The Sustainable Business Awards

The Sustainable Business Awards (SBA) is a unique and important resource for businesses worldwide. Now held in four countries, the awards aim to increase awareness of sustainable business best-practices and demonstrate how sustainable business benefits companies, the environment and all stakeholders, today and for the future.

“The awards validate and celebrate the companies which are leading the way in sustainable business and which have truly instilled this objective into their long term business strategy. The awards also aim to inspire all businesses, large and small, to make sustainability the foundation of their corporate mission and brand” - Tony Gourlay, CEO, Global Initiatives

There are plenty of sustainability initiatives around these days, but only one platform that guides companies through the process – and rewards them along the way to becoming truly sustainable businesses. The SBA methodology combines the best features of benchmarking and awards processes globally to really deliver green strategy and business advantage.



The Sustainable Business Awards is designed to:

  • Meet the specific needs of businesses in all sectors, designed by global experts and local stakeholders for maximum relevance and credibility;
  • Build a global knowledge network of best practice, allowing businesses to benchmark and improve performance using peer groups of their choosing;
  • Recognize business realities, helping businesses improve year on year,with a user-friendly platform that delivers results fast.


The awards criteria include a quantitative assessment of companies' environmental impacts as well as their efforts to improve the wellbeing of the people under their employment, in their supply chain and in their local communities. This allows companies to demonstrate that they are both aware of the scale of their impacts in the social and natural environments in which they operate and that they are taking steps to manage them in a way that is data driven and systematic.


The Sustainable Business Awards (SBA) use a comprehensive framework which assesses business action across twelve categories. This framework has been developed in collaboration with stakeholders as well as leading global experts and is fully consistent with international best practice.





In each category, the survey tool asks some questions that gauge both business processes and performance. The overall framework is weighted so that each category is judged to be equally important.

1. Strategy and Sustainability Management: Understanding the company's sustainability strategy and commitment to implement it at the highest level.

2. WorkforceExploring companies’ approach on employee engagement and diversity.

3. Community: Exploring community development projects and how they improve quality of life.

4. Energy management: Examining the activities that reduce energy bills, improve reliability and minimise pollution and emissions.

5. Water management: Reviewing efficiency practices, as water becomes an increasingly important resource for most businesses.

6. Waste and material productivity: Best practices encourage ‘closed loop’ systems that treat all resources as valuable.

7. Climate Change: Exploring the company’s climate change policy and external communication.

8. Supply Chain Management: Sustainable businesses manage every detail of their supply chains to ensure competitiveness.

9. Land Use and Biodiversity: Many businesses are now studying and reducing their impacts on wildlife and ecosystems.

10. Business Responsibility and Ethics: Understanding the company’s policy on responsibility and ethics and commitment to implementation.

11. Stakeholder Engagement and Materiality: Understanding companies’ approach to materiality assessment and framework for stakeholder engagement.

12. UN Sustainable Development Goals: Understanding the company’s roles and initiatives in working to deliver the UN SDGs.






The Sustainable Business Awards (SBA) use a state-of-the-art process developed by an international team with over 15 years of experience in a wide range of business awards, benchmarking and metrics.

A key feature of the SBA is that participation is a business development opportunity, not a burden. The SBA survey process is user-friendly, time-saving and guided: designed to make participation quick, informative and easy. The web-based survey can be completed in less than two hours, and can be saved and continued as required. It supports the uploading of supporting documentation.

Once the responses have been submitted, they are processed by PwC Malaysia and converted into quantitative scores. Analysts are trained to the highest global sustainability standards. Responses are totally confidential, secure and never disclosed.

Unlike some awards, there are no subjective interventions in the SBA. The results alone generate the overall and category award winners. Using the SBA global benchmarks, confidential executive reports are rapidly generated for all participants, providing valuable feedback and access to best practice case studies.

Quality assurance is the utmost priority, with continuous controls to international standards built into every stage of the process. These includes follow-up interviews, fact-checking, and meticulous examination by an expert Awards Committee.


Best Overall Winner
  • Best Overal Winner
  • Best Newcomer
  • Best SME
  • Best Flagship Initiative
Best Categories
  • Strategy and Sustainability Management
  • Workforce
  • Community
  • Energy management
  • Water management
  • Waste and material productivity
  • Climate Change
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Land Use and Biodiversity
  • Business Responsibility and Ethics
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Materiality
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals







Scoring Framework

We are looking for organizations that can demonstrate company-wide commitment and a proven business case for sustainability. We will examine and assess each answer carefully by looking for evidence of how a company is operating sustainably.  The assessment will be scored from 1 to 5, with 5 being the maximum score with the strongest evidence provided. While we look for the companies who can demonstrate their commitment to a sustainable future, we also appreciate those who address sustainability as an important issue and have intentions to become a much more sustainable business. Our scoring assessment will generally be based on the following criteria:
  1. Recognition: Acknowledging that environmental and social impacts are becoming important concerns to the organization
  2. Intention: Beginning to start taking actions to address these issues
  3. Priority: Ensuring those topics and issues are part of the organization’s regular agenda
  4. Planning: Action plans demonstrate progress in addressing these issues
  5. Monitoring: Keeping track of the plans and checking the results against objectives/targets described in the action plans
  6. Impact measurement: Continuously improving sustainability management in order to gradually promote sustainable performance that drives impact
  7. Communication: Transparently promoting the company's sustainability efforts to all stakeholders through internal and external communication

Awards Process

SBA MY roles (2)






The organiser of Sustainable Business Awards reserves the right to require at any time that any entrants sign a declaration before they start completing the online questionnaire.

Entrants should feel free to mark documents as confidential and exclude any information that is considered to be truly proprietary.

By participating in the awards, entrants agree that the Sustainable Business Awards assumes no liability, and shall have no liability or obligation whatsoever for disclosures of information provided by a competitor as part of a submission or otherwise during the course of the competitions.

Failure to comply with these requirements may result in disqualification at any time in the sole discretion of the Sustainable Business Awards.

The organizer of Sustainable Business Awards holds the final say in all disputes and may at any time require. Guidelines and rules for any or all of the entrants are subject to change at any time within the scope of the Sustainable Business Awards mission.


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