Enlisting SME in climate change issues

KUALA LUMPUR: The public may think that climate change does not affect them, but it brings a detrimental cost to our way of life, said the organiser of the National Climate Governance Summit 2023.

Climate Governance Malaysia (CGM) chairman Datin Seri Sunita Rajakumar, in explaining its chain reaction, is seeking to address one of the contributory factors to the global phenomenon.

“Heat trapped in our atmosphere causes sea levels to rise and warmer air will hold more moisture, which leads to higher rainfall and flash floods,” she told theSun.

“It could also affect food security. Reliance on imported goods could cause a rise in the cost of financing, and inflation would continue to rise. Altogether, it may cause an economical failure for Malaysia.”

Sunita said raising awareness is no longer enough to overcome the issue of climate change.

“People can be aware and still choose not to participate in efforts to curb the impact of their businesses on climate change.

“There is so much more that can be done by private sectors. What we want to achieve is a call to action from key players that can effect change.”

To enable a call for action, CGM organised the summit, which aims to target small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).

Sunita said one big gap identified in sustainable business practice is the value chain of SME.

“When thinking of sustainability in terms of business, SME must identify and answer questions referring to their products. They must identify if there is a need for the product, how it will be produced and what will it be made with. They must also ensure that the product is reusable or recyclable.

“When all these questions can be answered, they will get the full picture of what can be further improved in terms of eco-sustainability. The summit will aim to arm SME with the knowledge to analyse their business practices.”

Sunita said the main challenges faced by SME when it comes to climate governance is their mindset.

“There is a certain fear factor for change because people are comfortable with how they operate. But it is important to understand that sustainability is the direction that society is moving towards.

“SME must view this as an investment into the future of their businesses. It is an opportunity for them to take the first step ahead of their competitors, because there will be a tipping point where sustainability becomes the norm.”

Sunita added that the event will impart knowledge through key note speakers and workshops designed to address sustainable business practices.

“Workshops are a good way to acculturate a call for action. They will be run by locals on what SME can do to transition into sustainable practices. It is important for local representation as the information provided will be in local context.

“Each business has different needs. These workshops will help them address their individual needs to evolve themselves further. The workshops will also be recorded and be freely available for participants to review after it is over.

“Over 100 international and local speakers will be imparting their knowledge through question and answer sessions, which are focused on action instead of awareness.”

Sunita said CGM hopes the conversation on ways to improve climate governance continues even after the event.

“It is nearly impossible to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, but we must continue mitigating the effects of climate change. Everyone must promote climate governance.”

The summit will be held on Sept 5, while workshops will run over a span of two days starting from Sept 6 at Sasana Kijang in Kuala Lumpur.

For more information or to register, visit www.cgmalaysia.com.