GIC and Temasek Holdings' Investments in Haze-Linked Companies 24 Mar 2016
To ask the Minister for Finance whether the Ministry will consider requiring environmental audits according to international best practices to be done on firms in which GIC and Temasek Holdings have a financial interest and which firms can potentially be contributing to the haze problem.
Reply by Senior Minister of State for Finance Indranee Rajah:
The Minister has previously responded to the member on the same topic. As stated earlier, the governance arrangement between the Government and our investment entities is that the individual investments are the responsibility of their respective management teams, while the Government monitors the performance of their overall portfolio. The investment activities of GIC and Temasek are oriented towards generating long-term returns on a sustainable basis. Investing in companies with environmentally unsustainable practices could negatively impact the commercial value of the investments over the long term.
GIC and Temasek have informed us that they do not have investments in such companies causing the haze.
Temasek has stated that it fully supports zero-burning policies for land clearance, and would urge companies and plantation owners to support and implement responsible and sustainable practices in their operations and their supply chains.
GIC has also informed the Government that the palm oil companies in Indonesia that GIC invests in have confirmed that they observe zero-burning policies for their plantations. Some of these companies are working towards certifications that require adherence to zero burn practices. GIC’s investment teams engage actively with the companies’ management and highlight to them that such responsible actions are important to maintain the long-term value of the companies.
The Government will continue to monitor the haze issue and take further steps if necessary.