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Sustainable futures

COP26: practical steps towards sustainability for Malaysian businesses

While the governmental discussions at COP26 are certainly among the important international efforts to alleviate the impact of climate change, the role of businesses is critical for meeting net zero carbon targets, given that industrial activities are considered the biggest contributor to rising temperatures on the planet.

In Malaysia, the net zero climate action agenda has quickly moved up the priority list for the country’s regulators and businesses. But those business organisations who have committed to climate goals represent a fraction of Malaysia’s total.

Given the crucial role of businesses in leading Malaysia towards achieving a net zero / low carbon future and averting a path towards climate catastrophe, there is a need for guidance & frameworks to translate climate ambitions into tangible actions. This has led to a new initiative by the team at UN Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei (UNGCMYB) to promote Sustainability and Climate Action in Malaysian businesses. The first output in collaboration with Nottingham University Business School (NUBS), Malaysia and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Malaysia and SENTRAL College Penang, was a comprehensive guides to climate change action for business titled MyClimate Action guide.

The second guide, A CEO guide, was developed through a series of roundtable events with CEOs and Directors of companies operating in Malaysia, chosen for their track records of leading their companies on climate action initiatives. Through these roundtables organised by UNGCMYB in collaboration with Tata Consulting Services (TCS) Malaysia, HSBC Malaysia, British Malaysia Chamber of Commerce (BMCC), German Malaysia Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) and Nottingham University Business School (NUBS) Malaysia, insights from discussions with CEOs and Directors in setting net zero carbon targets and developing plans to meet them were distilled to form the basis of the guides, which are now available to other business leaders to use.

The first guide, MyClimate Action - Thriving in a Net Zero Economy: A Guide for Malaysian Businesses for Positive Climate Actions, aims to:

  • strengthen the business case of embarking on a low carbon/net zero pathway through the analysis of physical and transitional risks faced by Malaysian corporations
  • present a “total climate management” framework as a guide for business leaders to embark on their journey to decarbonisation
  • share localised case studies which serve as a reference point for corporate leaders, business schools and relevant parties.

The second guide, Malaysian Businesses for Positive Climate Actions – A CEO guide, provides an easy reference to leaders of businesses who want to transition their companies towards a net zero carbon future. This guide is due to be launched in the run up to COP26, on 25 October 2021.

The two guides help make complex initiatives Science based Targets (SBTs) and related climate action for business organisations easily understandable for businesses small and large. The first MyClimate Action guide is a comprehensive resource with many relevant actionable tools provided for business to make use of. There are also case studies of companies and their climate action agenda, thus making the guide a one stop shop resource document. The Climate Action CEO guide compliments this with understandable decision making information for business leaders.

"We hope to encourage more business leaders to set aspirations towards net zero carbon climate ambitions and turn them into tangible actions"
Mohan V Avvari
"The CEO guide for climate action provides a simple and pragmatic approach for companies to easily understand the risks and opportunities from a business perspective, and ways to initiate climate change action"
Faroze Nadar (Exec Director – UNGCMYB)

Mohan V. Avvari

Mohan V. Avvari is Associate Professor of Strategy and Innovation and Director of Research at Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham Malaysia.

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