Malaysia Leads the World with Simplified ESG Guide for SMEs, Transforming Sustainability Reporting

A global ESG platform has been unveiled, aiming to simplify and standardize sustainability reporting for businesses worldwide by consolidating complex ESG frameworks. This innovative initiative streamlines ESG reporting, making it easier for companies to meet evolving sustainability demands and engage effectively with stakeholders.

19 October 2023 – A groundbreaking global ESG platform is set to revolutionize sustainability reporting for companies worldwide. This innovative initiative, designed to simplify environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting, offers a unified approach, making it easier for businesses to meet evolving sustainability requirements and engage with stakeholders effectively.

In response to the growing need for accessible and standardized ESG reporting, this pioneering platform combines various global and local ESG frameworks. By consolidating and simplifying these complex guidelines, it aims to provide a more straightforward path to effective sustainability reporting for businesses of all sizes.

Dato’ Seri Dr. Awang Adek Hussin, Executive Chairman of SC and Chairman of CMM, emphasized the importance of this initiative, stating, “As the global sustainability movement gains momentum amidst increasing regulatory scrutiny and growing investor demand for decisive action towards net-zero goals, the SC is dedicated to ensuring that companies of all sizes in Malaysia are well-prepared to meet global ESG standards.”

He added, “Recognizing that SMEs are particularly exposed to supply chain vulnerabilities, the SC welcomes the release of the SEDG, which will empower SMEs to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in a continuously evolving global marketplace.”

To ensure comprehensive adoption and inclusivity, CMM plans to introduce Bahasa Malaysia and Simplified Mandarin versions of the SEDG by the end of 2023.

This launch aligns with recent national policy initiatives aimed at fostering business growth in Malaysia, particularly in the manufacturing sector, as the nation reinforces its commitment to net-zero goals. Initiatives include the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) 2023, the Industry Environmental, Social, and Governance (i-ESG) Framework, and the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR).

The SEDG consists of 35 priority disclosures aligned with both local and global sustainability guidelines, facilitating SMEs’ responses to disclosure requests from a range of stakeholders, including customers, investors, financial institutions, and regulatory bodies. It is categorized into Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced levels to accommodate varying levels of sustainability maturity among SMEs.

Navina Balasingam, General Manager of CMM, noted, “The journey to adopting sustainable practices can be daunting for SMEs. Our objective is to equip them with a structured and practical framework to navigate the tracking and reporting of their ESG data.”

Furthermore, CMM has initiated the SEDG Adopter Programme, which offers SMEs access to in-person training, tutorials, and workshops nationwide, aimed at guiding them through the process of ESG data disclosure. The program seeks to facilitate learning and knowledge sharing among practitioners facing similar challenges and successes in implementing ESG reporting.

Balasingam stated, “We are encouraged by the enthusiastic response to the SEDG Adopter Programme from major multinational supply chain players, SMEs, financial institutions, government agencies, NGOs, and local chambers of commerce. Their commitment to encouraging and supporting SMEs within their networks to develop ESG reporting practices is commendable.”

Among the early adopters of the SEDG are prominent organizations like CIMB Bank, Credit Guarantee Corporation, Generali, Hong Leong Bank, Malaysia Venture Capital Management (MAVCAP), Maybank, Nestlé Malaysia, PANTAS, Penjana Kapital, Thoughts in Gear (TIG), UOB Bank, and Volvo Trucks Malaysia, among others.

Additional supporters include Dewan Perniagaan Melayu Malaysia (DPMM), The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM), The Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI), Small and Medium Enterprises Association (SAMENTA), SME Association of Malaysia, Malaysian Dutch Business Council (MDBC), Business Finland, and UN Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei.

The SEDG is aligned to global, local, and government frameworks and reporting standards, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), Bursa Malaysia (Bursa) Listing Requirements, Bursa’s Sustainability Reporting Guide, as well as the Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance (MCCG). CMM also has plans to introduce specialized sectoral disclosure guidance in early 2024.

Author: Terry KS

Share This Post On