Climate heroes emerge in Malaysian real estate as value of ESG comes into clear focus

The disruptions and uncertainties faced in the past couple of years have been deemed as a warning sign by leading industry players

2020 was a watershed year for ESG investing in real estate. syazniaizat/Shutterstock

The threat of climate change, the consequences of rapid urbanisation, and the effect of overpopulation have become obvious to the oblivious during the Covid-19 era. The pandemic has served as a wake-up call for countries across the globe, urging all sectors to reduce their carbon footprint. 

In a bid to become more sustainable, the real estate industry has adopted the need for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies during the peak of the pandemic. In fact, CBRE revealed that 2020 was a “watershed year for ESG investing in real estate as pandemic- and climate-related disruption, along with growing recognition of social inequity, prompted investors to adopt a more robust approach to sustainability-related risks.” 

The firm’s 2021 Global Investors Intentions Survey uncovered that Asia Pacific, along with the United States and Europe, the Middle East and Africa region, has embraced ESG in their investments, more than in the past few years. 

ESG now plays a more critical role in real estate and how businesses and investors operate. In Malaysia, theSundaily recalled Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri’s speech during the new year where he said that the country is ready to “create an ecosystem that is capable of generating activities and a job market with an economy and society that are ESG-friendly.” 

This is in line with his plan to make the country a carbon-neutral nation by 2050. 

Though the country itself is just in the beginning stages and has a long way to go, leading players in the real estate sector have taken matters into their own hands and have already adopted ESG practices in their business. 

More: Against all odds: Recovery across the board for Malaysia’s residential real estate

Best Developer Tropicana Corporation Berhad, which also nabbed the Special Recognition in ESG, Special Recognition for CSR, Special Recognition in Sustainable Design and Construction, and other accolades at the 8th annual PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Malaysia), is among those who have committed to sustainability.  

The majority of their portfolio has taken the environment into account, with composting a common practice for their landscape contractors in their Best High End Landed Development winning project Tropicana Aman. 

“At Tropicana Aman Central Park, around 2,400 trees and palms have been planted, creating a warm and inviting setting. On top of these, we are also creating woodlands within the Central Park which contribute to another 4,000 numbers of trees in sapling form,” shared Jimmy Khoo, deputy general manager of the Planning & Design Department in their Sustainability Efforts feature. 

More: Sunway Group’s Sarena Cheah shares her exemplary vision to serve Malaysia’s communities

Best Township Developer Matrix Concepts Holdings Berhad also received the ESG, CSR, and Sustainable Design and Construction titles at the gala for their utmost dedication to sustainability since 2017. 

In their 2021 sustainability report, Sustainability Committee Chairman Dato’ Haji Mohamad Haslah Bin Mohamad Amin said: “COVID-19 is an excellent example of how poor ESG controls and oversight ultimately resulted in a global pandemic. If anything, the virus outbreak serves as a stark reminder of even more severe consequences should the world continue to relegate sustainability to an after-thought.” 

Indeed, the outbreak has been an eye-opener for major corporations across the globe and with such climate heroes doing their duty for their country, Malaysia won’t be left behind in our fight against climate change. 

Know of any outstanding residential, commercial, or industrial projects in Malaysia? Nominate them for the 9th annual PropertyGuru Asia Awards Malaysia in partnership with on or before 30 June 2022. To know more, visit  

Gynen Kyra Toriano, Digital Content Manager at PropertyGuru, wrote this article. For more information, email: [email protected].