Wealth Strategies

The ESG Phenomenon - DBS, Singapore

Editorial Staff, 30 June 2020


We gather developments and commentary in and around the ESG investment space.

Singapore’s DBS has issued a reference guide to show clients and others how it intends to help cut carbon dioxide emissions, continuing a trend of Asian banks trumpeting their “green” credentials.

DBS yesterday published A Sustainable and Transition Finance Framework and Taxonomy. The taxonomy outlines how the bank handles transactions classified as “green”, “transition” and/or contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It also summarises a broad list of eligible economic activities – be it the use of recycled plastics for apparel making, or an electricity grid upgrade to enable integration of intermittent renewable energy.

“As a purpose-driven bank, we are constantly looking for ways that our business can leave a positive impact,” Tan Su Shan, group head of institutional banking, said. 

DBS said that it is the first Singapore bank to offer “transition financing”, the approach of actually making the move to a low-carbon economy. 

“There are many interpretations of what constitutes transition finance. The bottom line is we cannot afford to dismiss clients who carry out activities which are less than dark-green but are nonetheless part of the mainstream economy instrumental to getting us below 1.5-degree temperature increase. Every transitional step towards reducing [our] carbon footprint will make a significant, cumulative difference over time,” Yulanda Chung, head of sustainability, Institutional Banking Group, said.

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