PETALING JAYA: Recipients of the recent Malaysia Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Impact Awards 2022 agreed that individuals
and corporate entities should immediately speed up their journey towards sustainable development goals.

One of the three award categories, for “Outstanding ESG Impact Corporate Excellence”, gave recognition to SMEs and social enterprises with proven track records of successfully implementing their practices.

Jawala Plantation Industries Sdn Bhd, which was accorded the award, is an SME that plants trees. It is also planning to substitute the use of tropical timber in Sabah.

“We are confident the development of forest plantations will relieve the pressure on our natural forests,” said its CEO Rahman Khan (pix).

“Industrial tree plantations can result in a greater conservancy, sustainability and renewability of our forest resources and (will benefit) those who depend on them.”

Khan advocated the “3Ps’’ principle (People, Planet and Prosperity) as a reminder for people to act now and do their part.

“We can see the effects of global warming becoming more serious. Companies should start their SDG journey immediately. Plant more trees, use renewable and recyclable materials,” he said.

Meanwhile, two recipients of the “Outstanding SDG Icon” award – Pertubuhan Pembangunan Wanita Tamarai Pulau Pinang and Pudipang Industries (of Johor) – are focusing on community development.

The former’s representative, K.S. Pakyalakshmi Subramanian, said her organisation sees a need for more people to have skills training to improve their social and economic growth.

“We believe in helping one another to create a sustainable community. One way of doing that is by providing skills and business-oriented training, especially for youths who desperately need them.

“This will help them break away from the poverty cycle.”

Pakyalakshmi said her Penang-based organisation is empowering specific groups by giving them free life skills training for 10 years. It has conducted 205 such programmes in Penang, Kedah, Perak and Pahang. Target groups include ex-convicts and their families, high-risk youths, single parents and the B40 group.

She said some 1,800 people have benefited from the organisation’s programmes over the years.

Pudipang Industries director Mohd Redwan Mohd Fadil said the organisation runs a youth empowerment project in Muar, Johor, called “The Room: Muar Youth Hub”.

It has sub-programmes revolving around education, entrepreneurship, arts, sports and community services, among others.

Mohd Redwan said there is a need to increase the community’s awareness of SDG development, which is not a new practice.

“In Malaysia, we have many communities, especially from the rural areas, which are already practising good and sustainable approaches to daily life.

“They are not labelled as SDG practices. So, let’s promote the practices and cultivate the SDG practice in our daily life. Let SDG be our guide for a better life and a better Malaysia.”

The Malaysia SDG and ESG Impact Awards are presented by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on SDG, Economic Club of Kuala Lumpur and the KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific, with the support of the Malaysian CSO Alliance.

The awards are presented to grassroots activists and civil society organisations, which have adopted and advanced the SDG initiative.