Our Position & Perspectives
At DBS we strive to be clear and transparent about our position and perspectives on issues that matter to our stakeholders, employees and the community.
Our Sustainability Pillars
Our approach to sustainability is guided by our sense of purpose: To create value for the long term, and by managing our business in a balanced and responsible way. We do this through our three sustainability pillars.
We incorporate responsible financing in our lending practices, support our customers’ transition towards more sustainable low-carbon business models and improve customers’ access to ESG investments. We conduct our business in a fair and responsible manner. This includes advancing financial inclusion, taking a proactive stance to protect our customers’ information and preventing financial crime.
Responsible Business Practices
We do the right thing by our people and consider the impact our business operations has on the environment and society. We provide an inclusive work environment, manage our direct environmental footprint and seek to influence our supply chain towards sustainable practices. We also pay our fair share of taxes and make economic contributions to the communities where we operate.
Creating Social Impact
We seek to be a force for good by supporting social enterprises that address social needs in a creative and effective manner. We also give back to the communities in the markets where we operate. Through our “People of Purpose” volunteerism movement, we help to drive impact in the areas of the elderly, education and the environment.
DBS is the first Singapore bank to offer transition financing to companies that want to take incremental steps towards reducing their carbon footprint. We are the first commercial bank to publish a Sustainable and Transition Finance Framework and Taxonomy, which serves as a reference to guide clients to adapt and build resilience in the face of climate change, resource scarcity and address critical global issues such as income inequality.
Thermal Coal Financing
DBS is the first Singapore bank to commit to zero thermal coal exposure by 2039. We have ceased onboarding new customers who derive more than 25% of their revenue from thermal coal, and this threshold will be tightened as time progresses. DBS will also stop financing customers who derive more than 50% of revenue from thermal coal from January 2026.
Palm Oil Sector
Our credit exposure to growers and processors of palm oil is not material, accounting for <1% of total loans and advances to customers. For all our lending relationships, we require customers to demonstrate alignment with No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (“NDPE”) policies that are increasingly being adopted in the palm oil sector. DBS also accepts certification under Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (“RSPO”) as demonstration of good industry practices. We will not consciously finance companies that are involved in conversion of High Conservation Value (“HCV”) and High Carbon Stock (“HCS”) forests, planting on peat, or planting without securing both the legal right and community support to use all the land involved. We adopt a zero-tolerance approach to burning.
Our Sustainable Financing Targets
DBS has more than doubled our sustainable finance target for 2024 from SGD 20 billion to SGD 50 billion.
Managing Our Environmental Footprint
We are committed to minimising our environmental footprint through reducing our consumption and improving overall efficiency. To this end, we have commited to ensure net zero operational carbon emissions by 2022.
As the first Asian bank and Singapore company to join the global renewable energy initiative, RE100, DBS has committed to utilising 100% renewable energy in all our markets, with an interim target of 100% in Singapore by 2030. In addition, 100% of our Singapore branches are Building and Construction Authority Green Mark Certified, with 62 branches certified as Green Mark Gold and above.
We have established the DBS Sustainable Sourcing Principles, which outlines the expectations we have of our suppliers on human rights; health and safety; environmental sustainability; and business integrity and ethics. DBS is also a founding member of the National Sustainable Procurement Roundtable in Singapore, which is an industry workgroup aimed at promoting sustainable procurement practices.
Progressive Human Capital Practices
To prepare our workforce for the Future of Work, we have transitioned to a hybrid workforce model, with all employees are given the flexibility to work remotely up to 40% of the time. We also have a range of flexible work arrangements for employees to tap on, including a formal job-sharing scheme.
DBS is a signatory to the UK Modern Slavery Act, and since 2016, we have issued annual statements highlighting the steps we have taken to address the risks of modern slavery in our organisation and supply chains.
DBS firmly believes in building a diverse workforce. We have been named to the Bloomberg Gender Equality for four years running. In 2021, DBS was the only ASEAN company to be included in the index's top global quartile.
DBS has in place robust data governance capabilities and practices across five core dimensions, namely Data Access and Security; Data Ownership; Data Understanding; Data Quality; and Responsible Data Use.
DBS has also implemented its PURE Framework to ensure responsible data use across the bank, with data use cases assessed against our PURE Principles (Purposeful, Unsurprising, Respectful, Explainable). This has been further enabled through the development of an in-house assessment tool and overlaid with formal governance procedures, operating models and the introduction of mandatory training.