Government direction on ESG firm


Green city - double exposure of lush green forest and modern skyscrapers windows

The government has set a series of credible commitments towards attaining environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.

Over the next three years, the government aims to deliver on renewable energy (RE) capacity of 31%, and 40% by 2035 in line with the Malaysia Renewable Energy Roadmap.

PwC Malaysia partner Nik Shahrizal Sulaiman.

By 2030, the government has also pledged various initiatives to be implemented on the three pillars of ESG, which are environmental, social and governance, reflecting its major commitment to achieve the national aspiration goals.

From the environmental perspective, Malaysia has vowed to reduce 45% of its economy-wide carbon intensity against its gross domestic product (GDP) in the next eight years.

Considering the social and governance factors of ESG, another key target the government has set is to eliminate forced labour practices.

It is worthy to note that its target to eradicate forced labour practices is not limited to the operations of local companies but also across the global supply chain.




For labour practice improvements, Malaysia became the second country in Asean to formally ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Protocol 29, a protocol that looks at forced labour convention.

In November last year, Malaysia also become a pathfinder country under the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Alliance 8.7- a global alliance to accelerate efforts to eradicate forced labour, modern slavery and child labour around the world.

These efforts signifies the government’s commitment towards combating and eliminating all forms of forced labour in the country.

Ernst & Young Consulting Sdn Bhd Malaysia climate change and sustainability services leader and partner Arina Kok.

Furthermore, the country also plans to formulate the 'National Energy Policy' under the 12th Malaysia plan, in addition to conducting feasibility studies on carbon pricing, carbon tax and an emissions trading scheme.

This is also aligned with one of the key highlights of Budget 2022, whereby the formation of Malaysia's first voluntary carbon market (VCM) will be developed by Bursa Malaysia.

In the long run, Malaysia is also aiming to achieve net zero GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions by 2050.

It can be seen that with all these serious commitments, the government has played a key role to spearheading the ESG journey from a policy making perspective which then sets the right tone for the industry. However, the outcome of these commitments remains to be seen as some implementation requirements are still being developed.