Malaysia-based Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB) has cemented its commitment to environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives with the launch of Net Zero Carbon Central Business District (CBD).

IIB said in a statement on Tuesday that the Net Zero Carbon CBD is aimed at solidifying IIB’s leadership in establishing the first net zero carbon CBD in the ASEAN region.

According to the statement, by 2030, IIB is looking to achieve a target investment of MYR 9 billion ($1.91 billion).

This number is expected to grow incrementally about 13 per cent every five years.

It is also noted that the total amount of population for this CBD is expected to reach around 65,000 by 2030 against the total population of more than 600,000 people working and living in Iskandar Puteri.

“We expect the population to grow significantly by 2050, thereby creating a more robust socio economic condition for the people in Medini and by extension Iskandar Puteri,” said Idzham Mohd Hashim, President and Chief Executive Officer of IIB.

“We believe that our efforts will be produce a multiplier effect for the state of Johor, and Malaysia as a whole,

“This multiplier effect would in turn result in improved gross domestic product (GDP), employment rate, growth in foreign investments and accelerate Malaysia’s goal to becoming a high income and fully developed nation,” he added.

Meanwhile, Johor Chief Minister Onn Hafiz said that the state is fully committed to supporting and facilitating the successful implementation of these initiatives that is aligned with Johor’s aim to achieve a 7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) growth, valued at MYR 260 billion ($56.11 billion) by 2030.

“I look forward to seeing these transformative efforts take place as it will undoubtedly elevate Johor’s attraction as the preferred investment destination within the region,” he added.

According to the statement, IIB also inked a memorandum of understanding and a collaboration agreement with Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank) and Malaysia Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation MGTC (MGTC) respectively.

“Our most recent collaboration with Maybank is to establish the net zero central business district in Medini by integrating sustainable transition support and nature-based solutions (NbS) into various aspects of Medini,” said Idzham.

It is noted that Maybank is IIB’s first financial institution partner in the journey towards realizing the Net Zero Carbon CBD in Medini.

“This nature-based solutions (NbS) project will set a benchmark for Malaysia in preserving land, generating carbon credits, and creating green jobs for local communities,” said Khairussaleh Ramli, Maybank Group President and Chief Executive Officer.

According to him, participating in this collaboration advances Maybank’s M25+ strategic goals, underscoring its commitment to support clients in Malaysia and across ASEAN to decarbonize and progress toward a just transition.

Apart from Maybank, IIB also signed a collaborative agreement with MGTC on programs ranging from green jobs, green economic growth, green lifestyle, green technology financing, climate change mitigation to net zero strategies.

MGTC Group Chief Executive Officer Ts Shamsul Bahar Mohd Nor said that this strategic partnership with IIB includes becoming the key advisory panel in their sustainable development of Medini Central Business District and Iskandar Puteri.

“MGTC has been driving the Low Carbon Cities initiative, which taps into the urban area,

“This collaborative effort is imperative to drive sustainable development and promote a green economy, ultimately paving the way for a more resilient future,” he added.

MGTC is an agency of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change (NRECC) mandated to drive the country in the scope of Green Growth, Climate Change Mitigation and Green Lifestyle.

According to the statement, collaborations and partnerships are key to IIB’s ecosystem building initiatives which provides support in the five main areas of funding, market access, mentorship programs, business services and access to talents.

IIB previously kick started the annual Match@Medini pitching session with partners in a bid to set up a dynamic platform for tech start-up.

In June this year, IIB signed collaboration agreements with seven different partners in the sustainable electric vehicle (EV) industry, to promote use of electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy solutions in Iskandar Puteri.

The collaboration brings together notable industry players such as Nano Malaysia Bhd, Handal Indah Sdn Bhd, Handal Green Mobility Sdn Bhd, Kumpool Sdn Bhd, Yinson Green Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd, GO TO U (M) Sdn Bhd, and UN Global Compact Network Malaysia and Brunei (UNGCMYB).

It is noted that sustainable electric vehicles (EVs) are part of IIB’s mobility pillar.

IIB have also outlined five strategic verticals in our roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality via the five pillars namely energy, waste, water, green building and mobility as its key ESG initiatives.

“The advent of EVs is seeing quick expansion globally. IIB intends to support the expansion of EVs as well as Avs (autonomous vehicles), hydrogen powered vehicles, zero emission door to door travel with relevant infrastructure and industry-wide collaborations,

“Cycling and pedestrian paths will play a significant role in IIB’s pledge to ESG,” explained Idzham.

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