CORPORATE players have their own ways of developing forward-thinking sustainability campaigns for the progress of the nation.
In the case of Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), the utility energy company launched its Towards A Sustainable Society campaign in partnership with Star Media Group (SMG) to educate and inspire the younger generation to champion sustainability.
TNB has chosen science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as the main thrust of the campaign.
Launched in August this year, the on-going campaign is under TNB’s education pillar, one of three pillars in its corporate responsibility framework.
“STEM is at the heart of a new wave which is transforming the way we live and work, ” said TNB group corporate division (corporate communication) head Datuk Baderul Sham Saad.
“STEM permeates every aspect of today’s world, and the innovations that emerge from these fields underpin much of the economic development leading to the establishment of creative enterprises and rewarding careers.
“People in STEM fields are changing the world every day – researching new cures for cancer or creating new technologies that keep us healthier and safer as well as working towards smarter and sustainable cities and living.”
Baderul Sham shared that the World Economic Forum’s report states that as many as 65% of children in primary school today would work in STEM-based fields in the future.
“We need a national focus on STEM education to ensure we have a highly-skilled workforce in place, ” said Baderul Sham who has worked in various divisions of TNB over the past 33 years.
The Education Ministry launched the STEM initiative in its education blueprint (2013-2025).
The first phase (2013-2015) focused on strengthening quality of STEM education through an enhanced curriculum, the testing and training of teachers, and the use of blended learning models.
The second phase (2016-2020) built on the aforementioned foundations by engaging the support of a broader group of stakeholders and increasing public interest and awareness in STEM through campaigns and partnerships.
The third phase (2021-2025) will see the evaluation of its various initiatives to develop a roadmap for further innovations and to achieve greater heights.
As an employer, TNB’s demand for STEM graduates increases each year.
“This is especially so when the global economy is moving steadfastly into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, ” he said.
Focus on young generation
TNB allocated RM150,000 to carry out its Towards A Sustainable Society campaign.
“We chose Star Media Group as our partner in this campaign because SMG has the experience of engagement with school students in many activities and across various ages over the years, ” Baderul Sham said.
Among others, the TNB-SMG partnership campaign is to “encourage and drive interest towards STEM among school children by sharing topics on electricity and energy that are related to the STEM topics they learn in school, ” he said.
The highlights of the campaign are Bijak Tenaga workshops, parenting workshops, articles pertaining to the parenting workshops in the Kuntum children’s educational magazine, and an upcoming animation video on solar energy.
On the parenting workshops, Baderul Sham said that 120 parents took part in the two-day KuntumLive webinars which stressed on their role in guiding their children on technological advancements.
“We have also educated our customers about the importance of using the smart meter and solar energy so that they can play their part to support our sustainability drive or energy efficiency initiatives. All key messages related to TNB as an energy company that is committed towards sustainability were conveyed to them, ” he said.
Bijak Tenaga workshops on energy efficiency and the application of artificial intelligence in sustainable energy are in the pipeline.
Three primary and three secondary schools in Kuala Lumpur have been chosen to organise the workshops – SK Bangsar, SK Bukit Pantai, SK Bukit Bandaraya, SMK Bangsar, SMK Bukit Bandaraya and SMK Sri Pantai.
“We target school students because children have potential and can be strong advocates not only within a family but they carry these values till adulthood to influence their own lives and that of others.
“From these workshops, we hope the young people will develop a better understanding of energy and sustainability, and apply the knowledge in their lives and others.”
To reach out to a wider audience, “TNB will amplify the messages on our social media platforms. We are also considering involving our students from other TNB initiatives and those from TNB’s other adopted schools, ” he said.
To inspire young people in championing sustainability, he added that TNB would provide a platform for them to share their ideas and provide some seed grant for them to implement their brainchild.
“TNB recently collaborated with youth-based NGO MyPerintis to embark on a campaign for youth called Better Brighter Malaysia.
“We selected three winners to implement their ideas related to the environment, socio-economy and education, and gave each a RM10,000 seed grant to implement their sustainability projects.”
Transformation of power
supply towards sustainability“For us, sustainability is a journey, ” shared Huzairin Mohd Radzi, sustainability head of the Strategy and Regulatory Division of TNB.
“Sustainability in TNB started with a focus on social contribution and nation building. In later years, to align with the challenges of Industry Revolution 4.0 and energy transition globally, our sustainability strategy began to shift to include economic, environmental and social matters.
“TNB has launched its long-term strategy – referred to as Reimagining TNB 2025 (RT2025) – which addresses TNB’s significant step towards embracing sustainability in our new corporate identity and aspiration.
“In this regard, TNB sustainability pillars are aligned to the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) in driving positive social, economic and environmental outcomes for current and future generations.
“In fact, it has direct contribution towards four UN SDGs – Goal 7 (affordable and clean energy), Goal 8 (decent work and economic growth), Goal 13 (climate action), and Goal 17 (partnerships for the goals).
“Achieving the UN SDGs is not one sided, it requires a collective effort from all parties, including the public, governments and private sectors, ” she said.
To address future generation sources in the RT2025 and contribution towards SDG 7 and 13, TNB is continuously exploring and investing in renewable energy and new technologies.
“Our game plan over the next five years is to increase our renewable portfolio, both internationally and domestically. Our international assets division has ambition to grow, following several years of building up our experience in this area.
“We have good renewable energy bases in Malaysia and internationally, where we have grown from being equity partners to strategically building technical and operational capabilities.
“Additionally, we view the development of the Grid of the Future (GOTF) in Malaysia as one of our main initiatives that will enhance the integration of disruptive technologies and has the potential to transform the electricity supply chain in future.
“We believe this will enable us to deliver a resilient, reliable and high quality grid to accommodate challenges on intermittent renewable energy generation, electric vehicle infrastructure and distributed generation.
“We can then deliver ‘value for money’ for the customers by optimising total expenditure for the services provided, and enable seamless digital customer experience and new products such as smart meters and smart homes which encourage using energy efficiently.
“In view of this modernisation of the grid, it requires new skills and knowledge and a more competent workforce, hence we also embedded initiatives to address reskilling and training of the workforce. This initiative supports SDG 8 and 17.
“We had pilot projects to realise the concept of modern living and encourage use of energy efficiently such as the smart home concept in Cyberjaya and smart campus concept in Uniten (Universiti Tenaga Nasional) which showcase the smart city concept with facilities like electric buses as energy efficient vehicles, electric vehicle charging stations, smart apps and other potential green energy projects.
“And finally, all these initiatives, targets and milestones cannot be successfully achieved without the full support and commitment from stakeholders (internally and externally), and the need for synergy partnership as stipulated in SDG 17, ” she said.