PETALING JAYA: Axiata Group Bhd will continue to assess potential business opportunities and risks, with special focus on the after-effects of Covid-19.
President and group chief executive officer Datuk Izzaddin Idris said the group would remain alert and responsive to the developments that may impact its business and stakeholders.
“In particular, amid the critical need for climate action, we will focus on practising environmental stewardship by mobilising our net-zero carbon roadmap, ” he said in the company’s 2020 annual report that was released yesterday.
Izzaddin said Axiata had commenced working towards specific environmental, social and governance goals and targets, as well as enhancing the relevant management systems to measure and monitor its progress.
“Our sustainability governance framework will allow us to deliver a more structured approach to how we manage sustainability as a group.”
At the operational level, Izzaddin said Axiata had promoted awareness and understanding on sustainability among its employees through various activities.
“We have set up green spaces within our offices, led and managed by employees and increased efforts in our internal communications to raise awareness on sustainability matters.
“Subsequently, from 2021 and into the next year, plans are afoot to refresh our existing sustainability framework to strengthen alignment and standardisation on our sustainability objectives and initiatives across the group.”
Separately, Izzaddin said the net-zero carbon roadmap captures Axiata’s efforts to align its operating companies towards a single trajectory on industry-led climate action.
“It demonstrates our commitment towards reducing our carbon footprint by achieving emission reductions from our network infrastructure and connectivity ecosystem.
“These form the largest contributors to our environmental impact and as we expand our coverage, we expect our energy needs to increase in tandem.”
In an effort to mitigate the impact of the potential increase in energy use, Izzaddin said Axiata was seeking to improve the company’s energy efficiency, use more renewable energy and overall, reduce the carbon intensity of its operations while contributing to regional, digital telecommunications (telco) green innovation.
“The roadmap will inform our activities towards these goals. It will further map changes in technology and innovation against our services as well as regulatory and industry advancements to drive our operations towards higher sustainability standards and improved practices.
“We began development of the roadmap with a group-wide carbon inventory exercise, which will continue into 2021, involving an audit and assessment in understanding the full impact of our operations and its value chains on the ways in which we use energy.”
Commenting on 2020, in light of the pandemic, Izzaddin said the telco industry was pressed to meet the world’s accelerated adoption of digital connectivity to grapple with new social and safety norms.
“People have changed the way they live and work and this has led to strong growth in data demand and subscribers, ” he said.
Axiata has allocated a capital expenditure of RM6.5bil to support its growth and future-readiness.
The group is also confident that it will be able to raise its dividend payout to 20 sen per share by 2024, which translates to a payout of RM1.8bil in cash for a capital base of nine billion shares.