Sarawak Energy’s Baleh Social Efforts Recognised At Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards 2024

8 JULY 2024

Sarawak Energy was recognised for its commitment to community welfare at the Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards (AREA) 2024 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on 28 June. The company received awards in the ‘Social Empowerment’ and ‘Health Promotion’ categories for its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives benefiting the Baleh and Kapit communities.

The Social Empowerment award acknowledges Sarawak Energy’s efforts in promoting responsible development and preserving local culture and heritage through the Baleh Hydroelectric Project (HEP). Programmes like the 'Pesta Main Adat Asal' indigenous games festival and the Handicraft Development Programme are crucial in preserving cultural heritage and traditional arts. The Handicraft Development Programme, in particular, enhances the skills of Baleh artisans, ensuring sustainable livelihoods and expanding the market for their crafts beyond the Kapit area.

The Health Promotion award recognises Sarawak Energy’s commitment to improving health access for the Baleh and Kapit communities. Key initiatives include the Cervical Screening and Women's Health Awareness Campaign, which focuses on reducing cervical and breast cancer rates through better screening, education, and community engagement. The Eye-Health Screening and Operation Campaign provides free eye screenings and cataract surgeries. Additionally, donations of medical equipment, such as ultrasound, dialysis, and RT-PCR machines to rural hospitals and clinics enhance healthcare services in Kapit and Baleh.

Commenting on the awards, Sarawak Energy’s Executive Vice President for Project Delivery, Ir. Pramod Kumar Karunakaran said, “Sarawak Energy is firmly committed to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and embedding sustainability principles across all our initiatives, including CSR community investments - maximising positive outcomes for the community."

Sarawak Energy’s Senior Manager for Project Services, Sharina Bohari, received the awards from Enterprise Asia president Richard Tsang. Joining her at the event were Reuben Jagai, Manager for Community Relations, Baleh HEP and other Sarawak Energy staff.

The AREA is recognised as the gold standard for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and sustainability practices across Asia, showcasing businesses and organisations that champion impactful and sustainable change. Since 2011, AREA has recognised achievements in areas such as Social Empowerment, Investment in People, Health Promotion, Green Leadership, Corporate Governance, Circular Economy Leadership, Corporate Sustainability Reporting, and Responsible Business Leadership.

This year, over 300 submissions from 19 countries and markets were evaluated based on relevance, effectiveness, reach and sustainability. A total of 81 ESG champions were recognised.

Earlier in the day, the International CSR & Sustainability (ICS) Summit 2024, themed ‘Embracing the Green Shift: Maximising Business Opportunities in Sustainability’, was officiated by Enterprise Asia chairman Tan Sri Dr. Fong Chan Onn. The summit provided participants with essential tools and insights to tackle sustainability and CSR challenges, highlighting the importance for businesses to prioritise sustainability and drive positive change.

Sarawak Energy’s commitment to socially and environmentally responsible and safe hydropower development is reflected in the design and construction of its hydropower facilities, which adhere to guidelines set out by the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) and are managed in accordance with guidelines set out by the Hydropower Sustainability Alliance’s Hydropower Sustainability Standards.

In alignment with SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals), Sarawak Energy is a sustainability partner of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), a member of the UN Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei (UNGCMYB) and the first Global Patron of the World Energy Council from Southeast Asia.

Sarawak Energy’s Senior Manager for Project Services, Sharina Bohari (second right), receiving the Social Empowerment award from Richard Tsang (right), President of Enterprise Asia.

Sarawak Energy’s Senior Manager for Project Services, Sharina Bohari (second right), accepting the Health Promotion award category from Richard Tsang (right), President of Enterprise Asia.

Sarawak Energy received awards in the categories of Social Empowerment and Health Promotion.