Mr Leon Perera asked the Minister for Finance (a) whether the Government as sole shareholder of Temasek Holdings and GIC has ever directed Temasek or GIC to take decisions relating to subsidiary companies involved in major potential environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) and reputational scandals such as the Brazilian government’s lawsuit against Olam; and (b) how the public, through the Government, can hold the boards of Temasek and GIC to account on ESG issues.
Mr Lawrence Wong: The Government does not direct the individual investment actions of GIC and Temasek. GIC and Temasek make investment decisions that are oriented towards generating long-term returns on a sustainable basis. These decisions are the responsibility of their Boards and managements, and are independent of the Government.
The Government monitors the long-term performances of GIC’s and Temasek’s overall portfolios. Both GIC and Temasek believe that companies with good sustainability practices can have better returns over the long term, and have integrated Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations into their investment processes. For instance, Temasek monitors relevant ESG-related developments in its investee companies and shares its perspectives on ESG with the investees’ Boards and management teams where appropriate. GIC’s investment teams incorporate climate change risks in its investment process, and actively engage its investee companies in their transition towards sustainability.
Ministry of Finance
12 January 2022