Minimizing waste and cleaning up the local river - Sustainability efforts at Teknos Malaysia

​Doing more to protect our community and the environment – step by step with everyday actions we increase awareness 

Plastic waste is one of the most pressing problems causing concerns both to the environment and human health. Contribution is needed from each sector of the society to solve these problems.  

At Teknos Malaysia, we recently launched a sustainability program with the aim to support everyday individual sustainable actions at our workplace. The program has three objectives. Firstly, we aim to strengthen the understanding of the impact individual efforts can have in preserving the environment. Secondly, we aim to implement tangible actions, practices, and choices in everyday life to support building sustainable future. Thirdly, we want to build a positive change in mindset and behavior in the long term by organizing annual events with our local stakeholders.  

An important part of Teknos Malaysia’s local sustainability endeavors is to provide knowledge about how to contribute to the preservation of the environment. We have started this work within our organization, for example, by putting together a recycling program with an aim to build awareness of and encourage recycling among our employees.  “We are highly committed to delivering our contribution to protect the planet and make the world last longer, we want to make choices, which bear to the next generations to support thinking in the society and to invest in local communities. Contribution to protect and love the environment is with the aim to ensure we leave the world in a good state for our future generations to enjoy!” said Wanda Smith, Managing Director of Teknos Malaysia. 

The amount of waste generated in Malaysia has grown significantly during the 2000s and has become a large problem in the country. Before the end of 2017, Malaysia produced 42,672 tonnes of rubbish every day. According to the former Minister, Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (Malaysia), Mrs. Yeo Bee Yin, Malaysia is the world’s eighth largest producer of plastic waste. Recycling rate in Malaysia is low; as of 2015, for commercial businesses, recycling rate in Malaysia is only 11%. Data from the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) collected from January to November 2018 indicates that the national recycling rate is 0.06%. Several measures are required to address these issues. 

The ultimate goal of Teknos Malaysia’s recycling program is to reduce waste. We have made a simple-to-follow guide to make recycling easy to understand, follow and encourage our employees to take actions. All Teknos Malaysia employees shall reduce the amount of waste materials generated in the workplace and recycle the various materials identified in the guide. We are committed to making recycling a regular practice in the years to come and thus, we aim to schedule waste collections every year to ensure continuation of the program in the future. In addition, we are currently monitoring the weight of recyclable waste sent to recycling in order to determine a measurement for our total waste reduction.  

Community came together to help solve the crisis at the Kim-Kim River  

At Teknos, we are committed to operating as a responsible and active member of the society. Thus, taking action with our stakeholders is part of our program, too. These initiatives can be, for example, virtual online talks with NGOs to raise public awareness about single plastics, rubbish on the landfill and reusing material. In annual events, we focus on initiatives that go also beyond the boundaries of our usual operations, because sustainability of the business is interdependent with the sustainability of the ecosystem surrounding our operations. 

In spring 2021, Teknos Malaysia participated in cleaning up the Kim-Kim River in Johor’s Sungai project. The aim of the project was to restore and rebuild the river trails of Kim-Kim River after the toxic pollution that occurred in March this year. The polluted surroundings of the river have negatively impacted the health of many people, including school kids. Rebuilding the river requires cooperation and contribution from all actors of the community.  

Over 400 organizations, including government agencies, companies, and NGOs, participated in cleaning up the river. Along with several other companies located on the riverside, Teknos contributed by donating 12 hours of work to collect plastic and other trash in the river surroundings. 

It was important to see how participants representing different organizations worked towards common goal: to restore the river to protect our livelihoods. It can be argued that the project increased awareness among the participants making us all more aware and cautious to preserve the environment. We at Teknos want to continue supporting positive, sustainable actions in our community.