Only 7% industries adopt Circular Economy practice: MPC

by TMR/ file pic by TMR

MALAYSIAN industries should embrace sustainable thinking to revitalise their business strategies, their long-term competitiveness and productivity, says Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC).

According to MPC, sustainability practices do not go far enough in Malaysia, where most businesses continue to operate in a traditional way. 

MPC’s survey findings indicated that only 7% of the respondents are currently adopting Circular Economy (CE) practices, 80% are planning to shift towards CE, while 10% are trying to learn more before implementing and 3% of the respondents are not considering Circular Economy practices at all.

The survey was conducted to 500 Malaysian executives across diverse sectors such as Electrical & Electronics, Automotive, Food & Beverages, Rubber, Plastics and Resin, Energy as well as Palm Oil Products and Services.

MPC said the survey results suggested that these companies are at different stages in their strategic sustainability thinking. 

Majority of the respondents indicated that they are still in the early stages of thinking about the benefits of circular economy, focusing mainly on operational benefits and risk management. 

“Perhaps, if the companies are more familiar with the concept, then only they will see it as opportunities to create a competitive advantage in terms of new products, market access and customers,” MPC DG Datuk Abdul Latif Abu Seman said in a statement.

“It is our role to continuously educate the industry through our awareness programmes, share best practices and we are in the midst of giving recognition to the companies with CE practices at our Virtual Innovation Showcase formally known as Annual Productivity, Innovation, Conference   and Exposition scheduled in November this year” he added.

Abdul Latif further said that current linear economy business model relies on extraction and processing, followed by consumption and disposal through incineration or landfill. 

“However, in a circular economy, materials and products are recirculated, their value is fully utilised, and wastage is minimised.”

“Products are designed for reuse, repair, and recycling instead of being totally discarded. Such wise use of the resources will result in the increase of resource productivity. Hence, we cannot continue with our current linear economy business model, it is simply not sustainable,” he added.

According to MPC, there are many sustainable initiatives that can be implemented by those badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic such as improving energy efficiency, planning of the way water is being utilised to minimise usage and maximise re-usage, reducing waste, establishment of take back system to collect the end-of-life products and reuse them in the production, among others.