Breaking new ground: Sustainability in Malaysia

Technology is central to the country’s sustainability agenda. Malaysia’s commercial hub, Kuala Lumpur, has implemented a smart city plan, including accelerating digital transformation by focusing on education and advancing cloud technology and artificial intelligence (AI), among other areas. The Malaysian government has also emphasized investment in technology Budget 2022with grants of up to MYR 100 million ($23.7 million) for areas such as intelligent automation and at least MYR 30 billion ($7 billion) for government-linked companies investing in energy renewable energy, supply chain modernization and 5G infrastructure.

In recent years, Kuala Lumpur has also seen more and more “greening” opportunities. For example, the city government used a “City brain”, uses Alibaba Cloud computing system to optimize services such as traffic control and even calculate the best routes for emergency services. International mobile and technology companies such as Microsoft and Socar based in Korea, which are interested in green innovation and business opportunities, have also invested and expanded their operations in Kuala Lumpur. At the same time, traditional industries, especially energy and electronics, are trying to reinvent themselves.

Against this changing environment, this report explores what global companies in Greater Kuala Lumpur are doing to achieve their ESG goals, the opportunities that location presents and how. Their local experiences can be applied globally.

The main findings of this report are:

Malaysia is committed to becoming a leader in decarbonisation in the region. The country’s current master plan represents economic development up to 2025 including a variety of programs to promote sustainability by increasing renewable energy production capacity, developing mobility solutions green and building sustainable and resilient cities. This sustained commitment comes even as the country continues its economic growth from traditional carbon-intensive industries, such as oil and gas development, energy production and agriculture. However, while some countries’ reliance on fossil fuels and other traditional industries is weighing heavily on their decarbonization commitments, Malaysia uses supply chains and industrial clusters deeply integrated globally to develop new, greener business processes and lower carbon logistics and manufacturing processes.

Greater Kuala Lumpur has seen more and more “greening” opportunities for some of the country’s traditional innovation clusters, namely energy, electronics manufacturing, IT outsourcing and other digital economy sectors. Asia’s rapidly growing digital economies have also created unique synergies for “indigenous” digital companies looking to use Kuala Lumpur as their hub so they can exploit exploit green business opportunities in the region. These include South Korean green mobility company Socar, which is expanding its “person-to-person” carpool model across Southeast Asia from its Kuala Lumpur base. And Schlumberger, has one of seven global “Innovation Events” centers in Kuala Lumpur. The Center works to accelerate the adoption of its AI to advance energy transition efforts in East Asia.

Malaysia’s sustainable development stance is creating a culture of monitoring, measurement and ultimately accountability. This can serve as a framework for companies with an interest in ESG to chart their own journey. Such efforts are not cosmetic, they are essential to the economic prospects of the market. Global, sustainability-oriented companies can both achieve their ESG goals through Greater Kuala Lumpur operations, and use the experience in Malaysia as a template for sustainable innovation in businesses. their global operations. Malaysia’s role as a global hub of sustainability is crucial, as the country’s economy is uniquely focused on many industrial sectors, including high technology and energy production. , key areas in moving the world’s development to a low-carbon future. Collaboration and communication are essential to these efforts.

Download full report.

This content is produced by Insights, the custom content arm of MIT Technology Review. It was not written by the editorial board of the MIT Technology Review.

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