World Business Council for Sustainable Development launches Malaysia chapter

Roberto Benetello

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 21): The Malaysian chapter of the Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) has been launched.

In a statement, BCSD Malaysia said it was launched today during a roundtable session attended by over fifty C-level representatives of large Malaysian companies.

The local chapter of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) — a CEO-led organisation of over 200 forward-thinking global companies, representing combined revenues of US$8.5 trillion and 19 million employees — aims to connect companies, sectors, and different stakeholders to deliver results that companies alone cannot deliver.

With the wealth of knowledge and expertise of WBCSD, it brings a collective business voice to engage with policymakers and regulatory authorities, and contribute to progressive policy development in Malaysia, said the statement.

BCSD Malaysia said Prof Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid will take on the role of director and chairman of the board.

Zakri has had a career in science as a researcher, educator, administrator, diplomat, and also as a former science adviser to the prime minister of Malaysia. He is currently ambassador and science adviser to the Wyss Campaign for Nature.

Meanwhile, Prof Datuk Ir Dr A Bakar Jaafar will be a director as well as honorary treasurer.

He is an engineer by profession, an environmental scientist by specialisation, and a maritime expert.

He is currently a professor at UTM Perdana Centre, Razak Faculty of Technology & Informatics, and director of the UTM Ocean Thermal Energy Centre.

Bakar is also chairman of the board of the Malaysian Green Technology & Climate Change Centre.

Zakri said research had shown that companies embracing sustainability are successful in the long term.

“Hence, it is imperative for stakeholders from different industry backgrounds to engage with other stakeholders and competitors and use BCSD Malaysia as a platform to share sustainability practices.

“Malaysian companies should take advantage of this opportunity to leverage on the knowledge of the global organisation and its extensive international network to apply many of the ongoing initiatives in climate & energy, human rights, food and agriculture, circular economy, finance and many more,” he said.

BCSD Malaysia will be headed by executive director Roberto Benetello, who previously held several senior management positions in the private sector, working for fortune-500 companies and start-ups in Italy, UK, Spain, and Malaysia.

Benetello said companies cannot become sustainable overnight.

“It takes time to develop a deeply rooted sustainability culture and leadership. Equally, it takes time to acquire sustainability know-how, develop methodologies and tools, and ultimately come up with sustainable solutions that work.

“This is why a platform such as BCSD Malaysia is so important. It allows member companies to share best practices in a pre-competitive space and focus on worthy solutions that are likely to have already proven their value and efficacy somewhere in the world,” he said.