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Eco-Business welcomes Rumah Group as its latest investor

Rumah Group’s portfolio includes equities, real estate, and impact investments with an environmental focus.

Rumah Group directors
Rumah Group directors Kathlyn Tan, Thomas Riber Knudsen, and Stanley Tan in the Channel NewsAsia documentary Sense and Sustainability. Image: CNA

Singapore-headquartered Eco-Business today welcomed its latest investor — Singapore family office Rumah Group — which has taken a minority equity stake in the firm.

Rumah Group’s portfolio includes equities, real estate, and impact investments with an environmental focus. The group is led by its directors Stanley Tan, his daughter Kathlyn Tan, and her husband Thomas Riber Knudsen.

Tan is a well known philanthropist who is also co-founder of the Asia Philanthropy Circle, chairman of Singapore’s South Central Community Family Service Centre, and chairman of =DREAMS Asia and =DREAMS Singapore.

Knudsen plays an active role in investments by Rumah Group and is managing director of Toll Group, a leading transport and logistics provider.

Tan’s daughter Kathlyn is a sustainability practitioner and ocean advocate leading Rumah Group’s environmental portfolio. She also serves as a Board Trustee of Conservation International Singapore, Board Director of The Good Food Institute Singapore, and is a member of Sustainable Finance Institute Asia’s Technical Advisory Panel.

She will be joining Eco-Business’s international advisory board to support the independent media and ESG platform as it continues to expand its services and thought leadership in the Asia Pacific region.

“Eco-Business is playing a vital role in elevating sustainability knowledge, expertise and analysis in the region; as well as connecting purpose-driven stakeholders to scale sustainability solutions. As climate change becomes increasingly widespread and disruptive, it’s all hands on deck and we look forward to supporting Eco-Business as they work to accelerate a more resilient Asia,” said Rumah Group director Kathlyn Tan, who also recently featured in a Channel NewsAsia documentary Sense and Sustainability

The latest news follows the investments last year by Steve Melhuish, co-founder of Southeast Asia’s largest property platform PropertyGuru and director of PlanetRise, and private equity firm Tembusu Partners

As climate change becomes increasingly widespread and disruptive, it’s all hands on deck and we look forward to supporting Eco-Business as they work to accelerate a more resilient Asia.

Kathlyn Tan, director, Rumah Group

Founded in 2009, Eco-Business is Asia Pacific’s leading media and business intelligence organisation dedicated to sustainable development. It is headquartered in Singapore and has a presence in China, Philippines, Malaysia and Europe.

It recently hired country head for India based in Bangalore to expand its presence in the region. Eco-Business last month also unveiled a revamped website with a new Intelligence section featuring ESG resources for the region, and a fresh design to increase user engagement and its platform is now available in four languages — English, Simplified Chinese, Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia.

The Eco-Business website is the region’s largest sustainability platform, and houses more than a decade-long archive of information on sustainable development issues in the region and globally. 

The Asia Pacific region must urgently reverse its regressing trends on many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to achieve its ambitions by 2030, said a recent UN-ESCAP report.

The Asia and the Pacific SDG Progress Report highlighted that the region fell short of its 2020 milestones for the Goals, even before entering the global pandemic. 

The region is also home to the world’s largest population and will bear the brunt of climate change, including rising average temperatures, lethal heat waves, extreme weather events, drought and water security challenges.

“There is therefore an urgent need for us to continue pursuing policy and business action to meet the sustainable development needs of the region,” said Jessica Cheam, founder and managing director of Eco-Business.

“We are excited to welcome Rumah Group into the Eco-Business family as we continue to grow our presence. ESG issues have firmly entered the mainstream and we continue to provide the thought leadership on business and policy developments urgently needed in this rapidly-developing region.”

Last September, together with its partners including the United Nations’ Global Opportunities for Sustainable Development Goals (GO4SDGs), Eco-Business launched a global sustainability innovation platform called The SDG Co which connects start-ups, corporates, governments and investors working on the SDGs.

Tembusu Partners and Eco-Business also recently launched an initiative called the Sustainable Future Fund, of which Rumah Group is an anchor Limited Partner. The new fund is dedicated to investing in commercially-viable ventures that tackle the most pressing sustainability challenges faced by developing Asia.

“With their deep expertise in growing companies and impact investments, we believe Rumah Group is strategically positioned to help us with our growth and impact,” added Cheam.

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