Fuller Academy and PPK Malaysia Spearhead ESG Revolution in Malaysia with Sustainable Malls & Retail Seminar 2024

Petaling Jaya, 23 January 2024 – Following the pandemic and the rapid growth of e-commerce, malls have become essential in rethinking shopping experiences and fostering community involvement. This revolutionary change deviates from traditional brick-and-mortar businesses and emphasizes the malls’ flexibility and growing importance in today’s consumer society.

Often regarded as the beating heart of Malaysia, malls stand as vibrant hubs fostering Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles, paving the way for a more resilient and prosperous Malaysia. 

Fuller Academy, in partnership with the Malaysia Shopping Malls Association (PPK Malaysia), successfully hosted the “Sustainable Malls & Retail: Pioneering the ESG Frontier Seminar 2024” at AVANTÉ Hotel in Petaling Jaya, with support from the Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC), Gentari, and other collaborators.

Gathering over 100 industry leaders from major malls across Malaysia, the event sparked insightful discussions on sustainable practices within the mall and retail sectors. Delving into five key themes—Sustainable Mall Design, Community Engagement, Green Building Certifications, Carbon Neutrality, and ESG Strategy Development—the seminar featured keynote sessions, workshops, and panel discussions.

[L-R] Azwan Ahimmat, Director of Property & Finance, Mydin Malaysia; Suwan Bonma, Senior Consultant, IEN Consultants; Karyn Lim, Centre Manager, IPC Shopping Centre; Trezelene Chan, Head of Sustainability, APAC Kantar Sustainable Transformation Practice

Michelle Lee, Chief Strategy Officer at Fuller Academy, underscored the necessity for shopping malls to foster shared value with internal and external stakeholders, including retailers and the broader community. She highlighted the shift from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to a more comprehensive Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) approach in malls and retail, emphasizing the need for holistic considerations of people, planet, and profit within businesses.

The growing consumer demand for accessible and affordable sustainable products places greater expectations on retailers, as shared by Trezelene Chan, APAC Head of Sustainability at Kantar. By embracing ESG principles and offering sustainable options, malls and retailers can meet consumer demands while contributing to broader societal goals.

Mohd Rizalman, Head of Sustainability at KSK Land, highlighted the transformation of malls  into inclusive community hubs. Through embracing diversity, supporting local businesses, and prioritizing ESG factors, malls enrich the community experience and foster a sense of belonging.

During one of the panel sessions, it was noted that less than 1% of construction projects in Malaysia are currently certified as green and sustainable. While green certification is important, the primary objective is to raise awareness and encourage more sustainable practices throughout the industry. The insight suggests that obtaining green building certification in Malaysia signifies a commitment to sustainable construction practices beyond attracting consumers to the mall.

Saiful Adib Abdul Munaff, Senior Director of Operations from Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC) also outlined the 8 immediate next steps for the mall’s driving seat to support Malaysia’s Climate Change agenda, incorporating various government initiatives such as the MyHIJAU Mark recognition scheme, Green Investment Tax Allowance (GITA), Green Technology Financing Scheme, Green Income Tax Exemption (GITE) and more. 

As the event concludes, the impact of the “Sustainable Malls & Retail: Pioneering the ESG Frontier Seminar 2024” is expected to resonate within the industry, catalyzing positive change and promoting sustainable practices.