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CEO Sustainability Series | O'Niel Dissanayake, CEO- Asia Pacific Socomec Group

As part of the Sustainable Business initiative, the French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore presents a leadership interview series where we invite CEOs and key executives to discuss crucial management qualities that drive successful sustainable transformation

Question 1: What has your company’s sustainability journey been like so far?
It has been an extraordinary sustainable journey reaching our centenary year in 2022. Our
corporate philosophy is to seek sustainable growth, supported by good financial health, with
the aim of preserving our jobs in harmony with our environment. Hence, we have consistently
strived to strike a fine balance between profit and purpose.

We are one of the pioneers in the Sustainability journey. In 2003, we joined the UN Global
Compact to commit that we are aware and aligned with the social and environmental impacts
of globalisation. Almost 20 years on, we are still resolutely committed to the goals.

We are also evaluated by Ecovadis in areas of social practices, environmental actions, ethical
business conduct and implementation of responsible criteria in the purchasing processes.
Over the years, we have consistently improved our standing and we are now among the Top
5% of companies in all categories of sustainable ratings.

Q2: On a company level, you have set high targets, especially when it comes to the
environment and climate change. What is the key to achieving these targets?

Sustainability is now at the heart of our strategy. One of our flagship projects is the
implementation of a low carbon strategy at the Group and in our entire supply chain. It is a
major transformation project that will enable the decarbonisation of our activities.

We are mindful that our collective action on Sustainability is like a perpetual marathon. Our
success hinges on the personal development and commitment of our employees. As an establishment with the culture and values of a family business, we attract and hire the best
talents with the right ethos. Together, we are guided by our corporate values - Responsibility,
Openness and Commitment. All these are aligned with our strong commitment to sustainable
development. At Socomec, we take a long term view of all our investments. We do not believe
in gambling with our future. Hence, the subject of Sustainability fits nicely into our investment
horizon and philosophy.

Q3: What have been or what would be the challenges to face in pursuing a net-zero agenda
and where are the opportunities?

Decarbonization is a colossal project that requires teamwork and synergy. It's an opportunity
for us to take collective actions for matters that concern the world. But, sustainability actions
can be costly to implement and this can be a major blocker to becoming net-zero emitters. The
Socomec management took the right decision to mobilize our financial and human resources
to participate in this noble initiative.

The other big challenge is the supply chain emissions. A big part of our carbon footprint
comes from across the supply chains outside the organization. Building a green supply chain
isn’t always straightforward. This will take time, effort and resources. There are certainly
opportunities to transform Socomec in this net-zero journey. We can strengthen our position
in the energy transition and make more efficient use of resources. We have made relentless
efforts to certify our factories to ISO14001, manage hazardous industrial waste carefully,
transit to renewable energy whenever possible, implemented Eco-design policy for our
products, etc.

As we are also specialists in power monitoring solutions, we help establishments in their netzero
journeys too. We also work with professionals to propagate sustainability. We have just
concluded our Consultants Forum 2022 in Singapore where we invited practising professionals
to share their sustainability journey, practices and experiences. To sum it up, there are lots
that we can do and contribute to our society. We must always begin with sustainability at the
core of everything we do. Like that, we can build a more sustainable world together.


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