Nearly half of Malaysian companies yet to allocate budget for sustainability initiatives, says UN report

The Edge filepix for illustration purpose only.

The Edge filepix for illustration purpose only.

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 12): About 45% of Malaysian companies have still not allocated a budget for sustainability initiatives, despite the growing trend of sustainability demands by the country’s stakeholders, according to the Malaysia Businesses Sustainability Pulse Report 2022.

The report was launched by the UN Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei (UNGCMYB) that surveyed 261 respondents (125 corporates, of which 88 are private limited companies, 21 multinational companies, 14 government-linked companies, and 121 micro, small and medium enterprises).

It was a six-month multi-collaborative effort to address the private sector’s sustainability data gap and shed light on current sustainability trends within the Malaysian business ecosystem.

The report also showed that 33% of Malaysian companies claimed a lack of sustainable financing plans.

"Furthermore, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adoption remains worrying with nearly half (47%) of the Malaysian private sector indicating no commitments to the SDGs, while 34% of businesses indicate that the SDGs are not relevant to their business.

"However, the report suggests that this may be due to the over-emphasis on environmental, social and governance (ESG) as the common sustainability language for businesses, thus under-prioritising the SDGs," it said.

It said the private sector in Malaysia plays a pivotal role in driving sustainability practices and strategies to improve the sustainability landscape in Malaysia.

UNGCMYB executive director Faroze Nadar said in a statement that it hopes to build a better understanding of the sustainability landscape among Malaysia’s private sector through this report.