Westports embraces innovation to stay on track
12 Dec 2022
Westports Holdings Bhd clinched two gold trophies at The Edge Malaysia ESG Awards 2022, one in the transport and logistics sector and the other in the most consistent performer over five years category.
Group managing director Datuk Ruben Emir Gnanalingam Abdullah attributes the success to the hard work of his colleagues and the supervision and guidance provided by the Board Sustainability Committee.
The biggest challenge for the company has been to keep up with all the new methods, discoveries and technologies that enable it to achieve sustainability.
“It is great how much innovation is going into the sector, and we must keep pace with it. Newer criteria for focus are always coming up in all E, S and G areas. This is also something we must keep pace with and keep challenging ourselves to achieve greater standards,” says Ruben.
Westports uses the Triple Bottom Line Approach by focusing on building a better business, making the community better and contributing towards a better planet. It also employs a stakeholder-driven approach to identify the most important sustainability impacts and opportunities for its business.
“Once we understand what our stakeholders increasingly want and incorporate what used to be externalities into our decision- and investment-making processes, we get more holistic answers,” he says.
“We also ensure every single colleague of ours understands the importance of our sustainability targets and efforts. We want and need them to embrace it, as great success can only be achieved as a team.”
Westports is committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This will be done primarily through emissions intensity reduction and decarbonisation. The company already has a proposed schedule for phasing out its diesel-operated equipment, and it has incorporated the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures framework into its management processes.
“We will share more of that in our upcoming annual report and sustainability report in 2022. We will comply with and wholeheartedly support Bursa Malaysia’s ESG requirements. We believe that if every organisation truly took care of their surrounding community, the entire world would be a much better place. This is how we started, and this principle holds true,” says Ruben.
Westports adopts technology to achieve lean operations, and it will continue to leverage technology to achieve greater efficiencies. This includes investing in energy-efficient infrastructure. Other than that, the company will continue to work on improving education, community health, livelihoods and community infrastructure. Having a young and dynamic workforce that is dedicated to this vision is also vital.
In Ruben’s view, among all the stakeholders, consumers have been relatively slow in embracing climate change solutions in Malaysia. “We all need to educate consumers and get them to change their behaviours quickly. A goods and services tax, similar to the carbon tax, that can be passed on to consumers would be a significant step forward. But it would never be politically popular enough until it is too late,” he says.
Source: The Edge Markets