Singtel launches sustainability-linked bond framework

Singapore.14 Oct 2021

Aligns the Group’s financing approach with sustainability strategy

Singapore, 14 Oct 2021 - The Singtel Group has released its Sustainability-Linked Bond Framework which is a first for a telco in Asia Pacific. The framework outlines individual Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Sustainability Performance Targets (SPTs) for two different issuers, Singtel and Optus – its subsidiary in Australia, and allows both to issue sustainability-linked bonds (SLBs) under a single framework. Established as part of Singtel’s sustainable financing programme, Olives, this framework affirms the Group’s commitment to reach its net-zero emissions target by 2050.

The KPIs and SPTs outlined in the framework are core to the Singtel Group’s business and provide investors with the opportunity to be involved in the Group’s sustainability journey. This also provides transparency on how the Group intends to achieve its mid- to long-term sustainability performance.

The framework was reviewed by Sustainalytics, a leading independent ESG research firm and assessed to be aligned with the Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles 2020 set out by the International Capital Market Association. Sustainalytics also considered the framework’s KPIs and SPTs to be strong and ambitious.

Mr Arthur Lang, Singtel Group Chief Financial Officer, said, “Sustainability is integral to the way we operate our business and we have doubled down on that as part of our strategic agenda to create sustainable, long-term value. As one of the leading telcos in Asia, it is critical that we step up and integrate sustainability with our financing strategy and this framework will allow us to take the lead in sustainable financing. We welcome investors who share our goals of having a positive impact on the environment and society.”

Under this framework, the Group may issue SLBs linked to the achievement of greenhouse gas reduction targets that were approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. Specifically, the Group aims to cut absolute Scope 1 and 2 direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions across its operations in Singapore and Australia by 42% by 2030, from a 2015 baseline. If the targets are not achieved, there will be a penalty in the form of an adjustment to the coupon rate or premium on maturity of the SLBs.

These targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, are part of the Group’s approach of addressing transitional risks through decarbonisation of its business. The Group launched Olives in April this year with Singtel’s inaugural S$750 million sustainability-linked loan facility. As part of Olives, the framework further aligns the Group’s funding with its broader ESG strategy and serves to reaffirm the Group’s commitment to achieving a sustainable, climate conscious future for all.

Mr Clifford Lee, Global Head of Fixed Income of DBS Bank said, “The establishment of Singtel’s Sustainability-Linked Bond Framework is a progressive and important milestone for the technology, media and telecommunications industry, setting a common and trusted benchmark for like-minded issuers and investors to rely on. The future of debt markets is trending towards being purpose-driven with investors being increasingly aware of climate challenges and wanting to play an active role in funding and encouraging companies that contribute positively towards a sustainable future – this is where sustainability-linked bonds are relevant.”

DBS Bank acted as the sole structuring advisor for this framework and has led five out of 12 SLB issuances done across Asia ex-Japan to-date in the SGD and USD space. The bank is also the first to launch a Sustainable and Transition Finance Framework and Taxonomy in 2020 to help support corporates furthering their sustainability agenda. The taxonomy 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 social inequality.

More details on the framework and Sustainalytics second party opinion can be found here.

The Group will publish updates on the progress of the KPIs and the performance of the SPTs annually and will also obtain independent external verification of them. Disclosures can be found on Singtel and Optus’ sustainability websites.


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 and the world’s “Most Innovative in Digital Banking” by The Banker. In addition, DBS has been accorded the “Safest Bank in Asia” award by Global Finance for 13 consecutive years from 2009 to 2021.

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

About Singtel
Singtel is Asia's leading communications technology group, providing a portfolio of services from next-generation communication, 5G and technology services to infotainment to both consumers and businesses. The Group has presence in Asia, Australia and Africa and reaches over 740 million mobile customers in 21 countries. Its infrastructure and technology services for businesses span 21 countries, with more than 428 direct points of presence in 362 cities.

For consumers, Singtel delivers a complete and integrated suite of services, including mobile, broadband and TV. For businesses, Singtel offers a complementary array of workforce mobility solutions, data hosting, cloud, network infrastructure, analytics and cyber security capabilities.

Singtel is dedicated to continuous innovation, harnessing next-generation technologies to create new and exciting customer experiences as we shape a more sustainable, digital future.

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