statement of sustainability
As one of the leading educational book publishers in Malaysia, sustainability initiatives run deep in our core values, our day-to-day operations and business plans. Our sustainability leadership is led by our Board of Directors, who oversees and ensures that PPG pursues its regulatory and commercial objectives, and remains as a responsible and sustainable organisation.
We focus strongly on delivering value to our shareholders, practicing good governance, maximising contributions to stakeholders and minimising our environmental footprint. PPG focuses on the initiatives of sustainability in accordance with Environmental, Economic and Social (“EES”) risks and opportunities of the business. Our Sustainability Strategy is closely aligned with the global sustainability guidelines as well as those outlined by Bursa Malaysia Sustainability Reporting Guide for companies listed on the Main Market.
Trends in Education
Book publishing initially starts with author’s manuscript and ends with book printing. With the rapid technological advancement, the digital environment had increased the number and scope of delivery platforms.
At PPG, not only do we focus strategically on the long-term sustainability of the Group, but we also strive to play a vital role in the development of Malaysia and ASEAN education systems, in the interest of economic prosperity, social upliftment and care for our environment.
PPG aims to be the leading and reputable book publisher for its quality educational publications in the ASEAN region. By working with top educators, authors and editors, we develop and improve learning methodologies to help in improving the regional education standards, which in turn will help to improve the national benchmark ratings such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in the International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) rankings. We also work closely with other esteemed institutions such as Malaysian Ministry of Education and IPST Thailand (Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology) as well. Such collaborations are carried out to initiate, coordinate, evaluate, execute and promote the study and research of curricula, which includes teaching and learning techniques in the area of science, mathematics, and technology at all educational levels with focus on basic education.
With the continuous effort to address issues related to the current and future trends in education, the Group will stay relevant and prosper in the coming years, in line with goals for different educational systems and delivery forms.
Digital Educational Contents & Products
PPG creates digital educational products to keep abreast with technological changes over the years. Our investment in Xentral Method Sdn. Bhd. has facilitated the Group in creating new digital related products which combine with our contents and latest available technology. The digital educational products include the interactive revision books series (“Interactive eBooks”), the electronic library (“eLibrary”), e-books, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), mobile based learning, customized assessment tools and other multimedia learning tools.
With ASEAN market in mind, we intend to expand our digital products to enter the market by sharing the concept of the existing digital products developed by the Malaysian team with our regional team in Thailand and Indonesia while they are exploring their markets for digital products.
Apart from that, PPG is also collaborating with different e-book store platforms to promote Pelangi’s e-books and e-magazines to a wider audience in Google Play, Ookbee (Thailand), E-sentral (Malaysia), Kaki Buku and Amazon.com’s Kindle. In response to the needs of 21st century learning and teaching, PPG has joined forces with FrogAsia Sdn. Bhd. to deliver free digital quizzes via the 1BestariNet Malaysian students. Powered by services and technology, these online platforms help PPG to improve educational access and outcome through our capabilities to create content and assessment.
In this digital era, PPG will remain relevant by embracing technological innovation and diversifying beyond publishing, to offer e-learning and technology-driven information solutions. This statement is in line with the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025, that aims to transform the medium of teaching and learning in Malaysia from printed textbooks to digital textbooks. In 2019. MOE Malaysia will launch its first digital textbook and Pelangi is the publisher for Form 1 Digital Mathematics textbook. PPG will continue to develop and explore new, innovative digital products to benefit the young generation.
PPG's participation in the recent ASEAN Publishing Forum held in Philippines has injected PPG with confidence in developing more publications that suits the potential ASEAN markets which has the largest segments of youth target audience under the age of 30.
Through our regional offices, more investment and product development will be placed in growing PPG’s footprint in ASEAN markets. Furthermore, our achievements have laid a solid foundation for our future and the challenges ahead especially in Thailand and Indonesia market, from which we can continue to pivot our business to seize growth opportunities and coming up with more localised educational products. The Group has seen good growth in Indonesia market last year and expects further growth in the coming financial year.
PPG will also continue to explore new forms of collaborations and develop new business models across the publishing or digital education boundaries in ASEAN countries. In addition, such collaborations not only grant us access to regional resources, expertise and reach, but more importantly provides us with insights and learnings to enable delivery of an immersive customer experience on a regional level.
Digital Marketing & Channels
The advancement of the Internet, mobile technology and social networking is fundamentally reshaping the way we interact with our core customers. Our focus continues to be on our core customers and finding ways to provide value and convenience. We have expanded our sales channels in e-commerce in recent years, such as through our own online bookstore, Pelangibooks.com and other channels like Lazada, Google Play Books, e-Sentral and KakiBuku. In addition to the aforementioned channels, we have also utilised TV channels such as Astro-Go-Shop, baby products platforms and digital fairs in our local region.
Last year, we undertook the task of rebranding and redesigning of our website. We changed our Pelangibooks’s online bookstore website design and layout to enhance and smoothen our customer's online shopping experience. From visuals to usability, every single element is crucial to the customer experience which leads to a huge impact on PPG's brand ability to retain and attract old and new customers alike.
Digital marketing and its associated channels are important like any other form of marketing. It is all about promoting products, building brands, developing leads, and engaging customers via online. PPG promotes its products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media. As part of the digital marketing strategy, the advertising mediums include promotional efforts made via the website, social media, mobile, direct mail, point of sale and many more.
PPG’s consolidated view of customer preferences and expectations across all channels are utilised by our marketing and publishing teams to create and anticipate consistent, coordinated customer experiences that will move customers along in the buying cycle and improvement on our products.
Content Copyright Development and Protection
PPG’s success today very much relies on the talent pool of writers we have here in Malaysia, and PPG certainly sees Malaysia as an excellent country to develop its own pool of writers. Malaysian government has been supportive of copyright-based industry activities, through agencies like Majlis Buku Kebangsaan Malaysia (MBKM), Perbadanan Kota Buku, Institut Terjemahan & Buku Malaysia and even Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia. Copyright protection is also well managed in Malaysia through government agencies such as MyIPO.
Since 2013, PPG has been collaborating with MBKM in Program Pengkarya Guru in training teachers to write and publish original novels. PPG has published 25 novels under this programme. Besides this, PPG also collaborated with Malaysian Board of Books for Young People (MBBY), to launch Malay novels and organise National Young Adults Novels Writing Competition since 2009. One of the novels has being adopted as the official Malay literature textbook in the national schools. PPG has also continuously source good content worldwide, translate and introduce the content to our regional markets such as the Harry Potter Series and Highlight Hidden Pictures.
PPG also participates in international book fairs and publishing related conferences, not only to export PPG copyrights, but also to be exposed to new publication ideas from other countries. Such activities are important to grow the publishing portfolio over the years. With such opportunities, PPG has been able to collaborate with foreign partners in developing publications tailor-made for their markets. PPG has exported copyrights to several countries which include Vietnam, Philippines, China, Hong Kong, and Sri Lanka.
Through its regional offices in Thailand and Indonesia, PPG produces local publications for their markets and other ASEAN markets. The regional offices have helped PPG tap into the talent pools in different countries, sharing creative ideas and producing suitable publications for all markets. PPG is desirous of being the leading publishing house in ASEAN. All the various publishing initiatives will only bring us closer in achieving the aim.
Copyright is important in all forms of media because it provides legal ownership over the works produced. In this digital age, copyright is equally important for online contents too. In line with the protection of our copyrights, PPG initiates legal action against any copyright infringement in order to protect the copyright ownership of our products.
In 2018, PPG has collaborated with Philippines publisher, Rex Bookstore to develop Primary Science Worktext, named “The Scientist in Me” which adapted to Philippines local syllabus. With the launching of this series, PPG sees publishing industry is now moving from an individualistic knowledge acquisition culture towards a collaborative knowledge creation culture.
Responsible Paper Procurement
PPG produces high volume of print-based products every year. We understand the importance of minimising the environmental impact of paper use across its production processes – from acquisition of raw material to printing, distribution, use and disposal.
Being responsible and environmental friendly, PPG continuously strives for improvements in its paper procurement process by taking the following actions:
Comply with all relevant environmental legislations, regulations and other relevant requirements and adopt a dedicated approach for more stringent requirements in the future;
Promote eco-conscious products, services and solutions and minimise consumption of natural resources;
Promote recycling through integrated recycling system of our used products;
Minimise emissions of pollutants to air, water and land;
Create environmental, safety and health awareness among all employees, distributors and suppliers;
Provide a clean and conducive working environment;
Promote individual practices towards preserving the environment;
Promote purchase of eco-conscious green products.
PPG is committed in minimising the impact of our operations on the environment. We actively monitor our operational carbon footprint, promote recycling and the responsible use of resources within our group of employees and stakeholders.
Over the years, PPG has been putting effort made to reduce the consumption of energy usage. We gradually changed to energy saving light bulbs in all our office buildings and make purchases of the auto saving mode machines such as printers and photocopy machines. In addition, the translucent roofing panels have been installed in part of warehouse area to improve the transmission of natural lights into the interior of the building. With these approaches, we are reducing the usage of electricity and energy.
While aiming for greater cost efficiency in our operations, PPG also pays close attention to the waste management and paper usage practices in our offices and branches. Usage of paper is one of the most concrete ways to limit the amount of waste originating from our office operations. PPG implemented paperless initiatives by upgrading its manual process to computerised system in its warehouse, publishing and operation departments. In terms of packing, PPG is also minimising the usage of cartons by palletising the books.
With the initiatives to save the environment, the management tracks monthly energy usage, water consumption, waste generated and recycling initiatives.
Performance appraisals encourage for performance improvement and offer valuable opportunities to focus on quality of work and common objectives to identify and correct issues with the job force. In fiscal year 2018, 100% of our permanent employees went through performance appraisals. We responded to the outcomes of the appraisals, by providing training in areas such as sales, technical skills, compliance with ISO criteria and hazardous waste management.
In addition, we are focused on continuing to attract top talent from universities and encouraging candidates to bring their unique skills and experiences to our company. Hiring fresh young talent is an important strategic way to secure innovative thinkers who will contribute greatly to the company. Thus, we are continuously committed by hiring interns and offer full time positions.
Since 2016, PPG introduced ESOS for all its eligible employees. Under the scheme, PPG employees have the option to exercise their entitled share options from 2017 onwards. The scheme is a way to reward good-performing loyal employees, while motivating employees to help PPG in reaching greater heights in future years.
As PPG recognises the great importance of employees as company's valuable assets, it has provided a safe and healthy working environment to its employee with comprehensive occupational health and safety resources.
PPG is committed to provide an interactive and conductive working environment. Thus, PPG plans to conduct Health and Safety Awareness training to equip the employees with today's working needs and latest industrial technologies.
Ethical and Responsible Business
PPG is committed to the highest standards of ethical business conduct and we take zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption. The Code of Business Practice applies to vendors, contractors and temporary employees.
Compliance in the workplace starts with respect for basic human rights and dignity. PPG’s Code of Conduct gives us clear guidance on ethics at workplace.
Diversity and Equal Opportunities
PPG is committed to provide equality of opportunities to all existing and prospective employees without discrimination on the basis of religion, gender, race, marital status, nationality, colour, ethnic or national origin, age or disability.
Over 50% of our workforce in our organisation stands from women. All of our employees, regardless of gender, are given to reach their full potential. From the pie chart, you can view the gender distribution of our employees excluding foreign workers and part-time workers.
PPG invests in communities to instil reading habits and to develop future best-seller writers. PPG directs its community support towards local education, by organising knowledge sharing session through the collaboration of different local organizations. Such initiatives enable us to reach out to communities and help us obtain valuable product feedback at the same time.
Recent community reach out programmes include:
Science and Mathematics teachers’ training seminars, in collaboration with Malaysian Ministry of Education departments;
Seminar on Teaching Science, in collaboration with Ministry of Education Thailand;
Kindergarten projects seminars, in collaboration with Suan Dusit University, Thailand;
Training of undergraduates from local universities/colleges under our training and internship programmes
Talent development through our variety A&P activities
Organising the annual competitions eg. Children Poetry Writing Competition and Fable Writing Competition
Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) Activities
PPG is committed in giving back to communities and being a responsible corporate citizen. PPG has been active in the community and supported a range of activities including donations to orphanage and old folks’ home. Employee’s participation is the key to success of these initiatives. Such initiatives helped to increase employee’s interaction outside working hours, build camaraderie and support inter-departmental bonds. Whilst communities benefit, our employees benefit too.
The Group seeks to make positive impact by promoting education and literacy, supporting our authors, and helping our local communities through innumerable local activities. Each year, PPG donates thousands of books to various school libraries, community libraries and charitable organisations. Books are given to low-income families to promote reading among children who have less or no access to books.
Throughout the financial year 2018, PPG has donated books to several libraries and initiatives. The sponsorship activities are available on the Company’s corporate website .
Last year, we collaborated with CRC (Community Recycle for Charity) for a Recycling Campaign. PPG is taking proactive steps in supporting green initiatives and environmental action as part of our CSR activities. This program will help us divert waste and do our part to reduce our impact in the local community.
CRC helped to turn our unwanted or unused recyclable items into cash to help those in needs. We have also adopted a recycle bin from CRC for Pelangi Bangi Office to make it easier, more convenient for our employee to recycle. We believe that recycling will help to reduce the amount of things thrown away as garbage and is an important and simple step to building a greener community.
PPG strives to create long-term value for our shareholders. It is imperative that the Group continues to create value not only for the communities that it serves, but also for the future growth of the Group. The Group stands by its promise of being transparent, upholding integrity and embracing the best governance practices.