DPM launches quick guide to simplify ESG practices among MSME

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Ahmad Zahid (third left) shows the ESG Quick Guide with others after the launch.

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 11): Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has introduced the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) Quick Guide for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The Minister of Rural and Regional Development unveiled the Quick Guide, published by SME Corp Malaysia, which outlines steps for MSMEs to comprehend ESG easily.

The launch was following his chairing of the meeting of the National Entrepreneur and SME Development Council (NESDC) No 1 Year 2024 on February 5 in Putrajaya.

Part of the ongoing initiatives by the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development (MECD) through SME Corp Malaysia, the Quick Guide aims to educate MSMEs about the significance of sustainability and ESG practices.

According to Minister of Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development Datuk Ewon Benedick, MSMEs need to integrate sustainability aspects or adopt ESG in their business operations, considering the growing importance of these practices due to the widespread adoption by large companies, multinational corporations (MNCs), and Government-linked Companies (GLCs).

“MSMEs implementing ESG practices not only contribute positively to social and environmental aspects but also stand the chance to become part of the supply chain, meeting the requirements set by large firms for their suppliers to adopt ESG practices.

“The Government, with robust support from the corporate and private sector, is committed to continuing assistance for MSMEs in adopting ESG practices through this guide. It has been specifically tailored for MSMEs and aligns with various existing ESG guidelines provided by the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti), Bursa Malaysia, and the Securities Commission,” he said.

SME Corp Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Rizal Nainysaid the Quick Guide consists of eight simple steps for firms to comprehend the importance of ESG in their business, set objectives, identify relevant ESG indicators, create a sustainability action plan, and subsequently utilise an easy template for ESG reporting.

“The Guide also outlines 13 fundamental indicators applicable to all MSMEs, selected based on suitability and minimum requirements across various sectors, entity types, and firm sizes.

“Additionally, it includes crucial indicators for business sustainability, such as employee benefits, culture, risk management, and data protection, which are often overlooked by MSMEs,” he said.

The ESG Quick Guide for MSMEs is available in both Malay and English languages and can be downloaded free of charge upon completing the ESG assessment on SME Corp Malaysia’s website.