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We are pleased to present our first Sustainability Statement which has been prepared in accordance with the Sustainability Reporting Guide issued by Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad.
In view that sustainability aims have become more important nowadays, we acknowledge our responsibility to address the requirements of all stakeholders who are demanding for more information and our drive to benefit the society, environment and people.
Our commitment to operate a sustainable business makes a positive difference in the perception of all our stakeholders. As a corporate that operates across different countries with various business activities, we are mindful that our actions have an impact to the community, environment and people in which we operate. A strong sustainability performance underpins a company’s ability to deliver consistent and superior business results, pursue profitable growth, and attract and retain talented people.
We are committed to be a responsible corporate citizen and make good business practices our top priority. By fulfilling our responsibilities, we believe that our stakeholders will be rewarded with sustainable value in the long run.
The importance of business sustainability has not only aroused wide attention within the corporate world, but also society as a whole.
The Statement covers the activities carried out during the reporting period, unless specified otherwise, and the results achieved.
Sustainability is embedded in our organisation’s culture and is led from the top. The Group’s governance structure supports and drives the sustainable development journey. We are guided by our code of conduct and ethics established to promote healthy corporate culture, ethical business practices and sustainability. Comprehensive Policies and Systems are also in place to manage sustainable practices across our various business activities.
Currently, our sustainability initiatives are led by the Executive Directors, who report directly to the Board and provide stewardship towards incorporating sustainability into the Group’s business strategies with participation from management of respective business units, as illustrated below:
Our Management has sought to deliver value to our stakeholders through business strategies adopted and operational activities designed. In relation to this, an internal review and evaluation of key operations was carried out to gain feedback from heads of business units on how sustainability within the organisation can be better managed. The review also provided us with an update on sustainability initiatives carried out in the reporting year.
As part of this internal review of our materiality assessment carried out, it allow us to prioritise materiality factors identified and update the list with any new factors in the future, where required. Following the review, we have identified three core areas of sustainability matters which have a material impact on our business as deliberated in Sections 5, 6 and 7.
Community development is an integral part of our corporate culture. Each of our businesses set aside monetary aid to support the communities in which they operate in and to the best of our ability, we try to create job opportunities to the local people.
In Laos and Cambodia in particular, we have seen a dramatic improvement in the quality of life of the communities around the areas we operate as a result of our direct and indirect contributions. In Laos, among some of our efforts include the building of a bridge and access roads, which has greatly improved the connectivity between remote villages and the mainland, enabling villagers to operate businesses, have access to wider job opportunities as well as access to basic healthcare and education. We have also provided irrigation for rice cultivation and training in fish farming and other livelihood improvement training. More importantly, we have improved the natural fish pathways and removed illegal fish traps around the Project Site, which we believe will improve fish migration resulting in growing fish stocks to the benefit of the fishing community around the area. We have also provided access to clean water, sanitation, electricity, education and we are committed to the building of a community health centre. In Cambodia, we are committed to enhancing the activities and programs of the local authorities as well as serving the basic needs of the local communities including building water wells and repairing rural access roads. All these commitments and efforts are aimed at changing the lives of communities in a sustainable and responsible manner.
It is intended that our contributions provide a positive impact to the community’s livelihoods.
As a Group with core business activities in the power generation and resources sectors, we recognised that our operations have an impact on the environment. We take environmental concerns very seriously and we always try to ensure that our operations are in full compliance with the environmental laws and regulations governing the industries in the countries in which we operate. This includes emission management, waste reduction and waste disposal management amongst others. We also consistently strive to reduce environmental impact throughout the entire product life cycle, from design to recycling, and ensure that we are up to date with the industry’s environmental best practices.
The Don Sahong Hydropower Project for example, is the Group’s first venture into renewable energy and moving forward, if the opportunity arises, it is the Group’s intention to grow its Power Division by investing in clean renewable sources of energy. As for our plantation project in Cambodia, we are exploring the option of generating our own green electricity by installing wind turbines or solar panels on site.
Since the signing of the MOU for the Don Sahong Hydropower Project, we have made great efforts to ensure the long term sustainability of the surrounding environment. Numerous environmental studies have been undertaken and recommendations for improvement have been implemented. Most of these studies include creating alternative natural pathways for fish migration. Prior to the closure of Hou Sahong for construction in January 2016, we have improved numerous pathways to ensure sustainable fish migration around the Project area and we are commited to improving more natural fish pathways in the future. At the same time, we are committed to monitor and ensure the effectiveness of these fish migration pathways. Environmental monitoring to identify risks to the environment is ongoing and will continue even after commercial operation is achieved and remedial action taken as soon as risks are identified.
We recognised that our employees are our greatest assets and managing talent and staff retention is our key priority.
At the most basic level, we treat our employees fairly and help them develop their talents. We believe in good work-life balance for our employees as well as to create a healthy and safe workplace for all.
We recruit candidates based on their abilities as well as their overall suitability for the job and organisation. In terms of talent development, management takes a keen interest in all employees and ensure that all employees are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their job function through various training programmes. We also cultivate our employees with the professional mind-set of doing what is best for the Group as a whole. In terms of staff retention, we implement remuneration practices that are market competitive and employees can expect to progress to more senior and challenging roles within the Group that commensurate with their effort, performance and contributions.