KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — From scorching heat waves to unprecedented floods, Asia is enduring some of the harshest consequences of the climate crisis.

And going sustainable is no longer an option, but a necessity that the region must embrace to survive.

And the Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability Awards (ACES), which turns 10 this year, serves as the vanguard of the region’s sustainable growth.

This year, ACES received a record 580 submissions, its highest-ever to date, from over 52 industries across 15 countries.

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After a rigorous screening, 82 winners were selected and Philippines topped the list with 23 winners, followed by Malaysia with 15 winners.

Sedania As Salam Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer, Nisa Ismail (middle) was named the
Sedania As Salam Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer, Nisa Ismail (middle) was named the "Woman Entrepreneur of the Year”. — Picture courtesy of MORS Group

Energy Absolute Public Company Limited founder and chief executive officer, Somphote Ahunai was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” for spearheading Thailand’s renewable energy and electric vehicle industries.

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“My business has helped develop skills and create value for Thai people because there is no company in Thailand or Thai person who has gone into innovation this seriously,” Ahunai said.

Meanwhile, Sedania As Salam Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer, Nisa Ismail bagged the “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” award for her trailblazing efforts in shaping Malaysia’s fintech landscape.

“Women need to be heard, especially in boardrooms, and they need to be part of business continuity to drive the sustainable agenda,” she said.

Malaysia’s leading healthy home creator, Cuckoo International (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd founder and chief executive officer, Hoe Kian Choon also received the “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” award.

Cuckoo International (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd founder and chief executive officer, Hoe Kian Choon received the
Cuckoo International (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd founder and chief executive officer, Hoe Kian Choon received the "Young Entrepreneur of the Year” award. — Picture courtesy of MORS Group

“Sustainability is about creating a win-win solution for the business and the consumers,” Hoe said, adding that sustainable solutions must be accessible and affordable for everyone.

Overall, the 189-year-old Ayala Corporation from the Philippines was named “Asia’s Most Sustainable Company of the Year.”

Congratulating the winners, ACES Awards president and MORS Group chief executive officer, Shanggari Balakrishnan said the recognition has a dual purpose.

“The trophy acknowledges their achievements, but also reminds them that to fully live that win is to go out and contribute their knowledge, expertise and charisma to help other entrepreneurs and organisations grow,” she said.

The first-ever ACES Summit was also held on November 23 in conjunction with the tenth edition of the ACES Awards at the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur.

The by-invitation only summit involved high-level discussions between industry leaders on various agendas, such as circular economy, climate financing and sustainable food supply chain.