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SME Sustainability Action Guide

This guide has been designed specifically to provide guidance to SMEs looking to embed ESG into their business strategies and processes.

In the SME Sustainability Action Guide developed by UN Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei (UNGCMYB), you will find compelling reasons for SMEs to adopt sustainability as well as the direct and indirect benefits that will keep your business going and protect the planet at the same time. This guide is tailored specifically for SMEs, and is supported with real life examples of sustainability initiatives taken by some Malaysian SMEs and how they have gained from this venture.

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Sustainability is an important value-add for SMEs and is transitioning from a “nice to have” to a “must-have”. Consumers, investors and regulators are increasingly displaying a preference for sustainable business practices and are consciously  assessing businesses based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.

SMEs are generally more vulnerable to impacts from environmental and social issues but are equally more responsive to business trends and can create a positive impact on sustainable development. However, most sustainability approaches are tailored to Corporates and are disparate to approaches for SMEs. SMEs have a need for practical guidance and pragmatic approaches that consider SME-specific challenges and opportunities.
With this in mind, the UN Global Compact Malaysia & Brunei (UNGCMYB) set out to study Malaysian SMEs’ approaches to sustainability and how important the sustainability movement is to them. The research was aimed at identifying:

  • how sustainability can be adopted by SMEs and translated to business strategy
  • key opportunities and challenges faced by SME business leaders; and
  • best practices that can be shared among SMEs

This SME Sustainability Action Guide is the direct result of these efforts and has been designed specifically to provide guidance to SMEs looking to embed ESG into their business strategies and processes. The Guide is based on the insights obtained from SME business owners and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) via interviews.

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Malaysia was a key cooperation partner with UNGCMYB for the development of the SME Sustainability Action Guide.

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