25 projects across 16 industries honoured for steward leadership excellence

The impact of the projects spans the Middle East and Asia Pacific. 

Press Release

21 November 2023

Singapore, 21 November 2023 – Stewardship Asia Centre (SAC), INSEAD Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society, WTW and The Straits Times unveiled the honourees of Steward Leadership 25 (SL25) 2023, a list of 25 projects that made significant positive impact on stakeholders, society, future generations and the environment.

The shortlisted 25 projects were submitted by for-profit organisations from diverse industries, including financial services, transportation, agribusiness, food and beverage, biotechnology and real estate. They were chosen for demonstrating resolute action to drive profitable growth by addressing the social and environmental challenges that threaten humanity, and all 25 hold equal merit. 

The impact of these projects, which focused on environmental sustainability and uplifting communities and society, spans 14 countries in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

“SAC and its partners are encouraged to see the SL25 initiative gaining traction across Asia Pacific and beyond. It takes more than just rules, incentives and reporting to bring about transformational change for the planet and humanity. We hope that these 25 will inspire others worldwide,” said Mr Rajeev Peshawaria, CEO of SAC.

The 25 were honoured at the Steward Leadership Summit held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore on 21 November. This annual event was organised by SAC to highlight the importance of steward leadership. Some 400 participants from about 20 countries attended the event.

“Sustainability is a journey that requires stewardship from the top and needs to be incorporated into business strategy so that companies can grow well by doing good. It is reassuring to see the SL25 list consisting of a wide range of companies across different industries from social enterprises and SMEs to large corporations and MNCs,” said Dr Veerathai Santiprabhob, Chairman of the Executive Board, Mae Fah Luang Foundation, who unveiled the inaugural list at the Steward Leadership Summit. “This year’s SL25 companies clearly demonstrate their sustainability stewardship and commitments through their business practice and impactful projects,” said Dr Santiprabhob, who is also a member of the SL25 judging committee.

This year’s Steward Leadership Summit looks at the realities of keeping sustainability sustainable amid turbulent times. From the pandemic to geopolitical friction and a possible global economic slowdown, successive shocks have elevated uncertainty. While businesses navigate the volatile and ever-shifting landscape, the tension between profit and purpose has never been greater.

In his keynote address, Mr Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, Executive Director and CEO of Temasek Holdings, spoke about navigating stewardship and profit against a volatile environment. 

Amid inflation and trade tensions, Professor Ilian Mihov, Former Dean of INSEAD and Professor of Economics, Visiting Scholar, Stanford University Graduate School of Business, explored the need for innovative problem-solving and creative resilience to propel long-term economic transformation to benefit both businesses and society.

His keynote was followed by a panel discussion: “Leading a Sustainable Future in Asia.” Ms Khim Yin Poh, Global Lead Lifebuoy at Unilever, Ms Sandra Suppa, Head of Corporate Communications at Faber-Castell AG, and Dr Lucita Jasmin, Director for Sustainability & External Affairs from APRIL Group, explored the complexity of ESG and its application and their perspective on driving sustainability. The session was moderated by Mr Shai Ganu, Managing Director and Global Leader for Executive Compensation and Governance at WTW.

Innovation and design thinking have become critical strategies as businesses come under pressure to marry profit and purpose. PepsiCo’s first-ever Chief Design Officer, Mr Mauro Porcini, discussed the culture shift needed towards a human-centred approach to brand building and innovation that can address today’s evolving sustainability challenges. He stressed that the key to real, world-changing innovation is to create personal and social value first and financial and economic value afterwards.

As artificial intelligence-driven technologies transform work, questions have been raised about the ethical use of these tools. Dr Christine Chow, Board Member of the International Corporate Governance Network, Ms Ilaria Chan, Chairperson at Tech for Good Institute, and Dr Jasmine Begum, Regional Director, Legal & Government Affairs at Microsoft ASEAN & New Markets talked about “Navigating the Perils, Promises, and Risks of AI and Tech.” Mr Jaime Ho, Editor of The Straits Times, SPH Media, moderated this panel.

With steward leadership at its core, Mr Chavalit Frederick Tsao, Chairman and a fourth-generation family member of IMC Pan Asia Alliance Group, talked about the values that enabled the company to build a rich legacy centred on positive impact for its business, society and the environment.

The SL25 projects and their companies (in alphabetical order) are:  

 ProjectOrganisationIndustryCategoryImpact geography
1Leveraging edtech for inclusion and digital literacyAdvanced Info Service PlcTelecommunications ServicesLarge CompanyThailand
2Restoring tropical forests and biodiversityAPRIL International EnterpriseManufacturingLarge CompanyIndonesia
3Fostering equity and resilience for marginalised communitiesBettr Barista Pte LtdFood and beverageSocial EnterpriseSingapore
4Enabling carbon reduction by cultivating algaeChyau Bio Technologies Pvt LtdEnvironmental SustainabilitySocial EnterpriseNepal
5Improving rural health with cookstoves that cut emissionsC-Quest Capital LLCFinancial ServicesLarge CompanyCambodia
6Upskilling communities to bridge the digital divideDBS BankFinancial ServicesLarge CompanySingapore
7Converting construction waste to build homesEather Group  Pty LtdTransportationSMEAustralia
8Propagating native tree species through geothermal energyEnergy Development CorporationEnergyLarge CompanyPhilippines
9Driving employment for youth with special education needsInclus Pte LtdCommercial and professional servicesSocial EnterpriseSingapore
10Tackling malnourishment and food waste through whole foodslandlink Co., LtdHousehold and personal productsSMEJapan
11Creating health equity in rural and semi-urban areasLast Mile Care Private LimitedHealthcare equipment and servicesSocial EnterpriseIndia
12Producing organic food using wool-based fertiliserMonpellets LLCAgribusinessSMEMongolia
13Tailoring investment solutions for net zeroOCBCFinancial servicesLarge Company
Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, 
Greater China
14Championing inclusion for the disadvantaged via vocational trainingProject Dignity Pte LtdFood and beverageSocial EnterpriseSingapore
15Uplifting village communities by regenerative farmingPT Industri Jamu Dan Farmasi Sido Muncul TbkPharmaceuticals, Biotechnology and Life SciencesLarge CompanyIndonesia
16Protecting marine ecosystems and coastal communitiesPTT Exploration and Production Public Company LimitedEnergyLarge CompanyThailand
17Unlocking healthcare access in underserved communitiesreach52 PTE LtdHealthcare Equipment and ServicesSocial EnterpriseIndia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines
18Developing a zero-waste society to empower underserved communitiesReFuse SARLWaste managementSocial EnterpriseLebanon
19Providing safe sanitation in sub-tropical villagesSafe Water Gardens (SWG) Pte LtdWater and sanitationSocial EnterpriseIndonesia and Nepal
20Empowering vulnerable communities to thrive in the digital economySingtel GroupTelecommunications servicesLarge companySingapore
21Building resilience in infrastructure designSM Prime HoldingsReal estateLarge CompanyPhilippines
22Moving people, enhancing lifestyles through inclusive service deliverySMRT Corporation LtdTransportationLarge CompanySingapore
23Integrating data analysis to halve food wasteSodexo Singapore Pte LtdFood and beverageLarge CompanySingapore
24Empowering elderly and kidney patients through employmentTea ideas Pte LtdFood and beverageSocial EnterpriseSingapore
25Manufacturing electric jeepneys to combat pollutionTojo Motors CorpAutomobile and componentsSMEPhilippines


Notes to editors: 

  • For more information about the 25 projects, click here or scan this QR code.

About Steward Leadership 25

Jointly curated by Stewardship Asia Centre, the INSEAD Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society, WTW and The Straits Times, Steward Leadership 25 (SL25) is an annual listing of 25 projects by for-profit organisations that showcase steward leadership excellence within the Asia-Pacific region. Projects that are included in SL25 are part of the organisation’s core strategy and purpose and strive to have a significant positive effect on stakeholders, society, future generations, or the environment.

Inclusion to the SL25 list is based on the particular project(s) described in the submission form. SL25 is not intended as a blanket endorsement of the organisation as a whole. The organisations are responsible for the truthfulness, accuracy and completeness of their submission, which are not guaranteed by the SL25 partners.


Media contacts:

Sandhya Haridas
Stewardship Asia Centre
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +65 8328 0641

Ang Bee Lin 
Stewardship Asia Centre
Email: [email protected] 
Tel: +65 9238 8418

Florence Fang  
Flame Communications  
Tel: +65 9276 9231  
Email: [email protected]