KUALA LUMPUR: The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, today called on Malaysian corporations to establish and maintain a corporate sustainability open data (CSOD) online platform that consists of relevant data on all sustainability-related issues and is accessible to the public.

The ruler said transparent provision of credible and comprehensive sustainability data should become an essential aspect of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitments by corporations.

“It should be undertaken voluntarily by companies, going beyond the mandatory sustainability reporting schemes that most corporations are already subject to,” Sultan Nazrin said in a royal address at the GO ESG Asean Summit 2022 here today.

His Royal Highness added that the CSODs should also provide information on the company’s future sustainability goals so the public can keep track of their implementation and progress.

Sultan Nazrin said that a good example of a CSOD already in operation is ESGenome, which was launched by the Singapore Exchange.

“This portal facilitates the reporting of ESG data in a structured and efficient manner.

“The data made available on ESGenome can be freely accessed by investors and other stakeholders, thereby helping them to make informed decisions relating to their investments and corporate evaluations,“ he said.

Sultan Nazrin urged the corporate sector to make significant contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by acting more responsibly and harnessing its own resources, including human capital, technology, and innovation.

“Companies and government departments across ASEAN must be able to demonstrate convincingly to their populations that all policies being developed to address the climate crisis are fully justified by the data.

“They must also be able to show that they are following through in practice on these policies, and meeting the targets that have been set. All of this is only possible through the use of credible, transparent, and longitudinal sources of data,“ he said.

His Royal Highness stressed the importance of data gathering and dissemination -- a process sometimes termed “data curation”, noting that data modalities that have been used traditionally must be diversified to address the deficit of quality data on sustainability-related matters.

“Dissemination of such enhanced and expanded data-sets would also help create greater awareness of the climate crisis and all its complexities, beyond the realms of the sustainability and development specialists.

“This could displace the repetition of rhetorical pleas, and help to secure buy-in to the sustainability agenda from a broader range of stakeholders, including government agencies, corporates, non-governmental organisations, and the general public,“ he added.

Themed “Data Driven Sustainability: Accelerating ESG Impact for ASEAN”, the one-day GO ESG ASEAN Summit 2022 aims to highlight the key role of ESG data in accelerating ASEAN’s sustainability agenda. - Bernama

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