2024 JCI Malaysia Sustainable Development Award – ESG Conference Talk: How ESG/SDG Drives Advanced Market & Global Business Growth

At the ESG Talk during 2024 JCI Malaysia Sustainable Development Award, speakers from various sectors emphasized the importance of integrating ESG/SDG practices into business strategies for advanced market and global business growth. Adjunct Practice Professor Cheah Kok Hoong, ESGAM President, addressed the challenges and opportunities of complying with ESG, urging for government leadership in driving the sustainability agenda. He highlighted the critical need for transitioning to low-carbon economies and the pressures businesses face in adhering to intensifying global and local regulations. Cheah also stressed the importance of aligning ESG literacy across organizations to streamline the adoption of sustainable practices. He also underscored the urgency of addressing structural constraints within ASEAN to foster progress

ESGAM Honorary Advisor Chan Kok Long focused on viewing change as an opportunity rather than a challenge, particularly for business owners. He discussed how sustainability is reshaping competition, pushing companies to adopt sustainable market leadership. By leveraging sustainability as a competitive advantage, businesses can increase revenue, reduce expenses, and improve overall performance. Chan also outlined key aspects of integrating sustainability strategies into company practices, including crafting sustainability strategies, embedding sustainability in value chains, and renewing sustainability efforts to stay agile and responsive to market demands.

The key takeaway from the conference is that businesses must take proactive steps to integrate ESG and SDG into their core strategies to remain competitive and drive growth. Both speakers emphasized the need for companies to establish clarity, confront challenges with tenacity, and take leadership roles in their respective spheres. The call to action includes educating oneself and stakeholders, leveraging sustainability for competitive advantage, and continuously adapting to emerging trends and regulations. By doing so, businesses can navigate the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) world while simultaneously contributing to a more sustainable and responsible global economy.