Charting a sustainable future: IOI Properties’ ESG journey

IOI Properties Group (IOIPG) has embraced ESG as a core component of its business strategy, a move that helped it clinch the gold prize in the property sector at The Edge Malaysia ESG Awards 2023.

“At IOIPG, ESG is at the core of our business, as it changes how we operate,” says Lee Yeow Seng, CEO of IOIPG. He emphasises that the group is guided by a sustainability strategic framework and related policies and procedures. This framework helps the company manage its economic, environmental and social responsibilities.

IOIPG acknowledges that changing mindsets throughout the organisation is a significant challenge, but it believes that continuous training and engagement can ensure the effective implementation of sustainability initiatives.

Cost considerations present a challenge as well because adopting sustainable practices can lead to higher capital and operational expenditures. Regardless, IOIPG remains open to exploring options that align with its long-term business objectives.

Furthermore, the ever-evolving ESG-­focused market landscape and climate targets, such as net zero or climate neutrality, require constant evaluation of ESG risks and opportunities. IOIPG is committed to limiting global average temperature rise and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while adapting to climate change, says Lee.

He is proud of the green buildings developed by IOIPG, notably, IOI City Mall, the first shopping mall in Malaysia selected for Carbon Score assessment by the Malaysia Green Building Council (MGBC) and which is Green Building Index-certified. This is a testament to its ESG achievements in the retail sector, he adds. The mall has also received prestigious awards for sustainable management practices.

“The mall [won the Below 10 Years: Retail — Non-strata award at] The Edge Malaysia’s Best Managed and Sustainable Property Awards 2023, which recognises buildings with superior management that reflects a strong commitment to sustainable practices,” he says.

“IOI City Mall Phase 1 also won the Merit award of energy-efficient Large Green Building in the National Energy Award (NEA) initiative, spearheaded by the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change, which supports Malaysia’s ambition to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, as the building adopts sustainable energy practices.”

IOIPG is committed to managing climate-related risks and opportunities by implementing the TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) Roadmap. The group has also developed the IOI Sustain Roadmap, outlining actionable ESG strategies.

To decarbonise, the company assessed the life cycle of its products, identifying high carbon emission materials and construction methods, and is actively working on low carbon choices.

IOIPG hopes for continued support from governments and local authorities in the form of policies and financial incentives related to green buildings, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

It expects investors to maintain an interest in ESG performance, driving the transition to greener business practices. As consumers become more aware of ESG matters, IOIPG anticipates a growing preference for sustainable and green-certified products.

“The adoption of ESG strategies enables the creation of long-term value, which builds resilience towards increasingly ESG-driven market landscapes. Our commitment to ESG is not only a corporate responsibility but a business approach that ensures effective management of ESG-related risks and opportunities, including the implementation of policies, procedures and initiatives,” says Lee.

“Thus, continuous engagement with internal and external stakeholders is needed, including monitoring performance and opportunities to enhance procedures and performance.”

Source: The Edge