Gobi Partners appoints Carlo Chen-Delantar as new head of ESG
By Digital News Asia December 8, 2022
- Will replace outgoing ESG head, Paul Ark
- Previously the head of Circular Economy for Gobi Asean
Gobi Partners, the Pan-Asian venture capital firm with US$1.5 billion (RM6.6 billion) in assets under management, has appointed Carlo Chen-Delantar (pic) as its head of ESG, to further advance the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda.
He will replace Gobi’s outgoing ESG Head, Paul Ark, the firm said in a statement.
Prior to this appointment, Chen-Delantar served and continues his position as the head of Circular Economy for Gobi Asean. He is also a founding partner for the Gobi-Core Philippine Fund (Gobi-Core), a joint-venture partnership between Gobi Partners and Core Capital investing in Filipino startups.
According to Gobi, this appointment reaffirms its continued commitment to building a strong sustainability foundation to ensure that all its investments remain socially responsible and impactful.
This is in line with the integration of the firm’s ESG policy and practices across all aspects of its business, including its portfolio companies.
On his plans to drive Gobi Partners’ ESG agenda forward, Chen-Delantar said, the digital economy is the biggest driving force of development in ASEAN.
“In the last three years, we saw 100 million internet users come online and going forward, the region’s digital economy is expected to grow twice as fast as the GDP through to 2030. I believe that Gobi can help digital economy players positively shift the economy towards a sustainable, innovative, and compassionate future.”
He added that with the growth of Gobi’s portfolio companies, its expanded reach and therefore the responsibility to stakeholders creates an opportunity to create long-term value for the ecosystem through governance structure and accountability.
Leveraging his varied expertise across the fields of entrepreneurship and early-stage investing, particularly in the fast-growing Philippine startup ecosystem, Chen-Delantar will be taking a greater role in the company’s approach to the circular economy, underserved communities and women entrepreneurs.
Among these are Gobi Partners’ diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, such as its TaqwaTech investment strategy to empower Muslim founders and economies.
Additionally, Chen-Delantar will undertake Gobi’s women empowerment initiatives such as the Asia Gender Smart Investing Forum with United Nations Women and its annual gender-lens pitch competitions with She Loves Tech as well as its corporate social responsibility arm #GobiCares.
Partner and ESG Committee chairperson, Soo Wei Shaw extended Gobi's appreciation and gratitude to Paul Ark. “He has been an integral asset in setting up the framework and refining the company’s focus and training on ESG,” she said.
“Chen-Delantar appointment is a welcome development that would enrich Gobi Partners’ long-held responsible investment practice and enable the company to seek more impactful investments in value-generating startups and entrepreneurs by identifying untapped opportunities and catering to underserved markets and consumers,” Wei Shaw said.
She added that Chen-Delantar’s hands-on experience in integrating global ESG standards into the foundation and operations of early stage startups will be fundamental for the portfolio's sustainable growth.
“He is well positioned to balance the scales of profit, people and the planet for Gobi Partners,” she said.
Before joining the Gobi family, Chen-Delantar operated and scaled sustainability-driven businesses which achieved Benefit Corporation (B Corp) and Cradle2Cradle certifications.
He also served as the Philippines country director for the global non-profit Waves for Water, which provided clean water access to more than one million Filipinos through distributed filtration systems.
Chen-Delantar is currently a Circular Economy Pioneer at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and also served as the co-chair of the Global Shapers Climate Action Steering Committee at the World Economic Forum from 2018-2021.
Under his leadership, the committee mobilized more than two million people in climate initiatives and contributed to changing 14 policies globally. He also sits on the GoTo group’s external Sustainability Advisory Council where he advises on the company’s ‘Three Zeros’ commitments (Zero Emissions, Zero Waste, Zero Barriers).
Chen-Delantar was also recognised in the 2018 Forbes Asia 30 under 30 and was awarded the Development Award and the Bayanihan Award in the Philippines for his humanitarian work.
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