Tajuddin: Investors now more aware of sustainability


The Star, January 11, 2017


KUALA LUMPUR: Integrating sustainability into a business model is gaining traction and has become a factor for investors today when making investment decisions.

Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan (pic) said the market was currently observing strong expectations from clients and investors for companies to strengthen their involvement in sustainability that covers three key areas – environment, social and governance (ESG).

“Therefore, it is pertinent for companies to look at sustainability at a holistic manner.

“The best practices are for a company to take and give back to society.

This will be a good start to sustainability efforts,” Tajuddin said on the sidelines of Sustainability Forum, ‘The Velocity of Global Change and Sustainability – The New Business Model’ for directors and CEOs yesterday. He said PriceWaterhouse Coopers’ annual global CEO survey in 2016 revealed that 76% of CEOs concurred that business success in the 21st century will be defined by more than just financial profit.

And as such, sustainability issues were still weighing on companies more than ever, as evidenced by the Global Risks Report in 2016 by the World Economic Forum, he added.

While this was Bursa Malaysia’s first event on sustainability, he pointed out that the exchange has been advocating the sustainability agenda since 2014 when it launched Asia’s first globally benchmarked FTSE4Good Bursa Malaysia index in 2014.

“The number of constituents of this ESG index, which primarily supports investors in making responsible investments in Malaysia public listed companies (PLCs), has grown from 24 constituents to 42 now,” said Tajuddin, adding that the exchange was always on the lookout for better ways to engage with and support PLCs to strive for responsible investment in the capital market. The Sustainability Framework and Toolkits, launched in Oct 2015, allowed companies to better understand the concept of sustainability, while the toolkits guided them on ways to achieve it (sustainability).

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