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Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and partners creating impact across 119 SDG targets

The KLCC Precinct donates old footwear to be made into playground mats.

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and its Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Business Events Alliance (KLCCBEA) partners celebrating their first precinct-wide ‘Give Your Old Soles A New Life’ activity to kick-start 2023. Everyone brought old footwear (collected at respective organisations) to be donated and recycled into playground mats for children.

KUALA LUMPUR – During 2022, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia’s premier award-winning purpose-built venue, and its Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Business Events Alliance (KLCCBEA) partners, which includes the venue, on-site hotels, a shopping mall and the national airline, have undertaken a large number of sustainability projects which have impacts across all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 17 SDGs feature 169 targets which are a plan of action for people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. The SDG projects currently undertaken by the Centre and its partners have impacts in 119 (70%) of the SDG targets, according the KLCCBEA SDGs Symposium Report prepared by URBANICE Malaysia, an entity set up under the government that advocates the localisation of the UN’s SDGs in the development of liveable cities and climate responsive urban development.

The SDGs report follows the KLCCBEA Symposium, held late last year, to define, chart and develop a long-term plan to help create a sustainable Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) precinct aligned to the country’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 and Malaysia SDG Cities.

The Centre’s ultimate goal is to make the KLCC precinct a business events haven for sustainable meetings, where organisers and delegates can travel to, stay, meet and interact in an environmentally- and socially-responsible setting, as well as have the opportunities to leave long-lasting positive impacts to the country and its people.

According to John Burke, the Centre’s Deputy General Manager, “We are committed to supporting the long-term sustainability of the Malaysian business events industry, the environment, society and communities at large. By initiating this ongoing collaboration with our KLCCBEA partners to create a sustainable venue, precinct and supply chain, we aim to lead by example and inspire other local industry players to follow suit.”

He continued, “What we have all achieved so far is something we should be proud of, but it is now about taking the next step in our collective sustainable journey and growing this further in 2023. In line with this, the KLCCBEA Sustainability Sub-Committee are committed to several precinct-wide activities that will help drive our collective SDG agenda for the KLCC precinct.”

The KLCCBEA Sustainability Sub-Committee is currently playing a leading role in designing, setting up and implementing, the circular / regenerative sustainable system, which will incorporate sustainable sourcing, waste reduction and recycling methods and practices, community-wide SDGs advocacy and awareness campaigns, and collecting and collating data for the KLCC precinct. The projects to be initiated in the first quarter of 2023, include creation of a best practice food waste reduction guide to educate workers in hotels and the venue to reduce food waste; knowledge exchange programme on sustainable sourcing; and governmental engagement and advocacy. There are also many other exciting projects on the horizon and more details will be shared in the coming months.

Echoing Burke’s comments, TPr. Ts. Norliza Binti Hashim, Chief Executive, URBANICE Malaysia, shared, “Our collaboration with the Centre and its KLCCBEA partners to help align their collective sustainable activities towards the United Nations SDGs is a great starting point. This sets an excellent example and we hope it will drive more businesses and corporations in Malaysia to follow suit and implement frameworks to help accelerate the localisation and adoption of the country’s SDGs in line with the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, Malaysia SDG Cities and Kuala Lumpur’s vision as a ‘City for All’.”

Acknowledging the venue’s commitment to sustainability, the Centre was invited to participate in the Malaysia Urban Forum 2022 to share its sustainable goals and the efforts undertaken by the private sector and a myriad of stakeholders involved in the sustainable transformation of urban cities. Most recently, the Centre invested in a food composter machine to expand its waste management efforts and help develop a circular economy model for the precinct. Since including composting as part of its process, the venue has recorded a 30% decrease in the overall food waste disposed. One of the long-term plans for the composter is to also provide non-chemical-based fertilisers to the 50-acre KLCC park that is adjacent to the Centre.

Burke concluded, “One of our key focus areas last year was our SDGs programmes and initiatives. We undertook a variety of activities to boost awareness and develop a supportive environment for our sustainability journey amongst internal and external stakeholders. We also have many more sustainability projects in the pipeline, which our SDG Taskforce is looking to implement. We remain committed to our net zero-carbon pledge and long-term sustainable operations and initiatives, in line with the United Nations SDGs, and look forward to building on the SDG milestones we have achieved so far.”

In addition to the food composter, the Centre has also implemented various technologies and solutions to help create a sustainable venue and KLCC precinct. Some recent examples include, the Winnow food waste solution, an AI-enabled food waste tracking system to help run a more productive, profitable and sustainable kitchen; smart recycling machines to positively reinforce responsible actions through points-system in the venue; gravity-reliant rain-water harvesting system; and a hydroponic farm on its rooftop to reduce carbon footprint and provide healthy food to event delegates and guests.

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