KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 -- Ninety-seven per cent of Malaysia's top 100 companies by revenue, have reported on their sustainable business practices, according to the KPMG Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2017.
This has been mainly driven by a mix of new regulations, stock exchange requirements and investor pressure, said KPMG Management and Risk Consulting Sdn Bhd head of governance and sustainability Kasturi Nathan.
Sustainable business practices are a necessity and the only means for businesses to continue existing and “meeting the needs of the present, without compromising on the needs of future generations”, she said, at the Sustainable Brands Kuala Lumpur 2019 conference yesterday.
“Companies are not adopting sustainability as a brand new skill set, but rather unearthing them from traditional responsible business conduct and sound risk management practices, which in turn will govern their reputations and social licences to operate,” she told Bernama on the sidelines of the conference.
Increasingly, Bursa Malaysia (KLSE) and investors were seeking for evidence of how companies are able to integrate the management of financial risks with environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk management, Kasturi added.
Speaking along the same lines of sustainability, was Kumar Chander, president (Southeast Asia, and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions) at Wipro Consumer Care, who said the company's long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability, had resulted in a 40 per cent reduction in water usage in all of its seven factories, since 2013.
Similarly, following an initiative to remove PVC from its manufacturing processes, all of its factories are now PVC-free, and since 2015-2016, the company also achieved a 15 per cent reduction in plastic consumption.
On the theme of sustainable fashion, H&M Southeast Asia sustainability manager Wong Xin-Yi said in her conference session, that the Swedish fashion chain had set a target for itself, comprising the use of recycled or other sustainably sourced materials in making its products, at a rate of 100 per cent by 2030 - today, it's rate of usage stands at 57 per cent.
In this connection, the chain's global garment collecting initiative, launched in 2013 and rolled out to 40 stores in Malaysia as well, involves recycling and transforming old clothes into new products such as new garments, cleaning cloths and textile fibres.