KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has called on all stakeholders, including businesses, civil societies and individuals to actively participate in achieving a sustainable future for the next generation and create powerful synergy that drives meaningful change for Malaysia.

He highlighted that embracing environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices transcends mere regulatory compliance and thus needed a shift in mindset to achieve the principles of environmental stewardship, social responsibility and governance excellence.

He also stressed that Malaysia must recognise that achieving net zero emission requires a collaborative effort involving all — the government, the private sector and the people.

On the government’s side, he said it has taken a progressive stance towards decarbonisation and the larger sustainability agenda.

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“In fact, the concept of Madani, the country’s ethos for development, places ‘sustainability’ as one of its seven core tenets,” he said at the launch of Asia’s first ESG Positive Impact Consortium (A-EPIC) here today.

The government is also committed to embedding ESG principles into the fabric of governance, ensuring a sustainable and prosperous future for generations to come.

He added that the government has implemented multifaceted policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions, promoting social equity, creating new growth opportunities in green economy and ensuring transparent governance.

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In addition, substantial funds have been allocated for renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and green transportation, signalling the government’s commitment to reducing the country’s carbon footprint and promoting sustainable practices, he noted.

“As we gather today, we are painfully aware of the challenges facing our environment, among them hotter temperatures, more severe storms and increased droughts. In Malaysia, we experienced these too... unprecedented and, of course, a major challenge.

“As 2024 is regarded as the hottest year on record... make no mistake, ladies and gentlemen, these are no longer theoretical risks but the lived realities of many around the world,” he reminded all stakeholders.

Towards this end, he believes the formation of the A-Epic is timely, where it can leverage the prowess of three media groups to facilitate collaborative action between stakeholders, businesses and the public.

“The Asia ESG Positive Impact Consortium (A-Epic) sheds light on the roles of the media, providing support for a policy adopted by all three countries, (which) is consistent with ESG.

“So I think the experience of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, (together) can see each other’s strengths for us to improve,” he said when met by the media after the launch.

A-Epic comprising Star Media Group (SMG), Indonesia’s Media Group of Kompas Gramedia (KG Media) and the Philippines’ Inquirer Group of Companies (IGC), aims to advance ESG awareness across the region’s business ecosystems and expedite the adoption in the mainstream media to ensure public accountability and transparency.

SMG chief executive officer (CEO) Chan Seng Fatt said only 25 Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) implemented ESG practices, highlighting the need for greater awareness and support, as many of them are still struggling with the complexities of ESG and broader sustainability goals.

“Through the collective power of our reach to over 123 million people, we envision a sustainable Asia through media collaborations promoting progressive environmental, socio-economic and governance commitments for future prosperity across the region,” he said.

KG Media CEO Andy Budiman shared the consortium’s commitment to showcase and amplify impactful local efforts, champion sustainability as the new standard and empower businesses and communities through bold media strategies.

IGC CEO Rudyard Arbolado said joining A-EPIC is not just an acknowledgement of the group’s past advocacies, but a pledge to amplify collective impact through collaborative and innovative approaches. — Bernama