Sustainability heralds $1 trillion opportunity for Southeast Asia

Published onJanuary 7, 2021

Southeast Asia has fallen behind on the global sustainability agenda, although advancements in this space could be a $1 trillion economic opportunity for the region by 2030. This is according to a new Bain & Company report…In Southeast Asia, the wheel is turning slowly, if not backwards. Bain & Company includes Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos all within this regional characterisation, pointing out that none of these markets ranks above 40 in the global Sustainable Development Goals rankings. The region performs badly across all sustainable metrics. Carbon emissions are expected to jump 60% by 2040. More than half of the mismanaged plastic waste across the world will come from Southeast Asia in 2025, while the wastewater treatment rate in the region is the lowest in the world – nearly 90% of the region’s wastewater is left untreated. Renewables have less than 15% market penetrations in the primary energy supply market, while the annual rate of deforestation – 1.2% – is higher than any other tropical region around the world. What all these figures reflect is insufficient priority towards the sustainability agenda so far.