The United Nations (UN) adopted a list of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the 25th of September 2015, a global call to action for eradicating poverty, redressing inequality, and combating climate change to create sustainable communities all over the world.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is dedicated to putting the SDGs into practice through international collaboration, bringing all stakeholders together to actively address, act upon, and realise the SDGs.
With less than ten years left to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals, a Decade of Action for the implementation and delivery of sustainable development is called for by World leaders in September 2019 at the SDG Summit.
6 Sustainable Development Goals to Save the Planet
The UN Secretary-General urged all parts and divisions of society to unite for a decade of action on three fronts: more innovative approaches for the SDGs, global action to ensure stronger leadership, and more funding.
Numerous leading organisations and businesses have been working together with governments, non-profit organizations, society, industries, peers, and customers to address the complicated sustainability challenges and concerns.
For instance, several members of the UN Global Compact, including DBS, are dedicated to encouraging and developing sustainable development.
The following are a few of the SGDs DBS has chosen for making significant contributions:
#1. Responsible Banking
The responsible banking practises of DBS help its clients convert to low-carbon business models, provide specialised retail solutions that are tailored to their requirements, and assist them in making ESG investments.
Addressing or fighting climate change demands teamwork. By cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and attaining a net zero level by 2050, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has urged governments, corporations, and individuals to work together to stop and reverse global warming to 1.5 degrees centigrade over pre-industrial levels.
A business opportunity that is generation-defining is decarbonisation. By 2030, the amount of money invested globally in renewable energy exclusively will have to triple to approximately $3.5 trillion per year, and almost every industry will have to increase investment.
DBS is doing its part, for it is the first bank in Singapore to join the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) and the first to publish a detailed set of emission reduction goals for its Scope 3-financed projects in Southeast Asia.
These goals will guide its strategic allocation of funding towards low-carbon alternatives, a long way off high-emitting activities.
DBS has set decarbonisation targets for seven sectors: Oil & Gas, Power, Aviation, Automotive, Real Estate, Steel, and Shipping.
Further, two sectors have been identified for data coverage goals. Chemicals and Food & Agribusiness are the two sectors that will set the stage for emission reduction goals in the future.
The International Energy Agency’s Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, among others, served as the foundation for the development of the seven decarbonisation targets.
The goals will be reviewed regularly as science and client data advance, and DBS will provide an annual report on its sustainability progress.
#2. Responsible Business Practices
DBS believes in integrating environmental and socioeconomic concerns into its daily operations. Building trust is crucial to attaining them.
It thinks that for a society to prosper, businesses and communities must establish solid relationships based on trust, which can only be done by adhering to values of transparency and justness.
DBS is dedicated to attaining net zero carbon emissions in its operations across all of its markets by 2022. The company’s Singapore operations will only use renewable energy by 2030.
Instead of concentrating on buying offsets as a mitigation strategy, they are designed to fulfil these goals in a way that offers long-term environmental advantages.
DBS use a four-lever strategy to control its energy use and carbon footprint, giving the first two a higher priority while controlling what they cannot control with the other two.
Lever 1 – Reduce consumption
Reducing their operational footprint’s energy consumption is their top priority. They converted one of their older office buildings in 2021 into the first bank-owned net zero energy property in Singapore, which is one of just over 500 such buildings worldwide.
Lever 2 – Produce clean energy
DBS has implemented an “Everything Solar Everywhere” approach to ensure that any appliance installed in the workplace operates on renewable energy, when possible, to increase their operational renewable production.
As a result, they have installed solar arrays in their buildings, as well as solar-powered fans, exhaust fans, walkway lighting, air conditioners, parking lamps, fountain pumps, and ATM kiosks across all areas they serve.
Lever 3 – Invest in renewable energy
DBS is dedicated to lowering its consumption and running as much of its business on renewable energy as it can. Whenever they can, they use sustainable energy sources, avoiding the buying of energy.
Lever 4 – Carbon Offsets
Despite their best efforts, they recognise the necessity for offsets through buying carbon credits or RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates) to accomplish their net zero operating carbon goals.
DBS’ decision-making about procurement should take into account ethical and environmental aspects in addition to financial considerations as they are a major financial services firm in Asia with a rising global presence.
DBS’ programme on supply chain management, which consists of the following, is always being improved and innovated.
- Establishing a restorative business to expand restorative procurement in collaboration with ecosystem partners.
- Investing in the development of capacity for a more robust supply chain – To guarantee a varied global supply base and facilitate efficient goods and services sourcing.
- Responsible resource management – Responsible resource management.
- Using a risk management strategy to iteratively oversee our supplier base by utilising a complete set of procedures and instruments.
#3. Clean and Affordable Energy
Through responsible finance, DBS plays a crucial role in influencing and promoting the sustainable practices of its clients.
Through the Group Responsible Financing Standard and Group Core Credit Risk Policy, it combines environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations into its guiding principles for lending money and engaging in capital market activities.
It tackles the ESG issues by facilitating investment and trade flows, as well as extending credit.
DBS supports initiatives that use renewable energy to help the UN nations achieve their 2030 goals. Examples of these programmes include:
- The purchase of a 70 MW ground-mount solar power plant by Vena Energy, Asia’s largest independent power producer. This significant power facility is recognized as being the largest in Taiwan.
- Star Energy’s 220 MW Wayang Windu geothermal energy plant
- Changhua’s 1&2 180 MW solar power plants (floating)
- 36 MW power generation capacity project in China
- 200 MW Silverton Wind Farm
- 2,050 tonnes per day waste-to-energy facility
#4. Responsible Production and Consumption
By collaborating with all parties to create a more sustainable society, DBS makes significant contributions to the nation’s economic and social development.
DBS assists everyone in being sustainable by providing affordable and suitable financial services as well as sustainable digital solutions that are tailored to clients’ needs. The main services include:
- Financial planning tools, as well as education
- Encouraging clients to invest in environmentally friendly projects
- Supporting organisations through ethical funding
- Supporting initiatives and campaigns to reduce paper and food waste
#5. Fair employment and economic growth
DBS encourages sustainable development by providing organisations, business firms, companies, and individuals who are often underserved and dedicated to advancing the SDGs with cheap and associated financial services (SDGs).
A few essential services provided by DBS are:
- Affordable and suitable banking services to a sizable portion of the population
- Promoting financial literacy;
- Sustainable digital solutions
- POSB Smart Buddy for young children to instil saving habits
- NAV planner
- Helping visually challenged people with talking ATMs
- Providing the newest eco-friendly living ideas
- Microloans and working capital for SMEs and
- An online platform, 99% SME, to assist SMEs in marketing their goods and services to attract more clients.
#6. Industry infrastructure and innovation
DBS is dedicated to assisting organisations that are equipped to handle ESG risks in their business operations by developing capacity.
It adheres to and puts into practice the Equator Principles, a framework for risk management that financial institutions around the world use to determine, evaluate, and manage environmental and social risks associated with projects.
Moreover, it encourages clients to assess if they adhere to global best practices.
To sum up, DBS actively contributes to several Sustainable Development Goals to protect the environment for future generations.