PETALING JAYA: In an effort to push forth the environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda, Star Media Group Bhd (SMG) has launched the inaugural ESG Positive Impact Awards, with OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd as the main sponsor.
The awards seek to recognise and showcase Malaysian companies – from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to large corporations – that demonstrate exemplary ESG practices.
It also aims to accelerate the ESG momentum and inspire greater adoption among companies to drive lasting change and positive impact for a sustainable tomorrow.
There are 15 categories split across the ESG aspects.
International Trade and Industry Ministry deputy secretary-general (investment) Datuk Bahria Mohd Tamil, who represented the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Lokman Hakim Ali in launching the awards at Menara Star here yesterday, commended SMG and OCBC Bank along with their partners for the programme.
Bahria said the country is witnessing more and more of its export destinations adopting sustainability practices, with a specific emphasis on ESG compliance.
“Investors, too, are increasingly considering ESG elements before deciding where to invest and expand.
“To ensure that Malaysia remains competitive and relevant within the global supply chain, the government has implemented various initiatives to improve our ESG standing,” she said.
She hailed the launch of the ESG Positive Impact Awards as a proactive effort in rallying corporate Malaysia to embrace the ESG framework and “raising greater awareness among Keluarga Malaysia”.
“Together, we will be able to build the future we envision for our nation,” Bahria added.
Environment and Water Ministry deputy secretary-general Noor Afifah Abdul Razak, in her speech, said programmes such as the ESG Positive Impact Awards serve to encourage corporate Malaysia to consider how business is carried out, as well as promote a platform for knowledge sharing.
“This ultimately rallies organisations towards contributing to the sustainable development of the nation,” she added.
Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) deputy chief executive officer for exporters development Abu Bakar Yusof applauded the timeliness of the awards.
“The ESG Positive Impact Awards comes at the right time for our companies to really look into how they can embrace and adopt ESG and sustainability in their business process and model, so that they can look into gaining better market access in the long run.
“Of course, this requires awareness and education among exporters, especially SMEs. I believe the awards programme will further reinforce the significance of our exporters to comply with global standards with regard to ESG and sustainability.
“Matrade will render our support to this initiative so that we can get more SME exporters to join the awards, and they can also tell others about their ESG journey,” he said.
Securities Commission Malaysia strategic communications and chairman’s office executive director Datuk Seri Abdul Jalil Hamid lauded the awards for being timely and useful to Malaysia’s economic and social environment.
“It will encourage companies, big or small, to try harder to be environmentally friendly and socially responsible, and improve governance.
“It is something we should encourage and inspire every company in Malaysia to work towards,” he said.
OCBC Bank (Malaysia) CEO Datuk Ong Eng Bin said it is an honour to partner with SMG, which produces the nation’s leading English-language daily, especially as the banking group celebrates its 90th anniversary.
“This is a great time to bring together two very important and strong institutions, SMG and OCBC, to recognise and celebrate companies that are leading in sustainability in the way they come up with the products and also the way they champion sustainability.
“We see our tie-up with SMG through this inaugural ESG Positive Impact Awards as solidifying our quest to achieve our objectives, as we keep on striving towards the greater good of the environment and our surrounding communities.
“Today, we are giving the opportunity to companies throughout Malaysia to be recognised for their efforts in ESG and singled out as role models for others to emulate,” Ong said.
SMG group CEO Alex Yeow noted that the government and many businesses had embraced the sustainability agenda by embedding ESG pillars within their organisational framework, but added that there is a need to also place focus on SMEs, which form the backbone of the country’s economy.
“This is where SMG comes into play through an all-encompassing approach.
“As one of Malaysia’s leading media organisations, we recognise our role as an important enabler in the ESG agenda and our ability to create a paradigm shift towards ESG.
“The ESG Positive Impact Awards is our latest endeavour in this ESG movement. The awards serve to not only recognise organisational achievements in ESG, but also to empower and develop capacity for SMEs.
“Through building like-minded fraternities in support of ESG, this will ultimately help shape a better world for future generations,” he added.
In conjunction with the launch, an exhibition on prominent local social enterprises was held, featuring familiar names such as Impactlution, Karun Hijau, Pal-My, PWD Smart Farmability and The Tiffin Company.
The ESG Positive Impact Awards 2022 is organised by Star Media Group Bhd with OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd as the main sponsor. To register your interest to participate in the awards programme, visit https://staresgawards.com.my/