Gen Z Meets Sustainability - Sunway Stories
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Gen Z Meets Sustainability

Sunway Group employees from the post-Millennial generation share their views on saving the planet via sustainability
Society ,
5 -min read

  • Gen Z’s awareness of sustainability makes them valuable assets as both consumers and employees to companies.

Educating Employees on SDGs

Growing up in a connected, globalised and technology-driven world, Gen Z individuals are digital natives with strong entrepreneurial ambition and a greater awareness of sustainability than any preceding generation.

Constituting those born from the year 1995 onwards, Gen Z folks are currently in their early 20s and entering the workforce, which means companies that understand what makes this young generation tick will maximise their potential, not just as consumers, but as employees too.

Berita Sunway speaks with some of Sunway Group’s newest recruits for their take on sustainability and what they are doing to make the world a better place.

For Sunway Group to align all its business units to the 17 SDGs, every employee must walk the talk when it comes to sustainability.

With that in mind, Sunway Group’s Sustainability Taskforce is focusing on increasing employee awareness on the SDGs this year, beginning with a project featuring one SDG every month.

“If employees themselves are not sure what the SDGs are, it will be an uphill battle to incorporate sustainable development principles into our day-to-day work,” says Cheng Jew Keng, Sunway Group Head of Sustainability Taskforce.

Our GBMC team will assist to disseminate information related to SDGs on all of their communication media such as lift posters, group portal, website and email blasts throughout Sunway City and other regional offices throughout the country. This information is not only educational for our employees but also for the public who live, work and learn in the Sunway ecosystem. With increasing employee awareness, we hope they will subsequently take part in activities that will support these SDGs.

Small habits, big impact

Twenty-three-year-old Janak Preet Kaur joined Sunway Property and Facilities Management as a Sustainable Development Executive in February because she was keen on a career related to conserving the environment.

“I felt it would be a great opportunity to make a big difference in how the commercial sector in Malaysia manages its environmental impact,” she says.

As part of the new Sustainable Development department, Janak tries to educate everyone about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). She practises simple green habits, such as jotting down meeting minutes using a laptop instead of using paper, unplugging her laptop and switching off lights during lunch time, as her personal contribution to the SDGs.

“These habits may seem small, but you can see a significant impact if every one of us adopts them,” she says.

Inconvenience is the biggest hindrance to adopting sustainable habits, Janak says.

“When I go out, I do my best to order “no straw” with my drinks. It’s not easy, as I get weird stares and my family gets annoyed at me sometimes for causing unnecessary confusion, but I think it’s worth it. I also try to shop for brands that encourage sustainability efforts or are practising it themselves.”

“It is more convenient to take away food in a one-off disposable container, rather than bringing along your own reusable container that you have to wash and dry. It all boils down to how much of an effort you want to make, and whether you are willing to turn certain things into habits,” she says.

“One of our major challenges as Malaysian citizens is the way we handle our waste – we are not conscious of our consumption habits. We need to change our habits and teach the younger generation to not litter, and understand that ultimately we will be the ones who suffer if we continue to dispose of trash irresponsibly,” she says.

Growing up in a connected, globalised and technology-driven world, Gen Z individuals are digital natives with strong entrepreneurial ambition and a greater awareness of sustainability than any preceding generation.

Constituting those born from the year 1995 onwards, Gen Z folks are currently in their early 20s and entering the workforce, which means companies that understand what makes this young generation tick will maximise their potential, not just as consumers, but as employees too.

Berita Sunway speaks with some of Sunway Group’s newest recruits for their take on sustainability and what they are doing to make the world a better place.

by Janak Kaur, 23

Do the right things, now

Twenty-six-year-old Ng Poh Li may be from the Millennial generation but she too believes in playing an active role in promoting and living out sustainability, thanks to her job at Sunway.

“Working in the Sustainable Development department, I can help Sunway achieve the 17 SDGs, and at the same time, it ‘forces’ me to be a more sustainable person,” says Ng.

Prior to her job at Sunway, Ng admits that sustainability did not mean much to her – she never used reusable shopping bags or unplugged her laptop charger due to ignorance. This changed when she attended SDG courses organised by Sunway.

Today, Ng is a changed person, convincing her family to not use plastic cutleries during Chinese New Year and her friends to say no to food wastage. Ng also declines drinking straws with her drinks and brings her own reusable shopping bags when she goes out.

She is proud that Sunway aligns itself to the SDGs. “To be honest, this is not easy especially since Sunway is a big conglomerate. The Sustainable Development department is trying to create awareness about sustainability among employees on the SDGs. We will promote little things our staff can do to help achieve SDGs such as unplugging the laptop charger during lunchtime and bringing your own bottle to meetings,” she says.

The department hopes that these simple green habits become part of Sunway’s corporate culture.

“Everyone knows how to live out sustainability but only a few are willing to follow through. We need to support the SDGs by doing the right things now,” says Ng.

by Ng Poh Li, 26

Make sustainability accessible

Looking for a job that actively promoted corporate social responsibility, Apshy Vimal applied to work in Sunway Group after finding out about the company’s sustainability initiatives.

Working as a Corporate Communications Executive for the Group Brand Marketing Communications department, Apshy is encouraged by how Sunway pushes for sustainability in all business practices.

“It makes me optimistic about the future of business. We can participate in capitalism in a way that betters and sustains the society in which it operates both economically and socially. I believe that as a society, we are moving to a more conscious level of consumerism and with Sunway adopting the SDGs, consumers will be more inclined to supporting Sunway,” says the 22-year-old.

Prior to joining Sunway, Apshy never bothered to use reusable water bottles as plastic disposable ones were more convenient. This changed under the influence of her team members and Sunway’s push for eco-friendly options.

“I try my best to recycle, buy fair trade groceries and to shop locally as much as possible. At work, having projects that we as a department can do together would be nice – have a communal plant in office that everyone takes care of, or a possible weekly collection of recyclables for donation,” she says.

Besides financial feasibility and inconvenience, a lack of accessibility is an obstacle to sustainability in Malaysia.

“Sustainability often feels like too big of a concept to bring down to the individual level. Instead of asking what Malaysians can do, I think what needs to be done is to educate Malaysians on what the SDGs are and then we’ll realise how much we already do, and how easy it actually is for us to do more,” she says.

by Apshy Vimal, 22

This article first appeared in Berita Sunway Issue 62

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