ESGAM at the AFFIN ESG Conference 2024

At the ESG Conference 2024 themed “Charting the Path to Sustainability,” hosted by Affin Hwang Investment Bank, the panel discussion focused on “Preserving our Planet – A Sustainable Approach Towards Zero-Waste.” Moderated by Ms. Tan Ei Leen, Associate Director of Research at Affin Hwang Investment Bank Berhad, the panel featured notable speakers including ESGAM President, Adjunct Practice Prof. Cheah Kok Hoong, YBhg. Dato’ Lim Thiam Huat, Managing Director of Nextgreen Global Berhad, and Dr. Surina Ismail, Chief Sustainability Officer of IOI Corporation Berhad.

Prof. Cheah emphasized the critical role of zero-waste management in sustainability. He shared insights on Malaysia’s “Roadmap Towards Zero Single-Use Plastics 2018-2030,” highlighting alarming statistics about plastic waste and the importance of redesigning production and consumption patterns to eliminate waste from the outset. Prof. Cheah stressed that ESG should be a generational, boardroom, and national agenda, calling for a collective effort to integrate zero-waste principles across industries. He also addressed the challenges faced by smaller enterprises in their ESG journey, particularly regarding awareness, knowledge, and access to green financing. By advocating for comprehensive education and support, Prof. Cheah underscored the need for inclusive and actionable strategies to foster a sustainable and zero-waste future for Malaysia.

Dr. Surina and Dato’ Lim provided valuable insights into practical strategies and innovative solutions implemented by their respective organizations to combat waste. Dr. Surina introduced the concept of the 7Rs (rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, recover, and redesign) and highlighted IOI’s success in repurposing 100% of their plantation waste. She elaborated on how palm trunk waste is converted into palm wood and how ashes from waste are used as fertilizers. She emphasized that adopting a circular mindset requires significant technological investment and a shift in thinking, viewing challenges as opportunities for innovation and risk management. Dato’ Lim shared Nextgreen Global Berhad’s endeavors in converting waste materials into valuable products, underscoring the challenges and opportunities in sustainable waste management.

All panelists collectively urged businesses and policymakers to integrate zero-waste principles into their operations and strategies, reinforcing the session’s call to action for a sustainable and waste-free future.

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