DBS intensifies green push with nation's first eco-friendly card

Singapore.15 Apr 2021

First in Singapore to launch recycled PVC credit cards that rewards cardholders for supporting eco-friendly and sustainable businesses

Bank’s sustainability initiatives like self-cooling branches, paper and plastics reduction, also reducing its environmental footprint

Singapore, 15 Apr 2021 - DBS is introducing more eco-friendly initiatives designed to reward consumers who adopt green and sustainable practices in their daily lives and reduce its carbon footprint. The bank is the first in Singapore to launch an eco-friendly credit card made of recycled PVC (polyvinyl chloride). The card – the DBS Live Fresh credit card – will also reward customers for supporting green and sustainable businesses. This follows DBS’ recent introduction of Singapore’s first green car loan in February this year. The bank’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint through initiatives such as re-designing its 24/7 self-service branches to be more energy efficient, lowering paper and plastics usage, also continues to yield positive results.

Said Jeremy Soo, Head of Consumer Banking Group (Singapore) at DBS Bank, “The road to sustainability is best travelled together. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive suite of green offerings that make adopting eco-friendly practices the easier, more attractive choice for customers. While we’ve come a long way in advancing our sustainability agenda, we recognise there’s much more that can be done. This includes further reducing our own environmental footprint and providing solutions that enable customers to make purpose-driven and positive impact. Together, we can make sustainable development a reality.”

DBS Live Fresh: Nation’s first eco-friendly credit card with green rewards

Since launching its pilot earlier on 23 March, DBS has issued and/or replaced almost 1,500 of its Live Fresh credit cards which are now made from 85.5% recycled PVC material. In keeping with its millennial-centric proposition, the bank will be rewarding Live Fresh cardmembers when they patronise eco-friendly and sustainable businesses across everyday categories such as dining, grocery shopping, and transport. Come 1 May, cardholders will enjoy additional cashback at selected retailers and social enterprises, including BlueSG and WhatIF Foods. They will also be eligible for a discounted rate when booking staycations at green hotels in Singapore via Agoda, for example at Parkroyal Collection. The Live Fresh eco-friendly cards do not come with any additional fees.

Added Anthony Seow, Head of Payments and Platforms, DBS Bank: “A whole-of-society effort is required for us to make the Singapore Green Plan a reality, and DBS has an integral part to play in this transition. By launching Singapore’s first eco-friendly credit card coupled with a new sustainability-focused card rewards scheme, we have created a virtuous cycle to support sustainable enterprises – some of which are championed by our DBS Foundation – while rewarding customers who aspire to lead more sustainable lifestyles. This is just a start, as we are committed to review further extending the issuance of sustainable materials across the rest of our credit and debit card base, which has almost six million DBS/POSB cards in circulation.”

Prior to its pilot, the bank conducted extensive reviews and testing of every potential sustainable material available in Singapore. The rPVC material was selected for its advantages of having a lower production carbon footprint and is recycled from existing old PVC material. This eliminates the need for new materials to be extracted. Each eco-friendly rPVC Live Fresh credit card represents approximately 7g of carbon reduction and 3.18g in waste reduction. Based on this estimate, DBS can potentially save up to 42 tonnes1 in carbon reduction and reduce industrial waste by about 19 tonnes[1]when the conversion exercise for its entire card base is complete. This follows DBS’ launch of its first co-branded credit card in Taiwan last year that is embedded with an iPass electronic payment function and made out of polylactic acid — a biodegradable polymer produced from renewable resources.

New DBS Live Fresh credit cards will have the universal recycling symbol and a “Made from 85.5% recycled plastic” liner printed on the back of the card. 

A 27-country study on Healthy & Sustainable Living conducted by GlobeScan revealed that environment and climate change remain priority topics for consumers even during the pandemic, with Gen Z and Millennials being particularly engaged on sustainable living. In fact, about seven in 10 Gen Z and Millennial consumers say they would like to change their lifestyle “a great deal” to become healthier, and more than half would like to do the same to become more sustainable and more altruistic.

Daniel Ng, a DBS Live Fresh cardmember who received his replacement card during the pilot, aged 29, commented: “Knowing that the card is now made from recycled plastic makes me feel good – that I am part of a broader movement to lessen the impact our daily lives have on the environment. This should be the way to go. I can still receive cashback while performing transactions online or when paying contactless at brick-and-mortar shops, but now I am even more motivated to support local businesses focused on providing eco-friendly products and services."

The eco-card complements the bank’s wide suite of digital payment solutions, including DBS PayLah! – Singapore’s leading payments-lifestyle app with 1.9 million users. Integrated into multiple major payment rails, it is also the most widely accepted mobile wallet in Singapore with more than 180,000 acceptance points island wide. To find out more about Singapore’s first eco-friendly credit card, visit:go.dbs.com/sg-livegreen.

Measures to reduce environmental footprint continue apace

As part of DBS’ commitment to reducing its environmental footprint, the bank is also re-designing 13 of its 24/7 self-service branches to be more energy efficient. The branches will have ventilation features that encourage self-cooling and have energy optimisation systems, such as low-energy lighting in place. This will lower the branches’ carbon footprint by some 280 tonnes a year -equivalent to 40 trees. In 2018, the bank also began tracking and reducing its paper consumption. Since then, DBS has been able to reduce its office paper consumption by 35% - with 208 tonnes less paper used since 2018 – equivalent to 5,340 trees saved. DBS’ operations in Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia have also eliminated the use of all single-use bottled water by customers on its premises, resulting in more than 95% reduction in single-use plastics across the region compared to 2018.

DBS has been advancing its sustainability agenda over the years. The bank has set targets for its operational carbon footprint to ensure net zero operational carbon by 2022. In 2017, DBS became the first Asian bank and first Singapore company to join global renewable energy initiative RE100 by committing to using 100% renewable energy for its Singapore operations by 2030. Recently, DBS also supported the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)’s Vision 2050 agenda that lays out nine transformation pathways that aims to help improve lives, livelihoods, and protect the planet in three decades.

[1] – Based on an estimated 7g in carbon reduction and 3.18g in waste reduction per rPVC card, multiplied by six million DBS/POSB cards in circulation


About DBS
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings are among the highest in the world.

Recognised for its global leadership, DBS has been named “World’s Best Bank” by Euromoney, “Global Bank of the Year” by The Banker and “Best Bank in the World” by Global Finance. The bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, having been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney. In addition, DBS has been accorded the “Safest Bank in Asia” award by Global Finance for 12 consecutive years from 2009 to 2020.

DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets. DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, and positively impacting communities through supporting social enterprises, as it banks the Asian way. It has also established a SGD 50 million foundation to strengthen its corporate social responsibility efforts in Singapore and across Asia.

With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.