Starting from December 2023, the introduction of emerging statutory ESG disclosures, company ESG ratings, and regulations by Bank Negara and Bursa Malaysia will have significant compliance implications for businesses and society as a whole.
However, Malaysia as with many other countries in SE Asia faces a notable challenge concerning the availability of experienced and trained staff capable of developing and implementing ESG initiatives that can deliver tangible outcomes for companies and society at large. Consequently, this situation has led to confusion and operational difficulties for businesses as they strive to meet the new regulatory ESG requirements imposed upon them.
Incorporating ESG initiatives into operations necessitates a comprehensive understanding of ESG at all levels of an organization, both internally and externally, and the integration of ESG principles into daily tasks. This not only benefits the company commercially but also contributes to the advancement of the supply chain ecosystem in which they operate. Prioritizing and investing in ESG training and education is crucial for driving the adoption of ESG practices, not only for large public listed companies but also for businesses of all sizes.
The future success and investment appeal of Malaysia, as well as any country, heavily rely on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) embracing ESG practices, which can only be achieved through adequate ESG training and development. Such investments in staff understanding of ESG represent a valuable investment that yields multiple returns on investment for both companies and society at large.
This is significant as it highlights that adoption of ESG initiatives and incorporating them into operations helps the company commercially, but also the supply chain ecosystem in which they operate. In Malaysia, it also emphasizes that adoption of ESG practices doesn’t just apply to PLCs. The future success and investment attractiveness of Malaysia will largely depend on SMEs adopting ESG practices.