KUALA LUMPUR: The Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability (Aces) Awards 2023, which turned ten this year, recently celebrated a star studded night with a breathtaking awards ceremony full of glitz and glamour, held in conjunction with its inaugural summit 2023, themed “Actioning Asean’s ESG: A Vision for Sustainable Progress.”

In celebrating its tenth year, Aces chose to turn the spotlight on leaders in industry and commerce throughout Asia who had contributed and made positive changes in the area of ​​Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), as well as sustainability, thus creating a visible and long lasting impact on the climate and eco-system in the region.

In rewarding the outstanding leaders, Aces aims to promote the importance of embedding ESG into the business models and igniting progress in these areas through research, expert insights, standards and strategic alliances.

The summit provided a much needed platform for business leaders, sustainability advocates and thought leaders to explore and debate strategies for transformative actions.

MORS Group CEO and Aces Awards and Aces Council president Shanggari Balakrishnan said she believes corporate leaders are aware of the changes that need to be made, and business leaders also know that success cannot be measured by profit alone, but by the way their brands are recognized for their ESG practices both locally and internationally.

The Aces Council comprises five visionary corporate and thought leaders, whose world view helped shape the Aces Awards.

Among the well-known council members are international corporate lawyer, author and public policy advocate Hemant K. Batra, University of Malaya Malaysian Center of Regulatory Studies former executive director Dr Jayanthi Desan as well as Harvard graduate and FDI consultant James John Ku.

The other notable council members were Naterial Concept founder and CEO Luis Bueno Nieto, and Shanggari.

Testament to the success of the awards and the interest it generated was the record 580 submissions received by Aces, its highest ever from over 52 industries across 15 countries. After rigorous screening, 82 made it to the winners list, with the Philippines topping the count with 23 winners, followed by Malaysia with 15.

Among those recognized for their trailblazing efforts were Sedania As Salam Capital Sdn Bhd CEO Nisa Ismail, who bagged the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award for shaping and transforming Malaysia’s fintech landscape.

“Women need to be heard, especially in boardrooms, and they need to be part of the business community to drive the sustainable agenda,” she said.

Malaysia’s leading healthy home contributor Cuckoo International (MAL) Sdn Bhd founder and CEO Hoe Kian Choon was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Ayla Corporation was named Asia’s Most Sustainable Company of the Year. This 189 year old corporation in the Phillipines, with diverse interests ranging from property, telecommunications, utilities as well as solar energy, is the country’s largest and oldest conglomerate.

Energy Absolute Public Company Ltd founder and CEO Somphote Ahunai was named Entrepreneur of the Year for his success in Thailand’s renewable energy and electric vehicle industries.

Aces award winners have collectively generated over US$361 billion in revenue, emphasizing the financial visibility of sustainable-driven businesses and the importance of reducing carbon footprint.

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