SME Corp. Malaysia, in conjunction with PETRONAS, hosted the inaugural workshop of the 2023 SME Sustainability Series, which benefited more than 50 SMEs in the oil and gas services and equipment (OGSE) business. The event is part of a public awareness campaign under the PKSlestari initiative to help SMEs, particularly microenterprises, chart a sustainable path.
PKSlestari is an initiative by SME Corp. Malaysia to encourage and accelerate adoption of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices among SMEs by developing the SME sustainability ecosystem. The ecosystem will consist of awareness and education, SME ESG Assessment, policy support, market access, standard and compliance as well as financing and incentives.
The full-day workshop educates participants, who are mostly SME vendors to PETRONAS, on the importance of ESG practices, development of ESG strategy as well as measurement and monitoring of ESG performance. As ESG is becoming more significant and will be the future trend following Malaysia’s commitment to the Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030, most large firms, multinational corporations (MNCs) and Government-linked Companies (GLCs) have begun adopting ESG practices in their business operations. Therefore, it is crucial for SMEs to embrace ESG practices as this will not only have a positive social and environmental impact but it will also allow SMEs to penetrate into the supply chain of large firms and MNCs that require their vendors and suppliers to adopt ESG practices.
Participants of the workshop were also introduced to the SME ESG Assessment, a self-assessment tool that can guide firms in their ESG journey by identifying gaps in their management system based on the 12 ESG indicators identified. Based on their scores, SMEs will be categorised into five levels where they will have a clear indication of their ESG level and hence be able to identify strengths to enhance and weaknesses to rectify.
“We recognise that it will take some time for SMEs to acquire the relevant knowledge and expertise to ensure sustainability in their operations. Nevertheless, SMEs should start their efforts in this direction by taking small but sure steps immediately as they recalibrate and restrategise their operations post COVID-19 pandemic”, said Rizal Nainy, Chief Executive Officer of SME Corp. Malaysia.
Natrah Mohd Tahir, Head, Strategic Programme & Licensing, Industry Shaping & Collaboration, Group Procurement, PETRONAS said, “We believe this session will help strengthen participants’ understanding and commitment towards a sustainable industry for OGSE, particularly for SMEs. With enhanced knowledge, the SMEs will be able to make informed decisions in navigating the energy transition.”
Also present during the workshop was John Henry Thornton, Managing Director, Business Excellence of Dialog Group Berhad, who shared his company’s experience and journey towards sustainability for others to emulate. Other participants include representatives from the Malaysian Oil, Gas & Energy Services Council (MOGSC), Malaysia OSV Owners’ Association (MOSVA) and Malaysia Petroleum Resources Corporation (MPRC).