The global concern over issues of climate change, global warming and the management of our environment calls for informed and co-ordinated actions in ensuring that the next generations will inherit a place that is not only fit for human habitation, but conducive for future growth and prosperity.
Iskandar Malaysia (IM) is pursuing green growth in the planning, development and management of this rapidly growing economic region in southern Johor. IRDA, the regional authority created to drive and manage this growth, has put in place the Green Economy Guidelines (GEG) for this purpose, covering the nine sectors being promoted to effectively develop IM into a global hub for green industries.
The preparation of the GEG is one of the 281 programmes outlined in the Adopted Low Carbon Society Blueprint 2025, which IRDA launched in November 2012 at COP18 in Doha, Qatar. The GEG provide investors with a clear guide to IM’s strategic environmental and economic policy direction, which covers priority sectors, policy framework, incentives, institutional requirements, approval processes and procedures, planning compliance, monitoring and reporting mechanisms with respect to investing in green industry in IM.
The creation of economic opportunities for a growing population while ensuring that economic growth and environmental and social responsibility work together in a mutually reinforcing fashion are outlined in the GEG. The GEG will help transform the green industry in IM on the suitable track in the context of IM’s sustainable green economy and low carbon green growth vision.
The pivotal position of green industry in IM’s progression towards a green economy by 2025 are clearly drawn out in the guidelines, involving phases from green awareness to green infrastructure, green culture, green economy and, finally, sustainable development.
Green economy refers to an economic growth model wherein investments in resource savings as well as sustainable management of natural capital are drivers of economic growth.
IRDA aims to create a green economic zone to enable sustainable business operations in Iskandar Malaysia. Essentially this means an economic system that maintains good economic performance while upholding the environmental and social aspects with the major focus being aligned on the protection and management of the natural and built environment.
Ideally a green economy is one that actively promotes the triple bottom line principles of sustaining and advancing economic, environmental and social well-being. The green economy in Iskandar Malaysia is aimed to sustainable with clear focus on wealth generation and wealth-sharing among its citizens and expatriates.
The key focus areas identified in the Green Economy Guidelines are:
to first encourage and subsequently mandate ALL businesses operating in IM to undergo energy audits/reviews, report all mandatory and any voluntary emission disclosures (such as Carbon Disclosure Project/CDP, MyCarbon programme, GPC etc.) that IRDA and the Government of Malaysia subscribe to.
to develop pilot/demonstration projects that will serve as tangible examples for other businesses to follow
to promote establishment of common effluent treatment in IM
encourage rain water harvesting in the IM region and explore other sources of water supply to address increasing future water requirements to achieve self-sufficiency
to work with the Federal and State governments by introducing certified green products and services in a voluntary fashion in the first year, and gradually increase the percentage requirement year by year
to develop green jobs / skills definitions and assessment on training needs
promote all companies in IM to submit an annual Integrated Report, which would enable IM to aggregate a consolidated green GDP report.
The nine-key focus areas: