Launch of MAG Sustainability Blueprint

Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) launched its Sustainability Blueprint, aimed to promote socio-economic development and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050

Yang Berhormat Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation

YBhg Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee, Chairman, Malaysia Aviation Group

Captain Izham Ismail, Group CEO, Malaysia Aviation Group

Honoured guests;

Members of the media

It is a pleasure to be here with all of you at this auspicious occasion – the inauguration of M.A.G’s sustainability Blueprint.

And I am happy that the sustainability blueprint has clearly been inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs – the universally agreed global framework for a better world that is socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.

These 17 goals require ambitious contributions from governments, private sector, civil society and the public at large to achieve the targets set by 2030.

Six years into their implementation, the SDGs are off track. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres remarked that the world will not achieve the targets at the pace that it is going. Thus at the beginning of 2020, the Secretary-General launched a campaign called the Decade of Action – a rallying call to accelerate SDG achievement.

Then COVID-19 hit – and as we all know, the pandemic has dealt a heavy blow on socio-economic development every where – and the aviation industry was paradigmatic for this - pushing back our common aspirations much further than ever before.

But COVID also cast light on the integrated nature of development, namely the interdependence between a global health crisis and the economy, and between human activity and the climate, nature and pollution.

As such, the pandemic validated the significance of the SDGs as a most powerful integrated framework for development. And that governments cannot do this alone. While, corporations and industries like yours suffered the devastating impacts of last year, there is also the opportunity now to realign to goals that will help us recover better. And I would like to commend M.A.G. for doing just this.

Indeed, the private sector has a critical role to play. Businesses are the engines of growth and employment. And it is also the business sector that is responsible for carbon emissions, pollution and impacts on the environment – which has led to what we now call the triple planetary crisis (climate, nature, pollution).

Therefore, I would like extend my appreciation and congratulations to the Malaysian Airlines Group (MAG) for embracing this sustainability framework.

And given that there is growing consumer demand for socially responsible and environmentally sustainable business practices – it is not only the right thing to do, but also good for business - to have sound corporate strategies that are anchored in sustainability.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Looking at the sustainability blueprint, it is clear that the issue of fuel consumption and efficiency is central.

Leaders of the aviation industry signed a Declaration in 2008 committing to action on climate change, in the short-term promises for fuel efficiency of 1.5% per annum improvement and longer term 50% reduction in net carbon emissions by 2050.

In this regard, new and innovative technologies are needed. The hope for a revolution in use and breakthroughs for more renewable and efficient energy sources are more urgent now than ever.

For M.A.G, I am confident that your framework will contribute to SDG achievement not only on aviation fuel consumption but for example also on

  • SDG5        – Gender equality – by increasing the number of women in decision making positions
  • SDG 8       –  Decent work – by continuing to make M.A.G a top employer with a focus on diversity
  • SDG12      – Responsible consumption and production – by committing to  recycling waste  and to the zero use of single use plastic

And in the spirit of SDG 17 – partnerships – I would like to encourge all stakeholders in the Malaysia aviation sector to come together to chart the way forward for an ambitious aviation sustainability agenda.

While many businesses in Malaysia are already adopting sustainability strategies, the UN hopes to see more companies align themselves to the SDGs. We strongly believe that there are win-win solutions for all business sectors. As stated in the Business and Sustainable Development Commission

“SDGs, when achieved, could create 380 million jobs and opportunities worth USD12 trillion”

Governments can also do much to facilitate business alignment to the SDGs. For instance,

    • By building environmental costs into the economic equation – by removing distortions such as the fuel subsidies, embarking on taxing carbon and other polluters, and by creating incentives for those that move robustly to good sustainable practices.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Once again, congratulations to MAG on your new Sustainability Blueprint.

As you adopt the blueprint, I believe you will inspire other companies to do the same.

I wish you all the best.

Thank You

Speech by
Stefan Priesner
Resident Coordinator
Stefan Priesner
UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office