Telum Talks To... Rebecca Ang Lee, Chief Marketing Officer, MSIG Asia

Telum Talks To... Rebecca Ang Lee, Chief Marketing Officer, MSIG Asia

MSIG Asia recently announced its partnership with Conservation International Asia-Pacific for biodiversity conservation efforts, along with a regional brand campaign. This week we caught up with MSIG Asia’s Chief Marketing Officer, Rebecca Ang Lee, to find out more.

With regards to MSIG’s recent partnership announcement and the campaign, how does championing biodiversity tie in with MSIG’s marketing strategy?
Biodiversity is the insurance policy that nature provides to all of us. Wherever we live - a city, town or village, a farming community or even far from civilisation - we all depend on nature.

In Asia, rapid population growth and economic development are causing an unprecedented decline in the health of ecosystems, contributing to the global biodiversity loss crisis which threatens the extinction of one million animal and plant species and, in turn threatens human livelihoods.

Our decision to champion biodiversity conservation was obvious as we see it as the only way to sustain life on our planet and secure a future for generations to come. But we cannot address the biodiversity crisis alone. This is why we are partnering Conservation International Asia-Pacific to create a nature-positive economy. We aim to add value to the communities we are in, and develop a resilient and sustainable society for future generations.

Our campaign “Protecting biodiversity is the insurance for a sustainable future” marks the beginning of this partnership.

Employing a combination of digital and social media, it is designed to educate and engage our target audience, bringing about greater awareness on biodiversity through meaningful content; bringing together like-minded individuals, corporate partners and our 5,000 employees across the region.

What are some of your challenges in building the MSIG sustainability journey?
We recognise that we are just at the beginning of a great and purposeful journey and there is a lot more to be done. As we continue to put in place the building blocks for a better and more sustainable future, we are committed to engaging our stakeholders and communicating our approach on sustainability. This involves a deliberate and continuous  engagement process which we tailor for respective stakeholder groups across Asia, taking into consideration local nuances and cultural sensitivities.

Internally, a lot of the work my team has done is centred on educating employees in the organisation, bringing all our colleagues across different departments, levels and markets on board our sustainability journey, even in the midst of travel restrictions and physical distancing. We are heartened to see how receptive, supportive and enthusiastic our colleagues have been as the initiatives are being rolled out.

Do you think sustainability will benefit a company, especially a crisis like the current COVID-19 pandemic?
Given that climate change is the greatest environmental risk confronting our industry, the issue of sustainability is integral to our business. Embedding sustainable business practices, driving innovation, and operating within a strong regulatory framework all play an essential role in our industry’s ability to effectively manage risk and ensure continued growth over the long term.

The pandemic has, however, propelled us to think about how we can operationalise sustainability across the region and bolster our support to revitalise communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis and so is the biodiversity loss with an unprecedented decline in the health of our ecosystems. Both have showed us why sustainability is important.

This has reinforced the value of our partnership with Conservation International Asia-Pacific. By providing support to a variety of conservation efforts in Asia Pacific, where more than 4.5 million people live and are interdependent on biodiverse ecosystems which provide for water, food, fuel, medicines and climate regulation, we hope to help the planet and its people move through this crisis together and emerge stronger and more resilient.

Lastly, can you tell us what we can expect from MSIG or what you plan to achieve in the next 12 months?
Because of the pandemic and the need for physical distancing, we had to push back some of our conservation initiatives with our employees to a later date. In the meantime, we continue to work on other initiatives which allow us to work remotely.

Our newly launched Biodiversity Knowledge Portal features informative and educational content and will be updated over the next few months. We hope that this will be a useful resource for everyone to learn more about biodiversity conservation and the importance of it.

Our Group’s value creation business model also provides a clear framework to guide us on charting the path forward. Specifically on the environmental sustainability front, our priority is to work towards climate change mitigation and adaption as well as to preserve our natural capital.

To ensure the successful and coherent integration of sustainability across the business, we have also mapped out clear sustainability pathways for our markets. These pathways include efforts to improve our carbon footprint across our operations, galvanising our people around a common sustainability vision and building sustainability into our products and services. While the pathways are aligned for all markets, they each have their own programmes, goals, targets and priorities for the short to medium term that will stretch beyond the immediate year.

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