Monday 17 Jun 2024
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This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly on November 27, 2023 - December 3, 2023

YTL Corp Bhd won gold at The Edge Malaysia ESG Awards 2023 in the utilities sector category, thanks to its efforts in embedding ESG goals into its business operations and foundations, says its head of sustainability Ruth Yeoh.

She says the company reviewed its long-term strategy to be aligned with ESG principles, and began its journey towards a low-carbon economy while establishing resilient communities three decades ago.

We are aware that we must not just deliver profitable growth but also remain relevant in our businesses and industries.” - Yeoh

“We are aware that we must not just deliver profitable growth but also remain relevant in our businesses and industries,” she says.

The ever-evolving ESG regulations and standards have created a complex compliance landscape, which requires substantial resources, comprehensive risk management and consistent communication.

These complexities are further compounded by the necessity to integrate various sustainability practices and address differing maturity levels in sustainability across its business units, heightening the challenges of maintaining its ESG performance, says Yeoh.

The company managed to overcome these complexities by being involved in stakeholder engagements in various sectors. This allowed it to identify and address ESG risks in each sector and collaborate with every business unit for joint problem-solving, allowing businesses at varying sustainability maturity levels to learn from one another.

What sets YTL Corp apart is its involvement in multiple industries, including utilities, building materials, hospitality and construction, says Yeoh, with each of these industries having its own sustainability strategy and a strong focus on reducing carbon emissions. In addition, the group sustainability division offers guidance on how to improve sustainability efforts.

The YTL Green Data Center Park is said to be the first in Malaysia to be co-powered by renewable solar energy on-site - Photo by YTL

“Providing our business units with the freedom to chart their own journeys as they deem fit ensures the right long-term ESG goals can be set and relevant ESG concerns are addressed. All this trickles into our ultimate sustainability goal towards achieving carbon neutrality in our operations by 2050,” stresses Yeoh.

YTL Corp hopes policymakers can play a significant role by implementing sound, clear and cohesive climate or ESG-related regulations, policies, frameworks and roadmaps that provide businesses with a structural approach to integrating ESG practices and business strategy into their operations.

A recent example of the company’s commitment to the green economy, says Yeoh, is the YTL Green Data Center Park, a 500MW data centre in Kulai, Johor. She says it is the first data centre campus in Malaysia to be co-powered by solar energy on-site.

“The park aims to provide data storage co-location services to clients looking for more sustainable and lower-carbon solutions in Southeast Asia and serves as the foundation for achieving the group’s greater carbon neutrality aspiration,” she says.

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