KPMG shares insights as knowledge partners at the 2023 Propak Conference.

ESG in Emerging Markets: Driving Sustainability and Resilience in a Changing World

ESG in Emerging Markets: Driving Sustainability and Resilience in a Changing World

"At KPMG, ESG is now at the heart of everything we do because right now, the world faces crises on multiple fronts and we understand that what worked for us and other businesses in the past will not necessarily work in the future. ESG is as important to our firm as well as clients; it is what ties together our Collective Strategy, our Purpose and Values, as well as our expertise and our talent”.


This quote from our Senior Partner, Anthony Sarpong, encapsulates how KPMG Ghana is driving activities and  initiatives that are ESG focused for the firm and community as a whole.  Due to the level of importance the firm has placed on ESG, we were happy to be knowledge partners for the three day Propak event which started on 6 June 2023. 

On day one, Kwame Sarpong Barnieh (Advisory Partner, KPMG) welcomed all invited guests and gave opening remarks, he then spoke on how sustainability is such a key topic for the Propak 2023 Conference as currently plastic waste is not managed well in Ghana.  He added that investors are now paying close attention to entities who are making an impact in an ethical way as well as their social impact and how they protect the environment.  In his closing remarks he stated ‘Let’s embrace sustainability because it is a good way to do business and to do better for people and organisations’.

On day two we hosted a Breakfast Conference under the theme: "ESG in Emerging Markets: Driving Sustainability and Resilience in a Changing World".  The session commenced with Kwame Sarpong Barnieh giving opening remarks in which he shared that there is a need to rank businesses not by profit but how they impact the environment.  

Abena Amoah (Managing Director, The Ghana Stock Exchange) then gave an insightful talk on "Unlocking Investment Opportunities through ESG Considerations: A Catalyst for Sustainable Development".  During her session she spoke on how to best unlock these opportunities and shared that investors are integrating ESG factors into their investment decision, so it is very necessary for firms to integrate ESG in their strategies.

Abena’s session was followed by Tolu Lacroix (Executive Director, UN Global Compact) who delivered a thought provoking session on the topic "Leveraging ESG for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development" where he compared ESG to the every day nutrients needed to survive. He advised that if you apply ESG principles you will get the nutrients for your company to be strong, heathy and sustainable for the future​​​​​​​.

The conference ended with a panel discussion with insights shared by Daniel A Lamptey (Principal Programme Officer, Carbon Markets - EPA) John Boateng Akuoko-Tawiah (Head ESG, Sustainability and Climate Finance, Development Bank, Ghana) and Ernest Dwamena (Country Manager, Touton SA, Ghana External Office) and was moderated by Gordon Dardey (Senior Manager).  They shared insights on a number of topics including: How we can measure initiatives are ‘green friendly’, how to best manage governance in institutions, what impact sustainable financing has on driving investment into the country and how we ensure we make things easy for SMEs to follow to ensure they have access to funding. 

During the session, John recommended that a good way to measure initiatives are green friendly is to have a benchmark supporting tool as well as verifications that validate whether organisations have really embedded the necessary framework into your organisations.  Ernest agreed and added that there are various standards organisations can comply with to prove to the industry and market that they are actually complying with the necessary green friendly KPIs.  From a Carbon market perspective, Daniel advised that the Carbon Market Framework guides how you can create assets in Ghana that have ethics at the core of them.

Regarding Governance in ESG, John mentioned that it is necessary for organisations to ask themselves what sort of benchmarks to have in place, how they are screening and how they are making sure everything is structured and working well.  Gordon reiterated the fact that Governance is the anchor which holds the Environment and Social aspect of ESG together.

John shared that a sustainable finance instrument that can drive investment into the country is gender financing for women owned and women led businesses as Ghanaian women are known to be very entrepreneurial.

The final day of the conference included a panel discussion on Innovative Financing Solutions, this panel moderated by Evans Asare (Associate Director, KPMG) aimed to explore the evolving landscape of financing options available to exporters in Ghana under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. Invited panellists included Nana Konadu Boateng (Head of Digital Financing Platforms, Development Bank Ghana), Emmanuel Adomako Nuakoh (Associate Lecturer of International Business, University of Ghana Business School) and Frank Obeng (Head of Business Advisory, Exim Bank).  The panel discussion shed light on the various opportunities, challenges and best practices in accessing finance for exporters in today's dynamic business environment.

It has been a successful week, one thing that was clear is that ESG is here to stay and for companies to progress it is essential to make ESG a core component in their strategies.


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