Sabah committed to embrace Environment, Social, Corporate Governance – Hajiji

Sabah committed to embrace Environment, Social, Corporate Governance – Hajiji

KOTA KINABALU (May 7): Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor said Sabah remains steadfast in its commitment to governance transparency and anti-corruption efforts, which will create a conducive environment for business and investment.

“Our adherence to international best practices, including those outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), underscores our dedication to ethical governance and accountability.

“By upholding principles of transparency and integrity, Sabah strengthens investor confidence and promotes long-term sustainable development,” he said at the Environment, Social, Corporate Governance (ESG) Initiatives Awareness Forum at Magellan Sutera Harbour Resort here on Tuesday.

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun delivered his speech.

Commending Invest Sabah Berhad (ISB), ESG Sabah Chapter and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) for successfully co-hosting the ESG Awareness Forum, the Chief Minister said Sabah stands at a pivotal moment in its development journey, where the adoption of ESG principles is not only essential but imperative.

“It is the State Government’s commitment to embrace ESG not only to enhance our environmental stewardship, but also strengthen our social fabric and governance structures, paving the way for a more resilient and prosperous future,” he said.

Hajiji said countries across the globe have recognised the transformative power of ESG and have integrated these principles into their policymaking and business practices, while many business organisations have implemented comprehensive ESG frameworks, prioritising sustainability in their operations and investments.

Similarly, he said countries like Norway and Denmark have demonstrated leadership in renewable energy adoption and social welfare initiatives, serving as beacons of inspiration for nations aspiring to achieve sustainable development.

“I am happy to share that in line with our commitment to ecosystem restoration, Sabah has undertaken extensive reforestation programmes, planting over two million trees across degraded landscapes.

“These efforts not only enhance biodiversity but also contribute to carbon sequestration, mitigating the impacts of climate change on a global scale. Hence, by integrating social and environmental considerations, Sabah’s reforestation initiatives exemplify the holistic approach advocated by ESG principles,” he said.

Hajiji said Sabah’s Industrial Tree Plantation or ITP is an innovative public-private partnership initiated by the State Forestry Department to reduce and relieve pressure on tropical timber and forest.

“This partnership between the Sabah state government and the timber industry is not only an economic game-changer but crucial for conservation and sustainability. Planting trees in areas degraded by logging activities will go a long way in achieving a carbon-neutral nation by as early as 2050.

“This effort is in line with the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said.

According to him, Sabah has emerged as a trailblazer in the transition towards renewable energy sources, with solar and hydroelectric power leading the charge.

In 2024, renewable energy accounted for over 50 per cent of Sabah’s total energy production, marking a significant milestone in our journey towards energy sustainability and independence, he said, adding this transition not only reduces carbon emissions but also promotes social inclusivity by providing cleaner and more affordable energy to rural communities.

“Our commitment to social inclusivity also extends to preserving indigenous rights and empowering rural communities. Through targeted initiatives, Sabah has invested in critical infrastructure, education and healthcare, ensuring equitable access to opportunities for all segments of society.

“By prioritising social welfare alongside economic development, Sabah demonstrates its dedication to the “S” aspect of ESG, fostering inclusive growth and community resilience,” he said.

The Chief Minister said the ESG Forum was significant as it served as a catalyst for innovation, collaboration and knowledge exchange, fostering synergies that transcend borders and cultures.

“I believe the discussions and recommendations would be important for us to take note, hence take this opportunity to forge partnerships, exchange best practices, and chart a course towards a more sustainable and inclusive future for Sabah and beyond,” he said.

-Agency

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