Sustainability as a Strategic Imperative

What is strategic sustainability?

Strategic sustainability is adopting a ‘value lens’ approach to enable long-term, sustainable value for your business by effectively and responsibly managing environmental and socioeconomic impacts. Defining a sustainability vision that complements your organisation’s overall purpose, vision, and values helps to upholds society’s trust in businesses. This comes through identifying, managing and monitoring material sustainability risks and opportunities that supports responsible and purpose-led decision making.

Why is it important? 

Sustainability issues have the potential to make or break the value of a business. Adopting PwC’s value lens approach to sustainability response can help to not only protect value but also create value over time. 

Challenges in adopting sustainability

Intense pressure to act on sustainability issues and many companies are committing to ambitious objectives – yet so little is being achieved​

Investors are unwilling to accept lower returns despite seeing the benefits of action

Customers push companies to change while not wanting to give up convenience and low prices

Early-stage investment in climate technology largely targets sectors accounting for a lower share of overall emissions

Embedding cultural change across a company for successful sustainability transformation

How can we help you?

Understand ❯

Understand the current state of your business’ sustainability practice across various key dimensions by conducting an internal baseline assessment against PwC’s Corporate Sustainability Framework.

Identify ❯

Identify best practices within your industry and pinpoint potential competitive advantages in the sustainability arena for your business.

Carry out ❯

Carry out materiality assessment to identify, enhance and prioritise the sustainability issues that are material to your business, enabling a targeted response towards sustainability.

Establish ❯

Establish appropriate sustainability focus areas and targets, taking into account your business’ material issues as well as alignment and aligning them with your overall corporate strategy.

Develop ❯

Develop an implementation roadmap for your business to operationalise your sustainability strategy, which will include prioritised initiatives, enablers, milestones, and key performance indicators that track and monitor progress.

Explore related case studies

Top 20 Global Pension Fund

Project description: Development of a sustainable investment framework and policy, and ESG issue policies covering Climate Change and Workers’ Wellbeing.

Challenge: The client became a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) in 2019.To support their commitment to sustainability, they sought to build a Sustainable Investment (SI) Framework and Policy. Additionally, the client aimed to achieve a fully ESG-compliant portfolio by 2030 and a climate neutral portfolio by 2050.

Solution: A three-year roadmap was developed, guiding the integration of ESG initiatives across the investment value chain to meet sustainability targets. As part of developing the client’s Climate Change and Workers’ Wellbeing Policies, sub-issues, expectations on investee companies and acceptable ESG thresholds were outlined. The phased adoption of expectations was tailored to investee companies’ varying ESG maturity levels.

Results: The client established a strong foundation and structural guidance for sustainable investing, launching their SI Framework & Policy at their Sustainability Day 2021. A deeper understanding of sustainability relevance and impact on the portfolio was achieved, enabling the operationalisation of the 3-year roadmap.

Conglomerate Group with verticals in IT, Energy and Technology

Project description: Development of a group level sustainability strategy

Challenge: The client is relatively new in their sustainability journey, and required support in developing an overarching sustainability strategy at the group level that could also be applicable to their key business functions, i.e. IT, energy and technology.

Solution: We conducted a materiality assessment through a series of stakeholder engagement sessions. We reviewed existing sustainability initiatives, recommended new ones and developed a sustainability governance structure. The engagement concluded with a three-year roadmap to support the client’s year-on-year progress.

Results: The client launched an in-house sustainability programme, focused on sustainable development through profitable growth while balancing environmental and social responsibility and good governance. Long-term sustainability goals were set, fostering a sustainability mindset among employees. Following this engagement, the client was recognised by The Edge, for their improvement in ESG.

Malaysian GLC Plantation Company


The client was seeking to drive the sustainable growth and profits of their organisation to enhance shareholders’ value as well as to further refine their sustainability approach. The client requested for a structured sustainability framework including strategic initiatives/ roadmap to drive the management and workforce to meet their sustainability aspirations.


  • Conducted gap analysis to obtain baseline understanding of current level of sustainability integration via document review and discussions

  • Performed peer analysis to benchmark the client against the industry standard

  • Conducted a workshop with management to determine top material issues

  • Identified strategic initiatives and sustainability themes to underpin the client’s overall organisation vision 

  • Developed a 3-year roadmap to facilitate client’s aspirations towards its ESG agenda and sustainability targets

Malaysian State Zakat Institution


The client was seeking to establish their sustainability journey by defining their overarching targets and identifying the material topics that are significant to their organisation and stakeholders. Their long-term goal to adopt a sustainable approach also included a request to develop sustainability initiatives that would underpin the sustainability framework and support the organisation’s aspirations to be a leading zakat institution to drive sustainability in Malaysia.


  • Conducted multiple internal stakeholder engagement sessions through departmental interview to obtain a baseline understanding  of current level of sustainability initiatives and knowledge

  • Performed peer analysis against global zakat institutions to derive best practices

  • Conducted a workshop with management to determine top material issues and insights on current sustainability trends by zakat institutions 

  • Proposed sustainability themes, targets and initiatives to support their sustainability framework 

  • Developed a 3-year roadmap to facilitate client’s aspirations towards its ESG agenda and sustainability targets

Contact us

Andrew Chan

Andrew Chan

Asia Pacific Sustainability, Strategy & Transformation Partner, PwC Malaysia

Tel: +60 (3) 2173 0348

Nik Shahrizal Sulaiman

Nik Shahrizal Sulaiman

Partner, ESG, Shariah and Internal Audit, PwC Malaysia

Tel: +60 (3) 2173 1726

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