Sustainability Advisory

Overview

Overview & Expertise

The world has become acutely aware that many of our economic approaches to development and the creation of prosperity is premised on externalising the true costs of doing business onto society and the natural world. In the face of growing existential threats arising from environmental challenges, resource constraints and the relentless pursuit of growth at all cost, there is common understanding that it is an imperative to rethink business models and operations to adapt to the demands of new realities.

Organisations will need to move away from outdated practices and business models and determine how to embrace the true ethos of “sustainability” to produce goods and services to meet the challenges of the 21st century, whilst addressing the obligations of their social contract and purpose.

This will require transformations in mindsets and engagement of internal and external stakeholders to develop and realise long-term sustainability strategies.

Our advisory services facilitate these important discussions to uniquely bring about change: that which goes beyond compliance or only address environmental management issues and helps organisations contribute to redesigning society and thus build societal sustainability and resilience.

Drawing Upon Over 15 Years Of Experience,

GIFT has assisted our clients to meet their sustainable development objectives and implement projects across the world in areas such as:

Approach
 

The GIFT Approach

Leveraging our strong expertise in the sustainability field, drawing upon our unique on-ground insights.

Sustainability has for some time been a business priority but knowing what it means in the era we live in and where to start can be overwhelming for many organisations. The result is often a range of initiatives and compliance-driven activities but few changes to the nature of the business and its culture or people. Only 2% of companies are reported to achieve their corporate sustainability goals. This is largely due to struggles they face in bridging their sustainability goals with the transformations needed internally in competencies and mindsets. GIFT is well-equipped to guide and facilitate an organisation’s commitment to sustainability beyond the demands of compliance and ensure the strategies and initiatives implemented are anchored to the new demands of our age.

GIFT’s approach leverages our strong expertise in the sustainability field, drawing upon our unique on-ground insights. This, coupled with our extensive facilitation experience and over 15 years of developing and implementing sustainable development projects across Asia, positions us to help clients find solutions to sustainability challenges and formulate clear and actionable positions or plans

Services
 

Our Services

Supporting organisations at different stages of their sustainability journey

GIFT serves clients at different stages of their sustainability journey, with bespoke solutions designed to suit each organisation’s unique objectives, industry challenges, leadership demands, and employee needs and know-how. The methodologies employed are customised to the objectives and desired outcomes of the intervention, and include – but are not limited to – webinars, facilitated workshops, leadership development programmes and feasibility studies.

GIFT’s services fall within three broad categories:

SERVICE

Understanding Sustainability & Mindset Shifts

I'M INTERESTED
1Framing Sustainability For The 21st Century

Sustainability – what is it and what does it mean for my organisation? The threats posed by climate change, environmental degradation and resource constraints compel us to rethink business-as-usual activities and act to address the urgent need to develop sustainable business models.

GIFT supports organisations at the beginning of their sustainability journey by helping them gain a deeper understanding of sustainability concepts and their importance for the business. GIFT’s insights on sustainability issues provide organisations a foundational understanding to shape their strategic and operational decision making.

1Understanding ESG beyond Reporting

Our current economic model is unsustainable. Both governments and businesses have recognised this, which is why the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiative was conceived to help change the status quo, particularly in relation to how capital markets take into consideration sustainability concerns. However, current ESG initiatives and processes are too focused on complex reporting exercises that do little to change fundamentals beyond creating metrics for investors and public relations.

GIFT’s approach is designed for organisations who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of what each of the E, S and G pillars mean for them: how they pertain to the sustainability goals, their sense of purpose, and in relation to the country they operate in. GIFT’s insights on the drivers that underpin global ESG initiatives and the changes needed in various industries are geared towards equipping companies with the knowledge to enhance their strategies with practical sustainability actions.

SERVICE

Strategic Decision Making & Action Plans

I'M INTERESTED
1Building a Robust Sustainability Strategy

Successful sustainability strategies include: understanding of the specific issues relevant to the business, a commitment to the need to update or change existing business models, alignment across relevant stakeholders and a prioritised set of implementable actions.

GIFT provides support to leadership teams to generate a robust public position, prioritise key action areas, and develop strategic plans and implementation roadmaps. GIFT assists organisations interested in evaluating and translating their sustainability objectives into strategic frameworks and business operations. GIFT assists companies to cascade their existing strategy throughout the organisation.

1Generating New Business Ideas

The transformation to a more sustainable business will require new ways of doing business and the development of new products and services. For organisations looking to generate new business opportunities aligned to their sustainability ambitions, the ability to engage internal stakeholders and leverage their expertise to develop new ideas enables commitment to implementation, creates a sense of purpose and encourages buy-in for business transformation.

GIFT works with organisations to help them examine their core business model, identify gaps between the current and desired outcomes, and develop business plans that are relevant and practical.

Select examples of new business ideas
  • Using brownfield sites for modular hydroponic farms
  • Piloting zero plastic stores
  • Embedding cluster enterprises for rural revitalisation
  • Providing index based weather insurance
SERVICE

Project Feasibility & Implementation

I'M INTERESTED
1Conducting Feasibility & Implementation

Translating new business ideas into plans and actions requires project feasibility exploration, which lays the foundation for implementation. GIFT consults with organisations to help pilot new sustainable business solutions from project feasibility to implementation by providing advice and end-to-end project management.

Over the years, GIFT has managed a wide range of on-the-ground feasibility and implementation projects to support this process, including but not limited to:

  • Feasibility Analysis & Stress Testing
  • Stakeholder Mapping & Risk Assessment
  • Stakeholder Consultation & Partnerships
  • Subject Matter Expert Consultation
  • Commercial Viability Analysis
  • Content Communication
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
Case Studies
OUR IMPACT

Case Studies

Testimonial
 

What Our Clients Think

 
List of Clients
SPEAK TO US

  • MURARI K.
    CHIEF INFORMATION SECURITY OFFICER, UOB SINGAPORE

    Murari is the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for UOB Singapore. Prior to joining UOB, he worked in various leadership roles in several multinational corporations across the banking, consumer and consultancy industries.

    On top of his role at UOB, Murari has taken on international and regional industry leadership and advisory roles. He currently serves on the Advisory Panel for Cyber Youth Singapore (CYS), is a Senior Industry Advisor for CIO Academy Asia and is a member of the Singapore Institute of Directors (SID). He previously served on the International Board of Directors for the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (FS-ISAC) and was a member of the ISACA International Professional Standards Committee.


  • KELLY CHAO
    HEAD OF CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT & ANALYTICS, PRUDENTIAL CORPORATION ASIA

    Kelly is the Head of Customer Intelligence & Analytics of Prudential. She leads customer management across the region leveraging data insights and analytics to deepen engagement with customers, fill their protection gaps and enable seamless experience. Prior to joining Prudential, Kelly held numerous leadership roles for top financial institutions. She has over 20 years of delivering business results with analytic solutions in sales & marketing, operations, risk management and HR.


  • LEO CHAN
    DIRECTOR OF HR, MICROSOFT

    Leo is the director of human resources in Microsoft Hong Kong. He oversees the day-to-day operations of all people-related programs to support the growth of the Hong Kong subsidiary. Having worked at the technology and life insurance sectors in North America and Asia Pacific, he brings a diverse set of skillset specializing in talent management, people development, organizational learning and talent acquisition. Prior to Microsoft, Leo was most recently the Head of Talent Management & Development at AIA, in charge of developing customized career advancement and contemporary talent retention strategies. He also elevated the role of human capital management beyond conventional means to reverse mentoring programs, next-gen summit, innovative hacks, design thinking and career roadmap visualizations. Leo is a huge advocate in working with the businesses to drive bespoke, relevant and practical solutions for their people.


  • JUSTIN NG
    ASSOCIATE CONSULTANT

    Justin is an Associate Consultant at GIFT and is responsible for supporting advisory projects relating to sustainability, innovation and social impact.

    Justin worked in New York and Hong Kong, including notable companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and most recently at Deloitte Digital in a consulting role. At PwC Hong Kong, he was in the Government and Public Sector Consulting practice and was involved in local projects related to Smart City, IoT infrastructure and start-up innovation. Justin has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and a BSc in Media, Culture & Communication from New York University.


  • MYRA CHEUNG
    CONSULTANT

    Myra is a Consultant at GIFT and is responsible for managing advisory projects relating to sustainability and social impact and developing transformative leadership programmes.

    Myra’s background is in strategy and evaluation for public health policy and interventions and is experienced in project management, capacity building and stakeholder engagement (NGOs, government and industry). She has had experience working in cross-cultural environments in Zambia, Cambodia, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong. Myra has an MSc in Public Health specialising in Health Promotion, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London. She also holds a BSc with a major in Cell Biology and Genetics and a minor in Human Nutrition from the University of British Columbia, Canada.


  • KK LING

    STRATEGIC PLANNING ADVISOR

    HONG KONG/SHENZHEN CORPORATION

    Mr K. K. Ling is a professional town planner. He was the Director of Planning of HKSAR Government and President of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners. He is now the Director of Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He also serves the community as the Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Housing Society, Director of the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited and Chairman of its Entrepreneurship Committee, and the Chairman of the Country and Marine Parks Board. He is also the Adjunct Professor of the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Professor of Practice (Planning) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.


  • VALERIE LIANG
    PROGRAMME MANAGER

    Valerie is Programme Manager at GIFT. Prior to joining GIFT, she spent several years in the Legal Industry, with a particular focus on corporate law, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Global Leadership and Development at the University of Hong Kong. She received her law degree from University College London and is a member of the New York Bar. She is fluent in Mandarin, English and Cantonese.


  • VINOBHA ANTHONY DOSS
    PROGRAMME ASSOCIATE-ASEAN

    Vinobha Anthony Doss is a Programme Associate at GIFT ASEAN. Prior to joining GIFT he was in the practice of civil litigation and dispute resolution. He has been involved in various public policy shaping cases lodged in the Malaysian courts. His creative approach coupled with the depth in legal knowledge has resulted in effective legal reasoning and client management. Vino graduated from the University of London and was called to the Malaysian Bar in 2017. He speaks fluent English, Malay, basic Cantonese and basic French.


  • VIJI NAIR
    OPERATIONS MANAGER-ASEAN

    Viji is the Operations Manager at GIFT Asean.  She oversees the operational management of the KL office.

    Prior to joining GIFT, Viji worked in various organisations and has spent the last 15 years on NGO work mainly focusing on performance arts and cancer respectively.  Viji holds a BA (Hons) in Psychology from the Dublin Business School.  She speaks English, Bahasa Malaysia, and Malayalam.


  • BRENDA CHEAH
    PROGRAMME MANAGER-ASEAN

    Brenda oversees the programme design and implementation, as well as content development at GIFT. Prior to GIFT, Brenda was a Senior Economist at the Central Bank of Malaysia for almost 8 years, leading macroeconomic assessments and growth projections for monetary policy deliberation. Passionate about public policy, she also sought to diversify her research interests and expertise over the years – ranging from trade competitiveness and investment incentives to social protection. When COVID-19 hit, Brenda had a hand in crafting various stimulus measures to support the vulnerable groups in Malaysia.

    She holds a degree in BSc. in Economics with honours from the University of Warwick, UK. She has also attended various professional courses by the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of Korea at Washington D.C., Singapore and South Korea. She is fluent in Malay, speaks several Chinese dialects and knows basic Korean.


  • VENUS DULANI
    PROGRAMME ASSOCIATE

    Venus joined GIFT in 2021 as a Programme Associate. She has extensive experience in programme management and supporting advisory projects related to sustainable development in Hong Kong and wider Asia. She was a key contributor to a feasibility study on establishing a global plastic recycling platform and circular plastic waste management. Venus’ other responsibilities include managing and creating content for GIFT’s PR.

    Prior to joining GIFT, she worked at the United Nations, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and a boutique sustainability consulting firm. She was involved in projects ranging from climate change and sustainability planning, public policy research and analysis, to stakeholder engagement, and community outreach. She graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Studies, with an additional concentration in Inequality Studies. She is fluent in English and Hindi.


  • KARIM RUSHDY
    FACILITATOR

    Since joining GIFT in 2010 Karim has served in several roles, including as Head of Programmes in Hong Kong, and as Managing Director of GIFT’s Southeast Asia business. He has designed and facilitated dozens of classroom, field-based and virtual development programmes for leaders at Fortune 500s, MNCs, Government Agencies and NGOs.

    After 22 years in Asia, Karim returned to Scotland in 2022 and now lives between Edinburgh and Kuala Lumpur. In addition to facilitating, he currently serves as strategic advisor to GIFT’s new EdTech venture GIFT.ed, and dedicates his spare time to studying, practising and teaching mindfulness-based approaches to living well with stress and chronic pain.

    Prior to GIFT, Karim was a partner in a Shanghai-based food and beverage company which opened 50 stores across a dozen Chinese cities. Karim has an MBA from the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, and is pursuing a Masters in Teaching Mindfulness Based Courses at Bangor University in the UK.


  • ERIC STRYSON
    MANAGING DIRECTOR – GLOBAL SERVICES

    In addition to leading GIFT’s dynamic team and business, since 2008, Eric has facilitated more than 50 experiential leadership programmes in fifteen countries. He is well versed in introducing new ideas on governance, business and sustainability and coaching participants to think critically about their role as leaders. Before joining GIFT, Eric spent several years managing multi-stakeholder partnerships between global brands and civil society groups in the United States and China. He writes and speaks regularly on topics related to leadership development and the changing role of business in society. Eric is an alumnus of Stanford University and holds a Masters from Hong Kong University.


  • CHANDRAN NAIR
    FOUNDER & CEO

    For more than three decades, Chandran has advised governments and MNCs on strategic management, leadership issues and sustainability, and is often invited to facilitate for top corporate education providers including Duke CE, INSEAD and NUS. He was previously Chairman of ERM in Asia Pacific, helping establish it as the world’s leading environmental consultancy. Chandran is on the Executive Committee of the Club of Rome and is a member of WEF’s Global Agenda Council on Governance for Sustainability and Experts Forum, where his thought leadership is sought for its fresh insights and intellectual honesty. He is the author of the best-seller – Consumptionomics: Asia’s Role in Reshaping Capitalism and Saving the Planet, and The Sustainable State: The Future of Government, Economy and Society.