With 2018 being Singapore’s Year of Climate Action, DBS today shared four areas the bank has been focussing on that support sustainable development and address climate change. Last year, the bank established the DBS Sustainability Council and appointed a Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) to ensure that its approach to sustainability would be relevant and viable. The council and CSO were tasked with developing DBS’ overarching sustainability framework, setting KPIs and targets, and driving sustainability initiatives across the bank.
Said DBS CEO, Piyush Gupta, “We recognise our role in promoting sustainable development, including the transition to a low-carbon economy. Climate change affects us all and we seek to do our part to ensure a clean energy future. It is with this in mind that we have pledged to support Singapore’s ‘Year of Climate Action’. I believe that our commitments will result in substantial impact in the years to come.”
The bank has been making traction in the following focus areas to address climate change:
1. Managing own environmental footprint
In November 2017, DBS became a signatory to RE100 – the first Asian bank and Singapore company to join the global renewable energy initiative. The bank committed to using 100% renewable energy for its Singapore operations by 2030, and has begun the transition by installing solar panels on its Changi Business Park building. The bank has also committed to maintaining the Building & Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark Platinum rating – the highest rating – for its offices, and also aims to achieve the BCA Green Mark Certification for all its Singapore retail branches.
2. Promoting sustainable finance
In 2017, DBS was the sole bookrunner for the first green bond issued in Singapore. In the same year, the bank also issued its own maiden USD 500 million green bond to the international debt market – Singapore’s first green bond by a financial institution. DBS has also begun to introduce ESG funds on its product shelves and is exploring ways to create awareness and encourage green consumer behavior through its product offerings.
3. Responsible financing
In 2015, the Association of Banks in Singapore released guidelines to ensure banks systematically integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into their lending decision-making. DBS has since introduced a set of comprehensive ESG policies and procedures. In addition, DBS will stop financing new greenfield coal fired power generation projects in OECD/developed markets. In developing countries, DBS will change its focus to more efficient technologies. Going forward, the bank will also cease all project financing of greenfield thermal coal mines.
DBS is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, and has been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney. The bank has also been recognised for its leadership in the region, having been named “Asia’s Best Bank” by several publications including The Banker, Global Finance, IFR Asia and Euromoney since 2012. In addition, the bank has been named “Safest Bank in Asia” by Global Finance for nine consecutive years from 2009 to 2017.
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. The bank acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in all of our 23,000 staff, representing over 40 nationalities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.