Global Compact, Capital Markets to drive sustainability agenda

by NUR HANANI AZMAN/ pic credit: Facebook

GLOBAL Compact Network Malaysia and Capital Markets Malaysia have jointly launched the Global Compact Network Malaysia Centre of Excellence (COE) to strategically develop the sustainability agenda.

The centre is also aimed at accelerating the performance of corporate Malaysia in supporting the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), the two parties said in a statement yesterday.

Global Compact Network Malaysia is the local network of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), while Capital Markets Malaysia is an affiliate of the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC).

Capital Markets Malaysia will provide strategic support and seed funding for the COE as part of its efforts to position the country as a regional centre for sustainable and responsible investments.

This comes amid the increasing adoption of sustainable and responsible investments worldwide as an investment principle.

It is thus imperative for the local public-listed companies (PLCs) to be equipped to meet global sustainability standards and be prepared to communicate their sustainability efforts meaningfully to stakeholders.

SC chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar Syed Jaffar Albar said the regulator is committed to the development of Malaysia’s sustainable financing and investment ecosystem, and will continue to encourage innovation and collaboration by the industry to advance the national sustainability agenda.

“The partnership between Global Compact Network Malaysia and Capital Markets Malaysia is certainly a step forward to enable and accelerate private sector performance in incorporating globally recognised sustainability standards,” he said.

Various other initiatives have been undertaken by the Malaysian capital market to advance the country’s sustainability agenda.

These include the development of FTSE4Good Index, introduction of the Sustainability Reporting Framework for PLCs by Bursa Malaysia Bhd and SC’s Sustainable and Responsible Investment Roadmap for Malaysian Capital Market.

Investors, consumers and governments are all pushing for a more transparent and responsible way of doing business, UNGC chief of global operations Ole Lund Hansen said.

“Companies that embrace sustainability and contribute to achieving the SDGs stand to unlock huge market opportunities. Country-level initiatives by Global Compact Network Malaysia such as the COE will ensure that the Malaysian private sector is delivering on the SDGs,” he said.

The COE will implement capa- city building activities to train firms in best-in-class corporate sustainability practices.

It will also conduct C-suite coaching sessions on reporting and engagement with institutional investors to ultimately prepare companies to meet global sustainability standards and align themselves with the SDGs.

The UNGC, of which Global Compact Network Malaysia is the official local network, is a call to companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals.

Meanwhile, Capital Markets Malaysia was established in 2014 to support the SC in profiling the competitiveness and attractiveness of various segments of the capital market in order to increase participation and enhance fundraising and investments opportunities.