Hong Kong sustainability consultancy The Purpose Business opens Singapore office

Former AVPN executive Outi Grüner is the company’s first Singapore hire.

Pat Dwyer, founder of The Purpose Business, and Outi Grüner
Pat Dwyer, founder of The Purpose Business, and Outi Grüner, the consultancy's first Singapore-based sustainability advisor. Images: LinkedIn

The Purpose Business (TPB), a Hong Kong-based sustainability consultancy, has opened a Singapore office and appointed former Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) executive Outi Grüner as sustainability advisor.

TPB was founded by former Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts sustainability executive Pat Dwyer in 2015 to “help businesses be a force for good”.

TPB provides advisory and environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting services to companies in Asia.

Dwyer said Singapore has the credentials to lead the ESG agenda in Asia, and its robust regulatory environment and focus on responsible business make it “a stable investment environment and an attractive market for business growth”.

TPB’s Singapore launch comes six years after the company opened an operation in Manila, originally Dwyer’s home city.

The consultancy also operates out of bases in London, Wellington and Los Angeles, and has worked for the likes of Hong Kong subway network MTR Group, airline Cathay Pacific and property developer Swire Properties.

When TPB launched seven years ago, Asia was not ready for “purpose-driven” strategies, Dwyer said.

“We knew that, but we also knew that we cannot wait until the market becomes ready as it required companies like ours to be part of the movement to guide companies.”

Although TPB offers a range of ESG services, Dwyer has a particular interest in the ‘S’ in ESG, The consultancy’s mission has recently changed to: “Guiding leaders to evolve business as a force for good”. 

“We have seen an increase in companies improving performance around social issues, improving the way that people are engaged, empowered, recognised and valued,” she said.

“There has also been tremendous emphasis on having stronger voices from the top, where boards of directors take ownership of long-term issues such as employee welfare, diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as overall ESG risk management,” Dwyer said. 

Grüner joins TPB as Singapore-based sustainability advisor with a brief to grow the business in Southeast Asia.

Grüner has spent much of her recent career in consulting. She founded and ran her own sustainability and impact consultancy, Greener Advisory, and has advised organisations including Singapore-based Ace Green Recycling, events company CorpStage for The ESG World Summit and the Singapore chapter of the Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Grüner worked for AVPN for three years, leading strategy and developing the philanthropic network’s social investment ecosystem as Southeast Asia director.

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