Advertising agency Dentsu hires first APAC sustainability lead

Irwin Raj moves from Big Four accounting firm EY and will be based in Singapore.

Dentsu has appointed a head of sustainability for the Asia Pacific region for the first time
Dentsu has appointed Irwin Raj as its first head of sustainability for the Asia Pacific region. Image: Dentsu

Dentsu, one of Asia’s largest advertising agencies, has appointed a regional head of sustainability for the first time.

Irwin Raj has joined the Tokyo-headquartered company from professional services firm EY as its Asia Pacific head of sustainability and social impact, based in Singapore.

Reporting to Dentsu’s Asia Pacific chief executive Rob Gilby, Raj’s role will involve delivering the agency’s social impact strategy, which includes a target to cut emissions by  90 per cent across its entire value chain by 2040, and to reach 1 billion people with campai​gns that challenge perceptions and stereotypes.

Dentsu has 46,000 staff globally and has worked for clients including Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Microsoft and Philips. The firm has faced scrutiny for working with carbon-intensive companies such as oil and gas giant Chevron and Australian petroleum firm Ampol.

Raj said in a statement that he was proud to be joining Dentsu “to help brands make sustainable living more attainable rather than aspirational”. 

Raj spent less than a year at EY as climate change and sustainability services manager. Prior to that stint, he was Asia Pacific impact manager for property firm Lendlease, based in Kuala Lumpur. Raj has also worked for Malaysian firm Erinco as an environmental compliance specialist.

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