Sultan Nazrin: Embrace data innovation to accelerate ESG Impact 

CORPORATIONS and businesses must harness their resources, including human capital, technology and innovation, to make significant contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), says Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah (picture).

“What we don’t understand, we ignore. What we don’t measure, we don’t manage. Therefore, the importance of data gathering and dissemination, the process called ‘data curation’ cannot be understated”, he said in his keynote address at the Go ESG Asean 2022 summit organised by the UN Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei in Petaling Jaya today.

Sultan Nazrin outlined three innovative data-curation methods and programmes, which could be adopted to tackle the SDGs.

The first is the use of non-traditional data sources such as citizen science and satellite data. This method, he said, would help address the current dearth of sustainability related data faced by the public and private sectors today. 

The second is the use of dynamic dashboards, which assist corporations and firms in understanding, managing and disclosing their progress in meeting their SDG commitments in a timely manner.

The third method is by way of harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to analyse big data towards making more accurate predictions.

His Royal Highness further emphasised on the need for data dissemination.

“The transparent provision of credible and comprehensive sustainability data should become an essential aspect of environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments. It should be undertaken voluntarily by companies, going beyond the mandatory sustainability reporting schemes that most corporations are already subject to”.

To that end, he encouraged corporations to establish and maintain “Corporate Sustainability Open Data” online platforms to provide information on the company’s future sustainability goals, so that all stakeholders, including the general public, can keep track of their implementation and progress.

Sultan Nazrin cautioned that the climate crisis and socio-economic inequalities that we face today must be resolved for generations to come.

“All of us have an urgent role to play in this process, including the corporate sector, through its ESG commitments and its more stakeholder-driven approach. We must ensure that this is our legacy, for our children’s and grandchildren’s sake”.

Go ESG Asean 2022 summit which took place today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia saw some 1,200 in-person and virtual participants from around the region discussing the importance of ESG data in advancing sustainability progress and decision-making as organisations activate ambitious projects to meet their SDGs.

The conference focused on the value of data in decision-making, progress management, identifying and qualifying new opportunities as well as supporting new technology impact in driving sustainability, while providing verification and validation of an organisation’s ESG journey.

This year’s Go ESG Asean summit brought together more than 30 global experts and leaders within the ESG and Data field who shared an all-rounded insight and perspective into how businesses can utilise ESG Data to its fullest in achieving the SDGs. — TMR/pic by Bernama