Asia's media powerhouses form consortium to drive environmental and social change

Star Media Group (SMG) chief executive officer Chan Seng Fatt delivering his opening remarks during the Asia ESG Positive Impact Consortium launch in Kuala Lumpur, June 20, 2024. — GLENN GUAN/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: With a collective reach of over 123 million people, three regional media powerhouses are joining forces to form the Asia ESG Positive Impact Consortium (A-EPIC), the first of its kind in Asia.

Comprising Star Media Group, Indonesia’s Media Group of Kompas Gramedia (KG Media) and the Inquirer Group of Companies, the three influential media partners are joining hands to promote progressive environmental, socio-economic and governance commitments for future prosperity across the region.

In his speech on behalf of the media partners, Star Media Group chief executive officer Chan Seng Fatt said all three stand together in the collective pursuit of sustainability and positive impact.

 Acknowledging the urgency in addressing globally intensified environmental and social challenges over recent years, Chan said Asian countries are also increasingly recognising that sustainable practices are no longer optional but essential for the collective future.

“As key media organisations, we have embraced this reality, understanding that media plays a crucial role in driving awareness and action.

“Taking heed of this call, we began re-evaluating our operations to align with our countries’ goals of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050,” said Chan in his speech at the A-EPIC launch here on Friday (June 21).

Chan said coverage had also expanded to include critical topics such as climate change, United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and ESG principles.

“By doing so, we aim to educate the public, inspire action and contribute to the global discourse on sustainability.

“Our commitment to this cause has never wavered,” he said.

Chan highlighted a recent study finding that only 25% of Malaysian small and medium enterprises implement ESG practices.

“This highlights the need for greater awareness and support as many of them are still struggling with the complexities of ESG and broader sustainability goals,” he said.

Recognising these challenges, Chan said Star Media Group invested in the StarESG initiative in 2022.

This features a monthly StarESG pullout and the StarESG Academy to facilitate learning and knowledge sharing.

More than 400 articles have been published, covering thought leadership, industry best practices, and community stories.

“We have also organised numerous ESG clinics, webinars, and thought leadership workshops, reaching over 11,000 business community members,” he said.

Chan said KG Media spearheaded various projects in Indonesia to drive sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Highlighting KG Media’s #SayaPilihBumi campaign, Chan said communities nationwide were mobilised to participate in tree-planting, waste reduction and recycling programmes.

“Further amplify these efforts, they have also launched the Lestari campaign, a collaborative movement designed to elevate local sustainability initiatives for greater impact,” he said.

Chan highlighted efforts by the Philippine Daily Inquirer to promote ESG principles through initiatives including the Inquirer ESG Edge.

“To further their mission, a network of thought leaders and experts across various sectors in the Philippines who share the same sustainability advocacies were formed.

“The network provides ESG-related reports and commentary alongside hosting forums, campaigns and community projects to encourage meaningful discussions and actions,” he said.

Chan also announced that Sime Darby Property Berhad will join the three media partners as their Urban Biodiversity Partner for consortium initiatives.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was the guest of honour at the launch.

Also present were Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, KG Media chief executive officer Andy Budiman, Philippine Daily Inquirer president and chief executive officer Rudyard Arbolado and Sime Darby Property Berhad group managing director Datuk Azmir Merican.

Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia Datuk Hermono and Philippines Ambassador to Malaysia Maria Angela Abrera Ponce were also in attendance.

From Star Media Group, chairman Tan Sri Wong Foon Meng, chief business officer Lydia Wang and chief content officer Datin Paduka Esther Ng were present.

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