Darian McBain launches sustainability advisory firm for businesses in Asia

The former Monetary Authority of Singapore and Thai Union sustainability chief wants to help businesses achieve sustainability goals using less resources.

Darian McBain, Outsourced Chief Sustainability Officer (OCSO) Asia
Called Outsourced Chief Sustainability Officer (OCSO) Asia, McBain's new consultancy will guide CSOs on issues including supply chain management, sustainability communications, human rights, and risk and reputation management. Image: Thai Union

Darian McBain, the former head of sustainability for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Thai Union, has set up an advisory firm that enables businesses to run a sustainability function without hiring a full-time chief sustainability officer.

Called Outsourced Chief Sustainability Officer (OCSO) Asia, the firm is based on the model used in the finance sector, where smaller funds or firms with limited resources outsource the chief investment officer role.

The Singapore-based firm will guide companies on issues including supply chain management, sustainability communications, human rights, and risk and reputation management.

OCSO’s ambition is to combine strategic advice with technology to reduce the resources needed to make organisations more sustainable, manage risks, attract talent, and plan for business continuity as companies transition to net-zero.

Now is the right time to launch such a consultancy, because the demands on businesses in Asia are growing and increasingly complex, whether from regulations stemming from Europe or the United States, reporting requirements, access to finance or stakeholder expectations, McBain told Eco-Business.

I spoke to one company who said they had been trying to recruit a CSO for four years. I hope this service can help to meet some of those unmet demands. 

Darian McBain, founder, Outsourced Chief Sustainability Officer Asia

“We don’t have time for every company to start their sustainable journey by feeling their way by themselves, and we need to both build networks and deploy technology to help with issues like data collection and reporting and be guided by strategic thinking,” she said.

She will be working with a range of ESG tech partners, the first being Singapore based tech firm STACS, which operates the MAS’s Greenprint ESG Registry, a blockchain-based network that verifies ESG certifications.

She launches the venture a month after leaving MAS, where she spent one year as the central bank and financial regulator’s first CSO.

In October, she led the creation of the ESG Impact Hub, a co-working space for sustainability-focused organisations in Singapore. She aims to grow the concept around Asia and build a network of CSOs and sustainability professionals.

Prior to her time with MAS, McBain spent six years with seafood giant Thai Union, where she was also the company’s first CSO. She was awarded for her work improving Thai Union’s treatment of migrant workers and forging a landmark agreement with Greenpeace to tackle indiscriminate fishing methods. 

The launch of OCSO Asia marks a return to consulting for McBain. Before Thai Union, she worked for Sydney-based business consultancy Blue Sky Green.

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