Digi leads industry dialogue on sustainability as key driver for SME growth

  • Critical to embed responsible business practices as the core of any business strategy
  • Changing business environment has put more demand on businesses to act responsibly


(From left) Digi chief corporate affairs officer Joachim Rajaram; Unilever Malaysia & Singapore MD Annemarieke de Haan; Digi CEO Albern Murty; KPMG Governance and Sustainability partner Kasturi Nathan; CIMB Bank Group Sustainability head Luanne Sieh; and Digi & Telenor SVP chair of Board Håkon Bruaset Kjøl

DIGI Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (Digi) organised its annual Sustainability Day on Sept 17 with a focus on the importance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to incorporate sustainable business practices as part of their strategy for growth.

The changing business environment and stakeholder expectations have put more demands on businesses today to act responsibly, and studies have shown that customers and partners across the value chain prefer to purchase from and work with sustainable businesses.

This shows a strong need for companies to reflect on how they operate, and make sustainability a central part of their business strategy from practicing the highest standards of governance, ethics and integrity, data privacy, establishing an inclusive workplace, to building a compliant supply chain while minimising their environmental footprint.

Digi chief corporate affairs officer, Joachim Rajaram said that it is critical to embed responsible business practices as the core of any business strategy.

“Digi has put in place a holistic framework to ensure that we act and instil responsible behaviour in our business and across our value chain. This is also part of our commitment to reduce inequalities within our communities, and work closely with stakeholders to continuously improve our responsible way of work.”

While most companies recognise the importance of implementing sustainable and responsible practices into their business, there is often the uncertainty of where to begin.

According to Digi’s chair of the board of directors and Telenor senior vice president, Håkon Bruaset Kjøl, this is where large companies such as Digi, whose responsible business practices continue to maximise the positive impact of its business, should come together to share how small businesses can accelerate sustainable development.

“Having full commitment from top management who could play an active role in sustainability will be critical for a sustainable business ecosystem to thrive in. As the leaders of their companies, the management needs to make sure that its business framework and the sustainability efforts are aligned, and the strategy that they have is effectively executed. On top of that, we also believe that collaboration between large corporations and small businesses, especially those part of their supply chain, is a key means of raising the standard on sustainable business,” Håkon added.

Strategic focus on sustainability and the workplace

Digi Sustainability Day is organised in collaboration with Business Council for Sustainable Development Malaysia (BCSD), Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), Telenor Group and Unicef.

The main highlight of the day were two panel forums which saw a mix of panellists from the MNCs, industry bodies, NGOs, consultants, media companies and banking sectors.

The opening panel discussion saw a panel made up of representatives from Telenor Group, KPMG Malaysia, CIMB Bank Bhd and Unilever discussing on the importance of running a sustainable business for future growth and how SMEs can start on the sustainability journey.

The Understanding the Future Workforce panel consisted of representatives from Google Malaysia, Malaysian Bar Child Rights Advocate; Unicef and Multimedia Development Corporation (MDEC), discussing on understanding and engaging Gen Z, the next generation of workforce and the challenges, opportunities and expectations facing this new, digitally dependent workforce.

There were also several sharing sessions by Digi employees on the different key areas in driving a sustainable business such as integrity and ethics, digital privacy, digitalising businesses, and supply chain, among others.  

Booths showcasing Digi’s various digital solutions were also featured at the event alongside booths by Digi’s sustainability partners such as Unicef, Business Council for Sustainable Development in Malaysia (BCSDM) and Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM).


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