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Singapore-based AirCarbon Pte Ltd launches world’s first digital aviation carbon exchange to fight climate change
30 October 2019, Singapore – Singapore-based AirCarbon Pte Ltd (“AirCarbon” or “the Company”) today launched the world’s first blockchain-based carbon trading exchange, named the AirCarbon Exchange, which will serve as a central marketplace for transportation industry stakeholders to trade carbon emissions eligible under the International Civil Aviation Organization (“ICAO”)’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (“CORSIA”) regime.
Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore minted the first AirCarbon digital token at the launch of the AirCarbon Exchange at the Asia Clean Energy Summit (“ACES”) 2019, part of the Singapore International Energy Week (“SIEW”) 2019 held at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre – Marina Bay Sands (“MBS”).
Photo above: Dr Koh Poh Koon, second from right, minting the first AirCarbon digital token
The AirCarbon Exchange, a collaboration venture with Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (“SEAS”), will provide a ready supply of CORSIA eligible credits (“EEUs”) for airlines and other corporate buyers to acquire Carbon Dioxide (“CO2”) offsets for compliance and voluntary purposes. These EEUs are securitised into tokens making them highly liquid, fungible and tradable. Each AirCarbon tokens is backed on a one-to-one basis with one metric ton of carbon credits. Financial institutions and broader investors will also benefit from the ease and reduced friction common in traditional registries.
The AirCarbon Exchange, through its AirCarbon Registration Facility, will finance the registration costs of a wide portfolio of environmental-friendly CO2 mitigating projects at no charge to project developers.
Figure above: AirCarbon Exchange ecosystem
Commercial aviation accounts for over 2.5% of total global CO2 emissions. With projected growth surpassing 6% per annum according to the International Air Transport Association (“IATA”), the industry has established a market-based mechanism, CORSIA, to offset its growing carbon footprint.
AirCarbon’s Chairman and Co-Founder, Er. Edwin T. F. Khew PBM, also the Chairman of SEAS, commented, “We aim to make the AirCarbon token the easiest and most streamlined instrument for the trading of CORSIA eligible emission units (“EEUs”) globally. We are applying from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) the recognised market operator (“RMO”) licence and are targeting for the AirCarbon Exchange to be fully operational in 2020, bringing to Singapore the first global blockchain-enabled multi-stakeholder carbon trading hub representing over US$100 billion worth of carbon trades.”
Mr. Satvinder Singh, Assistant CEO of Enterprise Singapore, said: “International regulations and the increased focus on sustainability will lead to an increase in demand for carbon offsetting activities globally. Enterprise Singapore stands ready to support solutions providers like AirCarbon to grow in Singapore and address the needs of corporates to offset their carbon emissions, starting from the aviation industry. This leverages on Singapore’s status as an aviation and trading hub, and will further promote Singapore as a global hub for sustainability and innovation.”
Er. Khew added, “From the onset, we have initiated various collaborations, partnerships and discussions with airlines, green project developers, sustainable technology providers, multilateral institutions, impact investors and regulators. The success of the AirCarbon Exchange requires the cooperation from all these stakeholders as well as all of civil society who have shown increased concerns on the state of climate change and environment, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues globally.”
The AirCarbon Exchange uses blockchain technology to securitize EEUs generating tradable AirCarbon Tokens denominated in metric tons of CO2. Each Token is backed by one equivalent metric ton of CORSIA compliant EEU, allowing for added liquidity and instantaneous trading. Blockchain technology is used in the tokenization as it allows for an open, transparent and liquid asset that reduces friction, and facilitates decentralization to provide a truly distributed and borderless platform for the trading and value creation on the underlying assets.
Being blockchain-based also allows AirCarbon to create a hybrid, decentralized platform, which mirrors commodity markets which can simplify and automate laborious manual processes, allowing for ease of trade, ability to make settlements, and synchronization of document exchange and collateral management. AirCarbon has partnered with First Derivatives to design a front-end trading solution, creating a platform that joins the best trading systems with the advantages of tokenization.
Mr. William Pazos, COO and co-founder of AirCarbon, will be speaking on 31 October 2019 at the Singapore International Energy Week (“SIEW”) at MBS. He will deliver a keynote address on the topic ‘Enterprise digital platforms: Enabling decarbonisation of transportation’.
Mr. Pazos commented, “Apart from launching our AirCarbon exchange at the Singapore International Energy Week, we will also be participating in Aviation Carbon 2019 at London Heathrow on 4 and 5 November 2019 next week. I shall be speaking on how digital assets can accelerate the adoption of carbon offsets. I am particularly excited to work with Enterprise Singapore and Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore to bring a world class carbon trading hub to Singapore.”
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About AirCarbon Pte Ltd
AirCarbon is a Singapore-based Commodities Exchange built on a blockchain architecture based on Ethereum and ERC20 & ERC721 tokens. The Exchange, currently supported by the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) and the Digital Exchange Association (DXA), is a platform for the distribution and trading of carbon mitigating investment opportunities and carbon credits generated by those carbon mitigating projects.
The company was set up by a seasoned business group with a strong background in commodity exchange architecture, carbon trading, banking, distributed ledger technology (DLT), fund management and private equity.
For more information, please visit: https://www.aircarbon.co/
For media enquiries, please contact
Mr Tom Herman
Vice President, Business Development
AirCarbon Pte Ltd
Tel: +65 8168 4248
RHT Communications & Investor Relations Pte. Ltd.
Tel: +65 6381 6349
Singapore, 30 September – RHT Rajan Menon Foundation (“Foundation”) joined the Singapore Red Cross’ 70th Anniversary commemoration and annual awards ceremony held at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront this afternoon. The Foundation, a benefactor of Singapore Red Cross, received the prestigious Friend of Singapore Red Cross Award.
The awards, presented by President Halimah Yacob who is also Patron of the Singapore Red Cross, aims to honour and recognise exceptional accomplishments and contributions made by volunteers and partners to support the Singapore Red Cross’ mission.
RHT Rajan Menon Foundation’s Chairman Mr Tan Chong Huat said, “We are honoured to receive the Friend of Singapore Red Cross Award and we look forward to continue supporting the Singapore Red Cross’ mission through the Foundation’s charity fundraisers.”
Mr Tan was also conferred the prestigious High Commendation Award in recognition of his invaluable contributions to the Singapore Red Cross Society and its mission. The award was presented by Singapore Red Cross Chairman, Mr Tee Tua Ba, at the event.
Since its inception, the Foundation has raised more than S$2 million to support beneficiaries involved in education, the environment, disadvantaged groups and the arts. The Foundation has undertaken various projects and programs over the years including RHT Scholarships & Book Prizes, SMU Pro Bono, Ageing RigHT, international relief and special projects with Singapore Red Cross, Greening Asean: Initiatives & Leadership (GAIL), Asean Sustainable Development and ARHTPhil, made possible through the generosity of the Foundation’s sponsors, partners and business associates, clients, RHTLaw, RHT group of companies and RHT colleagues and friends of the Foundation.
Singapore, 3 September 2019 – RHT Fintech Holdings, previously known as RHT Holdings, has been selected as a winner of the Singapore Prestige Brand Awards (SPBA) - Promising Brands.
The award recognises young homegrown brands which have demonstrated effective use of branding activities, contributing significantly to the growth and development of the RHT brand. The award also serves as a yardstick for companies to benchmark their brand equity against their competitors.
Winners of SPBA 2019 were unveiled to the public at Marina Mandarin Singapore today where all winners received a certificate from the Award Organising Committee.
Mr Jayaprakash Jagateesan, Chief Executive Officer of RHT Fintech Holdings, said, “We are honoured to receive this award following 8 years of ongoing evolution of the RHT brand.”
“We believe that the strength of any brand rests on the confidence and trust placed on it by the market. Our growth, achievements and transformation would not be possible without the support of our stakeholders and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for choosing RHT as their preferred partner,” he added.
The achievement follows RHT’s recent brand refresh led by RHT Communications & Investor Relations which builds on the idea that you cannot spell right without RHT.
RHT Fintech Holdings is entering an exciting phase in its growth. Building on its experience and expertise in corporate fundraising and related professional services, the Group sees new fintech fundraising platforms as an emerging tool to unlock the value of multiple asset classes through innovative solutions. To reflect the strong focus on fintech and financial services, the Group has transitioned to become known as RHT Fintech Holdings.
As the RHT Brand continues to evolve, the Group remains committed to delivering the RigHT solutions for clients.
RHT Forensics & Disputes Advisory Consultant Billy Huang and RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Managing Partner Tan Chong Huat was featured in The Business Times article titled, “Safeguarding your company against corporate corruption overseas”. The article was first published in The Business Times on 16 January 2018.
Safeguarding your company against corporate corruption overseas
In a bid to keep bribery at bay, Singapore companies need to reassess three key areas – corporate culture, standard operating procedures and environment scanning.
SINGAPORE has long been admired for its tough anti-corruption stance and is exemplary for its strict enforcement regime against corrupt practices. In Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index 2016, Singapore was ranked seventh in the world as one of the least corrupt countries, one place higher than its ranking in 2015’s index.
Hence, it is not surprising that high-profile corruption cases involving Singapore companies attract close scrutiny both locally and internationally, and more so when a government-linked company is involved. A case in point is the recent disclosure on Dec 23, 2017 by Keppel Offshore and Marine (KOM), a Singapore government-linked company, of its global resolution with the criminal authorities in the United States, Brazil and Singapore to pay more than US$422 million in fines, following investigations into corrupt payments made overseas.
It was reported that KOM made bribes amounting to about US$55 million between 2001 and 2014 in order to secure 13 contracts from Brazilian oil firms. These bribes were disguised as large commissions to a Brazilian consultant, who in turn made payments to people who could influence the awarding of the 13 contracts.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
KOM’s failure to detect the payment of bribes by its Brazilian consultant for more than a decade raises an important question as to how Singapore companies, which have foreign subsidiaries or engage in business overseas, can safeguard themselves against overseas corporate corruption. In this regard, Singapore companies need to reassess three key areas: corporate culture, standard operating procedures and environment scanning.
While every Singapore company is expected to have written anti-bribery and corruption policies, they must be reinforced by the leadership of the company. The top management of any company, whether listed or otherwise, must lead by example and inculcate as one of its core values, a deep-seated belief in the company’s employees that corruption must not be accepted or tolerated, or what is commonly referred to as a “zero-tolerance policy towards corruption”.
The rationale for emphasising this core value is obvious: corruption will destroy the company’s reputation, diminish demand for its products and services, and erode its ability to compete in the long term. The company and the individuals involved in corrupt practices will also be subject to criminal liability. As the KOM case demonstrates, corrupt acts have no expiry date and can come back to haunt the company.
The KOM case is also a timely reminder for Singapore companies to review their standard operating procedures to root out potential corrupt practices.
For example, does the company have a written manual to guide their employees on how to comply with anti-corruption laws (including those with long-arm jurisdiction such as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act)? If so, can certain aspects of the manual be improved? Some of the key issues to be considered are:
Singapore companies must appreciate that different countries have different operating environments, and conduct a risk assessment as to whether the foreign country which they intend to operate in is corruption-prone. TI’s Corruption Perceptions Index is a good starting point for conducting the risk assessment.
Another factor to consider is the possible areas of the company’s overseas operations where corruption or bribery may occur. In undertaking the risk assessment, ways to address such potential gaps should be examined.
If appropriate, separate standard operating procedures on anti-bribery and corruption should be drafted to tailor to the operating environment of the particular foreign country in question. These procedures can also be used as a regulatory tool by the company’s headquarters to monitor the conduct of their employees and their third-party partners, through carefully calibrated checks and other reporting measures.
Although it may be tempting to think that a lower standard of corporate corruption applies in certain countries where corruption is rife and the enforcement regime is weak, this view is seriously mistaken. The existence of long arm anti-corruption laws and the growth of international cooperation among the authorities of different countries mean that it is only a matter of time before corrupt practices overseas are detected and perpetrators are taken to task.
To put it succinctly, in order to curb corruption, ethical standards must be established by the management in active partnership with the company and its employees. Corruption thrives on human frailties accompanied by lack of supervision and controls. Ethics, when ingrained in the culture of an organisation, is the best bet to counterbalance these human frailties and oversight.
A simple guide such as “Do what is right especially when no one is looking” can be a good start. Singapore companies must remain steadfast to Singapore’s anti-corruption policy which applies to their operations both locally and overseas, and not trade it for short-term competitive advantages by succumbing to the lure of corruption and bribery.
Author: Tan Chong Huat & Billy Huang
RHT Wealth Holdings has bolstered its wealth management advisory services with the appointment of Ms Noor Quek as Advisor effective from February 2018.
Noor brings with her more than 40 years of experience across key sectors in private banking, investment banking and wealth management. Her expertise includes initiating, negotiating and facilitating implementation of wealth advisory and financial transactions. This has evolved from her extended years in the industry where she has managed key relationships with international high net worth individuals, families and corporations. “RHT Wealth Holdings has positioned itself well to further complement its growth. I am looking forward to supporting the growth of the wealth management industry in Singapore and the region at this time, with them,” said Noor.
Commenting on Noor’s appointment, RHT Wealth Holdings Chief Operating Officer Patrick Lai said, “We are delighted to welcome Noor to RHT Wealth Holdings. With her years of experience working with ultra high net worth clients and extensive knowledge in wealth management, we are certain her addition will strengthen RHT Wealth Holdings’ position as a leading premier wealth services group in Singapore and the region. Noor’s cross-border capabilities are congruent with our growth strategy as we recognise the importance of being able to advise and service ultra high net worth clients in regional matters.”
Mr Tan Chong Huat, Director of RHT Wealth Holdings commented, “As Singapore positions itself to be the private wealth management hub for the region, we observe a number of ultra high net worth individuals and families, who want their accumulated wealth to be safe and well managed, moving their funds to Singapore. With Noor on board, we are in an even stronger position to assist our clients in Singapore and the region.”