When KPJ Healthcare Bhd turned 40 in 2021, the healthcare provider commemorated the event by doing what it does best — caring for lives amid ongoing Covid-19 challenges while championing its sustainability agenda and balancing its economic ambitions with social and environmental considerations.

That probably won KPJ points with the panel of judges for the corporate responsibility (CR) portion of The Edge Billion Ringgit Club awards, bagging the company the accolade of Best CR Initiatives: Below RM10 Billion Market Capitalisation.

As public hospitals buckled under the volume of positive Covid-19 cases during the height of the pandemic in 2020, KPJ — in partnership with the Ministry of Health — offered more than 100 types of services and procedures to MoH-decanted non-Covid-19 patients, emerging as the single largest private services provider to assist the government in treating such cases.

For perspective, KPJ has nine sustainability goals that guide its journey: adherence to regulatory requirements, anti-corruption, responsible products and services, anti-competitive behaviour, energy and resources management, community investment, safety and health, workforce inclusion and diversity as well as human resources management.

Acknowledging the importance of sustainability to KPJ’s long-term agenda, the group has shifted its focus to establishing a low-carbon health ecosystem throughout its operations and is in the process of building more green-building hospitals, it says in its 2021 annual report.

KPJ’s digital transformation journey has also seen the group installing a new core IT system for the entire organisation — Hospital Information System (HIS) — not just to enhance the doctor-patient relationship, but also to provide a wide range of solutions from the predictive, preventive, curative, promotive and rehabilitative aspects. KPJ’s new HIS was slated to be rolled out at its new KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital 2 by the third quarter.

On the environmental front, KPJ saw to the reduction of hazardous waste by 4.2% in 2021 from the year before, while recording 99 cu m of water usage per employee (hitting its target of not more than 111 cu m per employee) and achieving its target of not exceeding 27.69kWh psf for electricity consumption.

The top three institutions that garnered the highest annual electricity savings last year were KPJ Penang Specialist Hospital (RM382,499.67 a year), KPJ Klang Specialist Hospital (RM327,938.69) and KPJ Tawakkal Specialist Hospital (RM349,747.68).

KPJ’s social initiatives over the year saw to growth opportunities for the group’s employees and KPJ University College (KPJUC) students, while continuing relief efforts via the group’s flagship Klinik Wakaf An-Nur (KWAN clinics for the underprivileged and B40 groups at affordable rates), mobile clinics and Briged Waqaf volunteers. Activities conducted within these programmes included basic healthcare screening, public health talks and campaigns to advocate healthy lifestyles and good hygiene where the group invested a total of RM9.2 million in its community programmes over the year. More than 1.7 million patients have been treated in KWAN clinics since the programme was first launched in 1998. As at 2021, KPJ had 44,005 KWAN clinic patients and 12,286 mobile clinic patients.

Briged Waqaf was formed as a voluntary group in 2007 by KPJ’s parent company Johor Corp through Waqaf An-Nur Corp Bhd (WANCorp). Spearheaded by KPJ’s employees, Briged Waqaf’s disaster relief missions include the provision of treatments and distribution of medicines to survivors of disasters such as the floods that devastated parts of the Klang Valley last year. Briged Waqaf had in the past participated in humanitarian relief efforts such as the earthquake in Padang, West Sumatra, in 2009, Kedah flood in 2010 and Kelantan flood in 2014 and 2015.

KPJUC, which is an established provider of nursing diplomas, also has a scholarship programme that disbursed in-kind financial aid to 464 students in 2021, with an allocation of RM1.7 million. The university college also sponsored 90 staff members and students pursuing the post-basic nursing programme.

The healthcare provider’s economic highlights for 2021 included the opening of its second Ambulatory Care Centre in Bandar Kinrara, Puchong, in Selangor, as well as having a further six of its hospitals assessed and recognised by Sirim SCM, bringing the total to nine hospitals.

“No matter what the state of the economy is, our practices remain grounded in deep-rooted principles of improving the quality of life of our patients and communities. Our unrelenting focus on providing a strong and robust continuum of care remains a topmost priority as we believe this is the best way to create long-term sustainable value.

“To realise our goals, we proactively assess the evolution of technology and societal values and execute strategies that will give us the competitive edge in caring for lives,” KPJ says.