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SDSWR2017 Media Coverage: Framework being developed for banks to assess green practices of borrowers

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07 Apr SDSWR2017 Media Coverage: Framework being developed for banks to assess green practices of borrowers

We held our 4th Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources on 6 April 2017 at the St. Regis Singapore, on the theme of “Inclusive Collaboration: Working Together for Sustainable Value Chains”. At the event, SIIA Chairman Simon Tay announced details about our current work on green finance.


Framework being developed for banks to assess green practices of borrowers [Channel NewsAsia, 6 Apr 2017]

By Liyana Othman

SINGAPORE: Financial institutions and banks in Singapore will get some guidance in understanding how they can contribute towards sustainable and green financing, such as assessing borrowers for their environmental practices before handing out loans.

Think tank Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) is working with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to come up with a framework, under which banks can take steps to ask companies like those in the agroforestry industry for certification and more transparency.

This was announced on Thursday (Apr 6) by SIIA chairman Simon Tay at the fourth Sustainable World Resources dialogue held in Singapore.

For Singapore-listed companies, they will be asked whether they have published their sustainability reports to the Singapore Exchange under its “comply or explain” rule. This will set the standard for smaller investors, said Associate Professor Tay, adding that it will also signal a shift from blacklisting errant companies to greening the whole value chain.

“In our region, banks have traditionally lent purely for commercial reasons. They’re not lending maliciously, but some of them may be lending with a blind eye,” said Assoc Prof Tay.

Full Article: Framework being developed for banks to assess green practices of borrowers [Channel NewsAsia, 6 Apr 2017]


Banks may look at sustainable practices when approving loans [TODAY, 7 Apr 2017]

By Siau Ming En

In his keynote address at the event, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli reiterated that sustainability should no longer be an afterthought for companies, as it can directly impact the bottom line.

“With increasing global awareness of the impact of unsustainable farming practices, a lack of oversight over supply chains can result in serious reputational and financial risks for companies,” he said. As the region develops, private sector financing will play an increasingly important role, such as directing private capital to projects that take environmental factors into account, he added.

He also cited Temasek Holdings as an example of investment firms that have moved to anchor sustainability in their investment processes.

Earlier, during a panel discussion, Temasek’s managing director of Enterprise Development and Sustainability Neo Gim Huay was also asked how the company ensures that its investments are not contributing to forest fires in Indonesia.

Ms Neo said that beyond declaring that it would not invest in unsustainable companies, Temasek also wants to play a part in addressing the issue and solving problems.

She added that she had personally visited its Indonesian investment with Cargill and vouched for is sustainable practices, for example.

Full Article: Banks may look at sustainable practices when approving loans [TODAY, 7 Apr 2017]


SIIA Chairman Simon Tay’s remarks at the dialogue were also quoted in a report on City Developments Limited’s (CDL) launch of the first green bond by a Singapore company through its subsidiary CDL Properties.

Full Article: CDL launches the first green bond by a Singapore firm [TODAY, 7 Apr 2017]