November 5, 2015

The Boss of Business Sustainability in Malaysia

The Boss of Business Sustainability in Malaysia

Big business has a guiding light in Malaysia, and it's pointing towards sustainability. Photo Credit: Geralt via Pixabay

Malaysia’s business world doesn’t have the brightest history when it comes to sustainability.  The entire country is famous for profit-driven and explosive growth at the cost of environment, the people are notorious for a “so what” attitude towards their environment, and the land has been heavily polluted and exploited to lead Malaysia to what is a quite unsustainable present-day scenario.

This is Malaysia’s past, but its future is beginning to be taken much more seriously – especially by the businesses that have such a big say in the country’s social, economic and natural environment.  Case in point is the Business Council for Sustainability & Responsibility Malaysia (BCSRM).

BSCRM is a national organization bent on keeping Malaysia’s businesses in-line with the global sustainability agenda.  It’s mission is essentially to drive and develop Malaysia’s own sustainability agenda while educating, advocating for and improving capacity for sustainable business in the country.

BSCRM’s members include some of Malaysia’s biggest corporations – outfits like Nestle Malaysia, Shell Malaysia, international palm oil producer Sime Darby and environmental business solutions provider IRIS Corporation Berhad.

It is BSCRM that is driving some of these companies’ big sustainability efforts.  For example, Nestle Malaysia takes a focus on water management, ensuring all of its liquid waste is safe for the environment before it is discharged.  The company also runs ‘Save Every Drop’ talks and produces guidelines to educate Malaysians on saving water – something the country has struggled with for a long time.

IRIS Corporation Berhad has many sustainable initiatives, like Malaysia’s first and largest sustainable agro-farm, sustainable housing solutions and many water and energy-efficient farms across the country.  As a palm oil producer, Sime Darby is likely one of the most controversial businesses on BSCRM.  Palm oil activity has caused much of Malaysia’s deforestation and been flagged for subjecting workers to modern-day slavery conditions, but Sime Darby does have a large sustainable component, including funding the largest-ever ecological experiment about palm oil and biodiversity.

Though Malaysia’s sustainability status is troubled now, BSCRM is pointing towards a future where businesses look out for Malaysia’s social and environmental welfare, take a long view on development, and fight to protect Malaysia’s beautiful forests, seas and cultural heritage.

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