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CEO Action Network Celebrates its First Anniversary

CEO Action Network Announces Collective ESG Commitments to Achieve Malaysia’s Net Zero Future

CEO Action Network (CAN), the first sustainability-focused informal coalition of leading CEOs and senior decision makers in the country, today announced its collective ESG commitments to be achieved by 2023 ahead of the global COP26 meeting in Glasgow in November. The commitments which were made official during CAN’s first anniversary event will be critical to enabling the country to achieve a Net Zero future, and will also be pivotal to accomplishing the aspirations of Malaysia’s Shared Prosperity Vision by 2030. With close to 50 CEOs and senior decision makers representing over 20 sectors in Malaysia, CAN members have made 14 commitments to be achieved by the member organisations under three categories, namely environment, people and governance, with three progressive levels of commitment for each category. Almost all CAN members have committed to at least one set of goals, depending on the size of the organisation and their current level of progress on sustainability adoption and integration, while others such as newer members are required to sign on within the next 12 months.

Tengku Muhammad Taufik, Chairperson of the Steering Committee of CAN and President and Group CEO of PETRONAS said, “In the face of a potential climate disaster, businesses today have no choice but to respond the need for greater sustainability. This unprecedented period presents many untapped opportunities to develop and offer new solutions to the market that will contribute positively to society and the environment. Progress in this area will require collective and transformative action from all stakeholders. These must be actions that enable the shaping of policy-driven environment that prompts collective efforts to develop solutions towards a more sustainable future. This is where CAN hopes to play a role. CAN offers a unique platform for CEOs to deliberate on the material issues shaping the future survival and growth of their businesses, while providing motivation to take definitive action to combat systemic issues. The immediate outcomes of the collective commitments should lead the way in orchestrated action towards positive change.” “The Collective Commitments have been designed to challenge CAN members at various levels of sustainability maturity to commit to the next step of sustainability progress. CAN’s Working Group is actively collaborating with members and partners to curate content and plan activities that will help member organisations build their knowledge, capacity and skills to progressively move to advanced levels of sustainability adoption and integration. Regular, open and transparent exchanges and knowledge sharing between all our members and stakeholders are crucial to raise awareness and generate momentum for climate action,” shared Luanne Sieh, Chair of the Working Group of CAN and Head of Group Sustainability of CIMB Group.

To support these commitments from businesses, CAN partnered with Climate Governance Malaysia (CGM) to organise a series of 15 Roundtable discussion on Net Zero Pathway Ambition, with more than 2000 participants, covering critical sectors such as Energy, Agriculture & Plantations, Property & Construction, and Telecommunications, amongst others. Contributing hundreds of hours, CAN CEOs curated and led these Roundtables with participation from the public sector, regulators, civil society, industry associations and businesses.

“Public-private collaboration can play a critical role in unlocking new opportunities and solving existing challenges. To accelerate change particularly in the area of sustainable development, business leaders across the public and private sectors must work together. In just its first year, the CEO Action Network, through its cohort of diverse senior executives in the country, has responded emphatically and decisively to help address the clear and present dangers of the climate emergency. This has been achieved by convening a series of round table engagements while recognising that the capacity building and solutions needed for a challenge as vast as energy transition will require an ‘All of Government and Whole of Society’ approach. Businesses are demonstrating that they can be a force for good, advocating for and supporting long-range value-accreting zeroregret investment decisions to future-proof businesses and communities, by increasing our collective climate resilience”, said Datin Seri Sunita Rajakumar, Lead of the Policy Advocacy Workstream of CAN and Chairperson of Dutch Lady Milk Industries Berhad.

Meanwhile, CAN members are also creating purposeful and practical peer-sharing and learning modules on various aspects of sustainability, including Climate Change, Energy Management, Labour Relations and Waste & Water, amongst others. The idea is to facilitate the exchange of best practices and learning amongst members, help build internal capacity and leave no one behind as the ecosystem for responsible businesses and business practices evolves in the country and regionally. A series of supplier and SME training sessions on these sustainability topics are also being planned for late 2021. “Our continuing aspiration is to allow members to not just learn from each other, but to also uplift sustainability capacity in our supply chains and business ecosystems, by building ESG knowledge and skills in the context of business, resilience and growth. To date, more than 500 practitioners from CAN member organisations have attended the modules. We plan to extend these to SMEs in our members’ supply chains over the next one year, as it is critical for businesses to look beyond their own operations and manage their indirect impacts on the environment and society,” shared Andrew Chan, Lead of the Capacity Building Workstream of CAN and PwC’s SEA Climate Change Leader.

Through various thought leadership initiatives, CAN has also taken an active approach to advocating sustainable action and raising awareness beyond the network’s membership and their respective supply chains. CAN recently contributed as a knowledge partner for CIMB’s The Cooler Earth Sustainability Summit this year. The formation of CAN was first mooted at the 2019 Cooler Earth Summit and subsequently formalised in 2020.

About the CEO Action Network

The CEO Action Network, also known as ‘CAN’ was established in 2020 as a closed-door peer-to-peer informal network of CEOs. It is a coalition of business leaders with a purpose.

Key focus areas include:

  • Advocacy at multiple levels and through multiple channels to enable sustainability acceleration, including policies and ecosystems;

  • Capacity building to equip stakeholders with the tools and technical expertise to champion sustainability and sustainable development; and

  • Sustainability performance of member organisations by elevating their implementation and securing collective commitments on climate action and social stewardship.

 

Members of CAN include close to 50 leading businesses in Malaysia, representing over 20 priority sectors. Governed by an appointed Steering Committee and its Chair, CAN is led by experienced and inspiring sustainability practitioners, committed to lead by example and set new benchmarks. Through its dedicated Working Group, Workstreams and active members driving bespoke projects, CAN aspires to pledge collective commitments and catalyse its members towards shaping carbon-neutral business models and ecosystems. For membership or additional information on this announcement, please contact the CAN Secretariat, Dr. Kishore Ravuri, at kish@impacto.my or 012-377 7372, or visit www.ceoactionnetwork.com.

About the CAN Collective Commitments

86% of CAN members have already signed up to the Collective Commitments, whilst remaining members are in the process of seeking final approvals and will make their commitments public within the next one year. All CAN members are required to make commitments in alignment to at least one set of these goals within 12 months of joining CAN. All commitments are to be achieved by 2023 or within 3 years of signing up, and members are required to publicly report their progress towards meeting these commitments as part of their global or country-level disclosures

For clarification or additional information on the collective commitments, please contact the Working Group Chair, Luanne Sieh at luanne.sieh@cimb.com

Quotes from CEO Action Network Members