PNB to invest RM10b in ESG drive, transition assets by 2030

This is as the GLC seeks to align its sustainability efforts to support the transition toward a green economy 


PERMODALAN Nasional Bhd (PNB) plans to invest RM10 billion in green and transition assets by 2030, as part of the government-linked investment company’s (GLC) commitment under the three pillars of environment, social and governance (ESG), and achieving a net-zero enterprise by 2025 with a net-zero portfolio by 2050. 

Its president and group CEO Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn said under the environmental pillar of the framework, PNB seeks to align its sustainability efforts to support the transition toward a green economy with three commitments. 

He added that as a trusted custodian of Malaysian wealth and assets, PNB has a responsibility to lead and effect change to ensure an orderly and just transition to a sustainable economy.

“At PNB, we will work hand-in-hand with our investee companies to develop value creation plans that will ensure sustainable growth of their operational and financial performance. 

“There is tremendous pressure nowadays for companies to not just perform financially, but also to integrate ESG aspects into their business. 

“We believe through our collective effort, this new way of doing business will create meaningful benefits for PNB, our investee companies, partners as well as other stakeholders, and ultimately the millions of Malaysians who have entrusted their investments with us,” he said during a media briefing on the launch of PNB’s new Sustainability Framework yesterday. 

PNB manages RM300 billion in assets under management and has shares valued at some RM130 billion in over 80 companies listed on Bursa Malaysia, according to Bloomberg’s data. 

Some of its largest stake holdings are in companies like Malayan Banking Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd, Sime Darby Plantation Bhd, Sime Darby Properties Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd, SP Setia Bhd, MNRB Holdings Bhd and Velesto Energy Bhd. 

To ensure a successful implementation of the framework, PNB has established a comprehensive governance structure comprising a dedicated management committee reporting to the board of directors (BODs). 

It has also set up an investment stewardship division and enterprise sustainability department to oversee the overall implementation of the framework. 

PNB group chairman Tun Arifin Zakaria said as one of the country’s largest fund management institutions with 10% of its funds invested in domestic listed companies, PNB has a responsibility to navigate the complexities of the ESG journey. 

“We believe that more can be achieved collectively and PNB will play a more active role in advancing knowledge and a deeper understanding of ESG, as well as its application and best practices for sustainability,” he said. 

In 2021, Malaysia announced in its 12th Malaysia Plan, a goal for the country to become carbon neutral by 2050. 

Tun Arifin added that as a responsible corporate entity, PNB aims to be a net-zero enterprise by 2025 with a net-zero portfolio by 2050, working together with its investee companies in support of Malaysia’s carbon neutral ambition. 

Its Sustainability Framework pulls together all that PNB has done over the years in diverse areas of sustainability into a clear and comprehensive framework. 

It outlines 10 commitments for PNB’s own operations as well as for its investments under the three pillars of ESG.