KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian companies, particularly the public listed companies (PLCs), are outperforming their ASEAN peers in terms of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Capital Markets Malaysia (CMM) recently released a research publication titled ‘Positioning Corporate Malaysia for a Sustainable Future’ that highlighted corporate Malaysia’s progress in sustainability and overall transition trajectory, as well as the nation’s efforts to promote sustainable investing.
“The MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) ESG Leaders Index named twenty-eight Malaysian companies. The index includes companies that are large and mid-cap across developed and emerging regions.
“Malaysian businesses are also relatively advanced in terms of adopting global standards. Nine companies are currently committed to emissions reduction targets based on climate science through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi),” PwC and CMM stated in a joint statement.
Furthermore, the report said that Malaysia ranks second among ASEAN peers in terms of both the MSCI ACWI ESG Leaders Index and the SBTi measures.
Datuk Zainal lzlan Zainal Abidin, chairman of CMM and deputy chief executive of the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), stated that the growing demand for sustainable investments and assets has placed the capital market in a distinct position to influence meaningful change in corporate sustainability practises.
“The SC’s Capital Market Masterplan 3, which covers the period 2021–2025, outlines actions aimed at shaping a stakeholder economy through increased capital allocation to sustainable enterprises.
“Being aware that firms would require significant financing to decarbonize and transition to net zero, the SC is developing a framework for market-based instruments to facilitate transition finance in Malaysia,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the report discusses the difficulties inherent in quantifying and comparing ESG initiatives among organisations.
“Through ten case studies, the report demonstrates several of these excellent practises used by Malaysian PLCs and organisations. A comparison of top-ranked corporations across four ESG rating providers reveals that almost half (19) appear only once, while only one company appears consistently across all four ratings,” the statement added.
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