By Daisuke Hori, Managing Director, Epson Malaysia
Over the years, sustainability has become not just a corporate responsibility, but the pinnacle of what makes a business successful. As the timeline to achieve global climate targets gets shorter and shorter, what consumers truly value and expect from businesses is to focus on their sustainable practices. The strong call for companies to switch to green technology was even promoted in Earth Day’s theme, ‘Restore the Earth’ focusing on emerging green technologies as a solution to achieving net zero targets. Investors on a global level are even understanding the importance of creating sustainable practices. In particular, Southeast Asian investors are responding to the demand for sustainability more so than their global counterparts with 67% over the global average of 57% feeling more positive to move to an entirely sustainable portfolio.
Using technology to drive profitability
Recognising that sustainability is key to success, some industries have already begun paving the way in green technological advances. Within the manufacturing sector, several companies have opted to using green materials with several car companies including Volvo Cars and MINI announcing their transition to 100% electric transportation production by 2023. Shell Malaysia has installed over 21,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roofs of over 200 retail stations across Malaysia. Even within the agricultural industry, companies are making transitions to sustainably sourced produce. For example, Cargill, a specialty fats business is expanding its production facility in Malaysia to utilise sustainably sourced dry palm fractionalisation, directly under the RSPO-certified plan.
The investments in sustainability across a variety of sectors presents opportunities that can accelerate Southeast Asia’s efforts in environmental leadership. As Malaysia is still considered at infancy stage of green technology development, transitioning to eco-friendly technology should not be viewed as a cost but rather an advancement to greater efficiencies and growth. For long, Malaysia has been considered a key Asian destination for high-value manufacturing, global services and as such, the country can play a key role in driving the adoption of renewables for electrical products in the region.
A closer look at sustainable technologies
Being able to communicate the sustainable values and practices that a company does will create a competitive advantage and foster brand affinity and trust among customers. A great example of this is demonstrated in Epson’s environmental campaigns and eco-friendly products that have caused us to stay at the forefront of the market and become first preference for consumers.
In line with the world’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Epson has made a commitment to an Environmental Vision – aimed at developing technology and creating initiatives that will significantly contribute to the regeneration of the environment and drive sustainability. For instance, our Turn Down The Heat campaign not only displayed the support for the environment, but also created a pioneering range of printers with PrecisionCore Heat-Free Technology. These products led the trend in energy efficiency by requiring 85% less power consumption, 85% less Co2 generated, 59% fewer replacement parts. Additionally, our Be Cool campaign further reminded consumers that it is possible to maximise efficiency and productivity while also reducing its environmental impact.
Not only have we made innovations in heat-free technology, but Epson has also introduced PaperLab – the world’s first dry process office papermaking system that turns waste paper into new paper powered by Epson’s unique Dry Fiber Technology. To further alleviate environmental impacts, some of our EcoTank printers such as the the L4200 and L6200 are made using up to 30% of recycled plastic material, by weight. The use of recycled plastic material enables us to use less virgin plastic and contribute to resource recycling. Epson will gradually increase the amount of recycled plastic used in various printer product categories that we expect to be widely used to print photos, school materials, and documents by those working from home.
Companies should embrace a corporate strategy with a focus on sustainability as it can add brand value, meet consumer demands, increase efficiency, attract talent, and create new opportunities. The reduction in energy consumption and product waste not only adds sustainable value but also results in significantly lower costs and expenses from the beginning to end of a business model. At Epson, we will continue to work to fulfil our social responsibility and create shared value to achieve sustainability and enrich communities together with our customers and partners. How sustainability has transformed the longevity and success of enterprises across sectors illustrates its importance at every part of the modern business model to achieve the ‘triple bottom line’ of environmental, economic, and societal performances.