Technology is central to the country’s sustainability agenda. Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur Mall has launched a smart city plan, which includes accelerating digital transformation by focusing on education and the promotion of cloud technologies and artificial intelligence (AI). among other areas. The Malaysian government has also emphasized investment in technology in its 2022 budget, with up to MYR 100 million (US $ 23.7 million) in grants for areas such as smart automation and at least 30 billion of MYR (US $ 7 billion) for government-linked companies. invest in renewable energy, supply chain modernization and 5G infrastructure.
In recent years, Kuala Lumpur has also seen a growing number of “greening” opportunities. For example, the city government has employed a smart “City Brain” that uses Alibaba Cloud’s computer systems to optimize services such as traffic control and even calculate the best routes for emergency services. International technology and mobility companies, such as Microsoft and Socar, based in Korea, which are looking for green innovation and business opportunities, have also invested and expanded their operations in Kuala Lumpur. At the same time, traditional industries, particularly energy and electronics, have tried to reinvent themselves.
In light of this changing environment, this report explores what global companies in Greater Kuala Lumpur are doing to achieve their ESG goals, the opportunities the location offers, and how their local experiences could be applied globally.
The main conclusions of this report are:
Malaysia is committed to becoming a regional decarbonization leader. The country’s current master plan that draws its economic development to 2025 includes numerous programs aimed at advancing sustainability by increasing renewable energy generation capabilities, developing green mobility solutions and building sustainable and resilient cities. This commitment to sustainability comes as the country continues to achieve economic growth from traditionally carbon-intensive industries such as oil and gas development, energy production and agriculture. However, while some countries ’dependence on fossil fuels and other traditional industries weighs heavily on their decarbonisation commitments, Malaysia is using its deep, integrated industry groups and supply chains globally to develop new business processes. greener and less carbon-intensive manufacturing and logistics processes.
Greater Kuala Lumpur has seen a growing number of “greening” opportunities. for some of the country’s traditional innovation clusters, in particular energy, electronics manufacturing, IT outsourcing and other sectors of the digital economy. Asia’s fast-growing digital economies have also created unique synergies for digitally “native” companies looking to use Kuala Lumpur as a hub from which they can take advantage of green business opportunities in the region. These include Korean green mobility company Socar, which is expanding its “people-to-people” shared travel model in Southeast Asia from its Kuala Lumpur base. And Schlumberger, which has one of the seven global “Innovation Factory” centers in Kuala Lumpur. The center is working to accelerate the adoption of its AI to boost energy transition efforts in East Asia.
The maturation of Malaysia’s sustainability position is creating a culture of monitoring, measurement and ultimately accountability. This can serve as a framework for ESG-minded companies to chart their own journeys. These efforts are far from cosmetic, they are essential to the economic prospects of a market. Sustainability-oriented global companies can achieve their ESG goals through their operations in Greater Kuala Lumpur and use their experience in Malaysia as a template for sustainable innovation in their global operations. Malaysia’s role as a center of global sustainability is crucial, as its economy straddles many industrial sectors, including high technology and energy production, which are key to moving the world’s development towards a low-carbon future. Collaboration and communication are essential to these efforts.
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This content was produced by Insights, the custom content group for the MIT Technology Review. It was not written by the editorial staff of the MIT Technology Review.