBC, the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA), Standard Chartered Bank, UOB, and XL Ventures.

The Board reflects the integrative approach required to facilitate trusted and efficient flows of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data and design data-driven solutions and financial instruments that can advance organisations' decarbonisation agendas by bringing together a diverse group of sustainability and finance experts from the private sector, public sector, academia, and civil society.

The Advisory Board was a big part of making the Point Carbon Zero Climate Finance Accelerator work better, and they will also be the programme's sponsors, mentors, and judges.

The inaugural Climate Finance Accelerator, organised by Google Cloud in collaboration with MAS and KPMG in Singapore, aims to channel capital toward companies with market-ready climate fintech solutions as well as facilitate financial institutions' adoption of these solutions to impact multinational corporations (MNCs) and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Climate fintech businesses are asked to contribute innovative solutions to problem statements co-crafted with DBS, HSBC, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, TDCX, and UOB stakeholders. These problem statements reflect the real-world issues that financial institutions face:

  • Identifying and quantifying synergies and trade-offs between the social and environmental aspects of ESG, so organisations can more effectively access and adopt transition financing.

  • Harnessing retrospective and forward-looking datasets to help organisations create achievable, science-based transition pathways that can be assessed against codified taxonomies.

  • Standardising the calculation, verification, and disclosure of carbon emissions data across industries to allow clients – especially those in hard-to-abate sectors – to monitor and manage their financed emissions.

  • Automating the resource-intensive process of pooling validated carbon emissions data from an MNC client and its suppliers, so a relationship manager can make an efficient and reliable assessment of how the client is faring against its net zero commitments.

  • Integrating ESG impact analysis into staff performance metrics to incentivise actions that reduce carbon emissions across an organisation and its supply chain.

  • Enabling relationship managers to provide SMEs with bespoke financing solutions that are tied to their implementation of sustainable business practices.

Under the Google for Startups Cloud Programme, all eligible candidates will be able to get cloud computing credits worth up to $100,000 per year for two years.

By January 2023, up to 15 finalists will be chosen and paired with issue statement owners for a six-week programme in which they will improve their ideas and be mentored by the Advisory Board and Google Cloud's technical subject matter experts.

At a demo day held at the Google Singapore site, the finalists will propose their market-ready solutions to the Advisory Board, issue statement owners, venture capital and asset management firms, and Google Cloud's technology ecosystem partners. After the demo day, the finalists and financial institutions will meet at the newly formed ESG Impact Hub to talk about how they can work together.

Companies that work in climate fintech are encouraged to apply for the Climate Finance Accelerator by December 3, 2022.

“No one organisation can solve complex and constantly evolving challenges like climate change on its own. Collaboration and partnerships are critical, whether it’s getting granular ESG data to understand problems that are unique to this region or addressing problem statements on where and how sustainable finance can incentivise change,” said Dr Darian McBain, MAS’s Special Advisor to the Point Carbon Zero Programme. “It’s encouraging to see ecosystem players coming together to combine capabilities, resources, and an innovative mindset to tackle the transition problem. While we still have real challenges ahead of us, multistakeholder platforms like the Point Carbon Zero Programme are now pushing us and Asia in the right direction for a more sustainable future.”

“It’s encouraging that companies worldwide, especially in Singapore, have been ramping up sustainability efforts. A greater push for a significant transition to a net zero economy will require corporates and financial institutions to partner in new ways to develop robust ecosystems capable of system-wide transformation,” said Anton Ruddenklau, Partner and Global Head of Innovation, Financial Services, KPMG International. "KPMG is happy to be a part of the Project Point Carbon Zero Programme, where we will help find and scale the best climate fintechs to help with this systemic change. Our goal as a group is to make Singapore a strong hub for digital finance that has a big stake in and a lot of power over sustainable development. This will reinforce the country’s financial services growth and hub reputation.”

Source: Google Cloud

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