#TECH: Achieving sustainable and equitable connectivity across Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: edotco Group, an integrated telecommunications infrastructure services company in Asia, has launched its Sustainability Blueprint to fulfil its commitment to connecting the world equitably and sustainably.

According to the company, the report titled Sustainable & Equitable Access for All, illustrates the Malaysia-born organisation's mission to become a Top 5 Global telecommunications tower company (TowerCo) through sustainable and responsible growth, focusing on achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 and aligning with its stakeholders' sustainability ambitions.

Launched during a ceremony officiated by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, the report is a compendium of the company's sustainability efforts to date.

It catalogues the company's efforts along its sustainability journey, as it aligns its growth with key Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) fundamentals, in Malaysia and across its markets of operation. The reporting period ran from 1 January – 31 December 2021 with a scope that encompasses all edotco's operations and its subsidiaries. Locations included edotco's Corporate Centre and National Tower Companies (NTCs) across eight countries (Malaysia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Laos).

Tengku Zafrul said the Government is steadfast in its commitment to nurturing development projects and programmes that prioritise environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles that are aligned to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"This focus underscores the 12th Malaysia Plan's goal of revitalising the country's socioeconomic development, with long term sustainability and prosperity serving as the foundation for improving the nation's wellbeing," he said.

"Key priorities under the 12th Malaysia Plan include reducing greenhouse gas emissions intensity to 45 per cent of GDP by 2030 and for Malaysia to be carbon-neutral by 2050. To complement this, a comprehensive National Energy Policy will provide the blueprint on achieving Malaysia's carbon neutrality goals. To this end, lasting and sustainable progress can only be achieved when the whole nation – comprising both the public and private sector - rallies behind a common sustainability vision. Growth and lasting change always begin at the top. Therein, I am glad that edotco's management has been collaborating with various stakeholders throughout its sustainability journey. This includes strong support from the Board which has allowed edotco to halve its carbon footprint by as much as 58 per cent," he added.

For sustainable connectivity

Digital transformation is accelerating across Malaysia and the world, making online access now a basic human right.

However, edotco said, facilitating the connectivity needed to keep societies digitally connected, has also come at an environmental cost. TowerCos – as the entities crucial for building the infrastructure to enable the delivery of communications networks – are poised to take up the responsibility in making their operations sustainable, so that they can help multiply sustainability efforts across various dimensions across society and business.

edotco said it is committed to laying the foundations needed to build future societies based on strategic focus areas. This includes managing environmental impact and decarbonisation (Environmental), creating meaningful relationships in the company and with its stakeholders, focusing on the aspects of Labour and Community (Social) and upholding diligent standards and best practices to protect stakeholder interests (Governance). In charting this strategy, edotco supports and is guided by global standards. It is the first Malaysian telecommunications infrastructure company to join the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), an advocate of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aligns its work with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards.

"In our quest towards providing greater access connectivity, TowerCos must take up the crucial task of building the infrastructures needed to bridge digital divides. Our Sustainability Framework underscores our pledge to meet this ambition without losing sight of the ESG fundamentals required to enable thriving communities, across Malaysia and the world at large. We are now moving into the next phase of powering equitable digital transformation and realising a 5G future – doing so with the full commitment of working closely and transparently with our stakeholders to meet our shared aspirations," said edotco Group's CEO Mohamed Adlan Ahmad Tajudin.

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