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Bringing new meaning to sustainable finance in Southeast Asia


DNV has contributed to the ASEAN Taxonomy constructing a common language through which member states can define green activities and assets.

Like the European Union Taxonomy for Sustainable Activities, the ASEAN Taxonomy for Sustainable Finance (ASEAN Taxonomy) will serve as the region’s common language for sustainable finance and account for both international goals and the specific needs of member states. The taxonomy would facilitate comparability of information that is made available, thereby enabling global, regional and domestic investors to have greater confidence on what their funds will be used for and provide clear guidance for businesses on what they need to do for their sustainability journey. It will also help financial institutions and investors better understand the risks to their portfolios and make sound sustainable financing decisions. As a result, the members of the ASEAN Finance Co-operation Process -  the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF), the ASEAN Insurance Regulators Meeting (AIRM), the ASEAN Senior Level Committee on Financial Integration (SLC), and the ASEAN Working Committee on Capital Market Development (WC-CMD), with the endorsement of the ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting - worked together to develop a common ASEAN Taxonomy for sustainable investments to allow for a free exchange of information and terms in a consistent way. 

“We are pleased to be contributing to the ASEAN Taxonomy which will serve as the common language for member states to define green activities and assets across member states. In this way, both those offering and those buying financial products, will be able to understand the terms,” says Thomas Leonard, Senior Energy Markets & Technology Consultant in DNV - Energy Systems.  

DNV is a key technical expert selected by the ASEAN Taxonomy Board to help benchmark green finance activities and provide input on the structure of the Taxonomy.  

“Tasked with providing specialist inputs for this critical regional resource - ASEAN’s common language for sustainable finance - to aid the growth of green finance in the ASEAN region. DNV’s contribution to the ASEAN Taxonomy serves a variety of stakeholders including ASEAN member states, financial Institutions and companies in the region and complements each member state’s existing and future green finance initiatives,” says Mark Robinson, Sustainability Manager in DNV - Supply Chain & Product Assurance. 

The ASEAN Taxonomy works in parallel with other regional and national taxonomies, it takes into consideration the varying degrees of economic development and activity in the region. It is multi-tiered and inclusive, tailored to suit ASEAN’s needs, and takes into consideration international aspirations and goals. It is crucial to ensuring an orderly and effective transition towards a sustainable ASEAN. The first version of the ASEAN Taxonomy was made available in conjunction with the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland on November 10.