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  • UN Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei

Unlocking Perspectives of Malaysian Young Executives' on Sustainability

Young professionals are the dynamic pulse of modern organisations. Recognising their pivotal role, a recent survey conducted at the Young Executives Sustainability Summit 2023 (#YESS2023) unveils insights on the perspectives of Malaysian young executives on sustainability, spotlighting the indispensable connection between sustainability and the attraction and retention of these future captains of industry.


Insights of the Survey

Gleaned from 248 respondents, aged 20 to 35, majority holding executive to managerial roles, the survey provides a glimpse into the mindset of Malaysian young executives, charting a course towards effective talent management strategies.


  • The Importance of Sustainability Commitments ≈7 out of 10 prioritise a company's sustainability commitments over pay when choosing where to work.

Survey question:

How much importance does young executives in Malaysia place on a company's commitment to sustainability when deciding on a job opportunity

On a scale of 1 to 5, how much importance do you place on a company's commitment to sustainability when deciding on a job opportunity, even if it may involve a compromise on your expected salary? 1 (Not important at all) - 5 (Extremely important)


  • Alignment Perception 6 out of 10 respondents perceived a consistency between their organisation's leadership sustainability commitments and their actual actions.

Survey question:

Malaysian young executives' view their organisation leadership’s sustainability commitments and their actual actions?

On a scale of 1 to 5, how do you view your organisation leadership’s sustainability commitments and their actual actions?


1 (Strong inconsistency) - 5 (High consistency)


  • Likelihood to Leave ≈5 out of 10 respondents would consider leaving a company if it doesn't prioritise sustainability. Clearly, sustainability isn't just about business operations—it's key to keeping your team onboard.

Survey question:

Young executive's likelihood to leaving the organisation if it lacks sustainability initiatives

On a scale of 1 to 5, how likely are you to consider leaving the organisation if it lacks sustainability initiatives or a strong sustainability commitment?


1 (Not likely at all) - 5 (Extremely likely)


  • Bonus Tie-in Agreeability Interestingly, only 4 out of 10 respondents expressed agreeability in linking their bonuses to the overall sustainability of the organisation. These results, depicted through a bell curve, encapsulate the nuanced viewpoints of young executives, prompting the need for organisations to explore avenues for linking incentive structures and the collective pursuit of sustainability objectives.

Survey question:

Malaysian young executives' agreeability to having a portion of their bonuses tied to the sustainability performance of the organisation

To what extent would you be agreeable to having a portion of your bonuses tied to the overall sustainability performance of the organisation?


1 (Not agreeable at all) - 5 (Completely agreeable)


  • Challenges Faced when Integrating Corporate Sustainability Key challenges faced when integrating sustainability within the organisations include limited resources, difficulty in quantifying ROI, time constraints, and limited awareness—an authentic portrayal of areas necessitating strategic focus.

Survey question:

Challenges Malaysian young executives face when trying to integrate sustainability into their professional life

What challenges do you face when trying to integrate sustainability into your professional life?



(Select all that apply)



  • Willingness for Sustainability focused Executive Education A resounding 9 out of 10 respondents expressed eagerness to engage in executive education programmes centred on sustainability, showcasing a fervent interest in understanding and driving sustainability within organisations. The strong desire for upskilling is a golden chance for employers to guide their teams towards lasting skill development.

Survey question:

Willingness for young Malaysian executives to participate in sustainability focused executive education

On a scale of 1 to 5, how willing are you to participate in executive education programmes focused on sustainability?


1 (Not willing at all) - 5 (Very willing)





These insights, woven into the #YESS2023 event held in Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, reverberated as a clarion call for organisations to champion sustainability as a central pillar for attracting, retaining, and nurturing their young talent. The summit, which convened over 300 participants, including industry experts and thought leaders, fostered actionable strategies that can catalyse industries and communities towards lasting positive change.


#YESS2023 was supported by PETRONAS as the venue partner, accompanied by summit partners including Bursa Malaysia Berhad, CelcomDigi Berhad, foodpanda, KLCC Property Holdings Berhad, Malaysia Aviation Group, Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Berhad, Sarawak Energy and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS Malaysia), along with experiential day partners, The Lost Food Project, Upcycled by FE, and The Green Factory, with Astro Kasih tapping in as the supporting partner.




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