Collaboration: The Key to Developing a Sustainable Digital Economy


By Shuba Karun, Head of ESG Sustainability & Social Investment, Digital Investments, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

THE commitment to sustainability ranks highly on the national agenda. Given the scale of what we are striving to achieve, it’s no surprise that sustainability is increasingly the measure through which companies are being judged by society. Businesses need to play a significant role in helping Malaysia achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and it will require the concerted efforts of all companies to move forward on

Acting responsibly is no longer a choice; it is essential. As digitalisation continues to gain momentum, businesses need to consider how they can reap the benefits of technology while promoting responsible practices. With the increased focus on sustainability, adopting Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles is now a business imperative, which COVID-19 has further accelerated.

The overarching priority for business leaders should be to start building the necessary expertise across their organisations now. Given MDEC’s role in leading the digital economy forward and recognising the increasing role that the industry will play in the nation’s development, we are striving for a deeply integrated future with technology.

But it is also critical that we achieve this in a way that delivers a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable Malaysia, providing equitable digital opportunities to all. MDEC’s activities align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals; however, we can and must do more. We will consider ESG principles in our decision-making process in line with the government’s recent statement.

Although a strong ESG profile is critical to maintaining a competitive edge in the digital marketplace, awareness, and appreciation of ESG issues have not yet fully translated into business practices. MDEC will become an enabler, advocating the adoption of ESG principles across Malaysia’s digital economy ecosystem and developing collaborations with key external bodies in the field.

For example, we are committed to becoming the first Malaysian agency to participate in the UN Global Compact and have recently supported SDG Ambition Month 2021, organised by its Malaysia network

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