SUSTNET AFRICA; Vehicle of sustainable socio-economic development

CALL FOR GPM AWARDS – Voices Across The Globe

Africa’s investment in being a part of SustNet and GPM Awards is an SDG-tailored investment and a move that is crucial and timely, during these pandemic and nature-disaster period. It is the vehicle of sustainable socio-economic change that will give voice to the urgency, magnitude, and complexity of challenges faced in Africa, as well as provide  opportunities to be seized,

The Sustainable Business Network Association Malaysia, better known as SustNET, today, reached out in impact to the African region in collaboration with Nigeria based Heureka Ent. Limited and Heureka Trading and Consulting SL Limited, Sierra Leone representing SusNET Africa in driving the onboarding and domestication of the SUSNET Global Awards in Africa.

 The current needs of the developing country and projects implemented on sustainability practices has created the need to participate in the GPM Awards process of recognition. 

The growth of socio-economic development in Africa is said to be filled with barriers in terms of poverty, malnutrition, maternal mortality, net school enrollment, access to electricity, and access to drinking water, among others. With the endorsement of the 2030 United Nation (UN) agenda on Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, the world community has reaffirmed its commitment to Sustainable Development – spelling a change of potential for developing and under-developed countries. 

The 2030 Agenda is a comprehensive blueprint; eliminating conditions of extreme poverty, reducing inequality, and protecting the planet. At the heart of the 2030 Agenda are five critical dimensions: people, prosperity, planet, partnership and peace, also known as the 5Ps. It encourages us to take bold and transformative steps that help shape socio-economic development – shifting the world onto a sustainable and robust path.

SustNET’s activities are in line with this trend of awareness in global shared prosperity future.
 It activities are aligned towards sustainable socio-economic circular growth. As such, its vision is as a driver and champion of the integration of Sustainable Development Goals into business practices. This will consist of a long-term, integrated approach to developing and achieving a healthy community by jointly addressing economic, environmental and social issues and by providing a holistic support platform for the sustainable agenda of the business community. As such it has potential to contribute to the implementation of sustainable practice and its recognition in Africa. 

Raise public in the community through evidence-based advocacy and familiarization with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Promote adoption of UN SDGs, with associated principle and practices, at all levels of the business community.

Assist business competitiveness by developing a customized method for the member, including training, assessment, coaching and learning support.

Share relevant expertise and information relating to productivity enhancement and sustainability practices through workshops and seminars.

Promote ethical behavior in the spirit of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the sustainable growth and prosperity of small-medium industries (SMIs) and small-medium enterprise (SMEs).

Provide advice and information on international and national policy and regulations including participatory policy and law making, impacting the sustainability of the business community.

Dr Norsaidatul Akmar Mazelan, is the backbone of this endeavor. As the founder of the

Sustainable Business Network Association Malaysia (SUSNET) (2016), Group CEO of Think Plus Group of Companies and Wellness Zone (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, creating this engagement has been her lifelong mission.

The Green Project Management® (GPM®) established the Sustainability Awards programme to dedicate and showcase the contribution and impact of individuals and projects. This has provided much needed recognition towards the advancement of sustainable development though the implementation of sustainable (green) project management practices. It provides recognition practical application of sustainability in change initiatives to address issues of social and environmental degradation as a result of economic prosperity.

The program represents the achievement in sustainability across all continents of the globe and through a network of training partners encompassing around 145 countries. In 2015 Think Plus and the Malaysian Association for Project Management had introduced a Malaysian version of sustainability awards – making Malaysia the first country in the world to do so.

Each year, GPM bestows awards across a number of categories including: 

Sustainable Project of the Year is bestowed upon a project manager or organization that exemplifies the impact and relevance of sustainability and project success.

Individual Sustainability Award for an individual for their efforts in advancing sustainability in project management

Research Award supporting the implementation or advancement of sustainable project management

Student Award/Fundamentals Award for a student enrolled in a tertiary (e.g. University or equivalent) Masters level course which incorporates Sustainable Project Management or Sustainability Practices or a GPM Practitioner Level Course.

Partner Award for a GPM solutions/training partner, awarded for commitment to sustainable development and excellence in the delivery of GPM services.

According to Dr Norsaidatul, “Sustainability impact is only achievable with partners that can create an ecosystem of shared prosperity, integrity, quality and performance based on products and services that can benefits the community and reducing the planet risks.”  

Dr Norsaidatul, is an ESG Consultant, Sustainability Trainer and an Assessor, and is highly knowledgeable in integrating Productivity-Linked Wage System (PLWS) with Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) compliance under Shared Prosperity Framework, which could enhance a company’s sustainability practices and impact.

Among key initiatives carried out include:

Instrumental for the implementation of Malaysia GPM Sustainability Awards under GPM Global (USA), that bring out the talent of sustainability project management to be recognized as the competencies needed in building future youth leaders, entrepreneurs, social enterprise advocators, community champions and industry leaders.

Advocate for the outreach of GPM Global Award recognition

Initiating a Health & Wellness Zone ICT Collaboration 

IIUM Community Engagement programmes (IIUM Clinic at Pagoh & Gombak branches)

Creating a Health and Wellness Advisory network (comprising IIUM Pagoh &Gombak, MDC Asia Linked Berhad)

Promoting the bloom of the Medical Tourism industry through programmes such as the My Malaysia Experience

Nurturing young ambassadors and entrepreneurs in sustainability project management across fields and interest through SustNET programmes (comprising the school children, educators in schools and higher learning institutions, as well as professionals in other fields.

Collaborations with various Chambers of Commerce and NGOs to reach to the grass root level of awareness.

Collaborations across other disciplines through training and service programmes (i.e.

delivery, freight forwarding, bio-diesel plant management using algae, security officers, hotel service).

In establishing this future ecosystem, Dr Nor envisions that the strategic partnership initiated within Malaysia globally, as well as across disciplines and services, shall bring the right platform for mutual platforms in transforming the community towards a sustainable society, environment and economy. 

Hence, Africa’s investment in being a part of SustNet and GPM Awards is an SDG-tailored investment is a move that is crucial and timely, during these pandemic and nature-disaster period. It impacts the development of the region’s human capital and people and future generation. It is the vehicle of sustainable socio-economic change that will give voice to the  urgency, magnitude, and complexity of challenges faced in Africa, as well as provide  opportunities to be seized,

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