Malaysian Green Business Association to uphold green sector image

  • Malaysian Green Business Association to be watchdog against greenwashing
  • Businesses told to pay particular attention to energy and water supply 

By Linda Archibald

A small but growing community of green businesses in Malaysia has set up an association to uphold the image of the green sector and to exploit opportunities at national, regional and global levels. 

Tan Sri Mustafa Mansur, founding president of the newly-established Malaysian Green Business Association (Magba) says he is aware of companies that can potentially tarnish the good name of serious green businesses.

Founding president of Magba Tan Sri Mustafa Mansur (photo credit: GPA Photo)

“The green business community must remain at all times credible. They must not claim they’ve come out with a certain green product when in essence, it is not green,” he says. 

Mustafa says apart from producing a directory for green businesses, Magba is looking at developing a self-compliance audit for member organisations. In the long run, the association wants to be a watchdog for the industry and assist in green certification. 

He says many companies are now more oriented towards CSR (corporate social responsibility) and there is greater political will to use green solutions. However, he says, not all companies make a serious effort and many small and medium enterprises hesitate to do so.

Many do not understand the value of cost-savings, energy savings and co-generation on their businesses in the long-run, he says. “They would rather seek immediate return on investments (ROIs), while big corporations are more willing to look at long-term ROIs.”

Malaysia is still a novice in the green economy, Mustafa says, citing Japan, Taiwan and South Korea as Asian exemplars, with Germany, Denmark and Scandinavian countries as beacons.

Mustafa, who is immediate past president of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), says although Malaysia is blessed with oil wealth, it is important to be competitive in the global market.

“Manufacturers cannot continue to produce products inefficiently, and incur high wastage and high energy cost. Opt for sustainable methods and equipment that do not pollute,” he says. 

Going green forces businesses to be efficient in every way. “Efficiency increases productivity, and high productivity brings down the cost of production, and this translates into a greater ability to compete in the market,” he adds. 

Mustafa has a beef with green financing in Malaysia. “We need more support from the banks, and they in turn need to engage people with expertise. The rejection rate for loan applications for green tech projects is high because of the lack of knowledge in this area among financial institutions. They need to learn and engage themselves.”