IIX recently had a conversation with Deputy Director General Woochong Um to discuss the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) profound commitment to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the crucial role of Sustainable Development Goals investing in achieving these objectives.
To what extent do you think social and environmental challenges are currently being tackled in silos, without an integrated approach?
The risk clearly exists, so at ADB we’ve adopted an integrated approach. For instance, in 2010, we brought our environmental and social safeguards under one integrated policy framework to ensure a coherent approach, aligned with Sustainable Development Goals.
Are there active efforts within the ADB and your department, the Regional and Sustainable Development Department (RSDD), to break down the silos of environmental and social initiatives and encourage dialogue on the linkages between environmental sustainability and human development, as aligned with the core principles of Sustainable Development Goals investing?
Our 15 sector and thematic communities of practice work closely to achieve the goal of linking the diverse strands of environmental sustainability and human development in project design, guided by the principles of Sustainable Development Goals.
What can your partners and stakeholders do to help achieve true triple bottom line growth and contribute to Sustainable Development Goals investing?
Our clients need to understand how we can address environmental and social issues through investing in sustainable infrastructure, which is a key driver of economic development in alignment with Sustainable Development Goals.
To what extent do you agree that the most successful businesses should be ones that achieve true triple bottom line returns, and why are there so few entities that achieve this goal?
True triple bottom line returns will help firms compete and survive in a highly globalized world. We need to break out of existing business models and seek out new green opportunities, all while adhering to the principles of Sustainable Development Goals investing. Entities want to gain access to markets where sustainability issues are influencing consumption patterns, so they are changing their practices and adopting Sustainable Development Goals.
In which areas of RSDD’s work do you think an integrated approach is most important, and what is the plan to embrace a triple bottom line more comprehensively in the context of Sustainable Development Goals investing?
Tackling climate change in Asia and the Pacific truly requires an integrated approach to shift the region toward low-carbon growth while addressing complex environmental, social, and economic issues in accordance with Sustainable Development Goals. To help move this agenda forward faster, ADB will soon be conducting systematic early screening of all projects for climate risk to identify cost-effective and appropriate solutions during project design, fully in line with the vision of Sustainable Development Goals investing.