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7th September 2020
CIMB’s Journey Towards Sustainable Finance
CIMB takes its commitment to sustainability seriously, and has made considerable strides since making sustainability central to our business in 2019. CIMB is a founding signatory of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (“UNEP FI”) Principles for Responsible Banking, and a signatory of the Collective Commitment on Climate Action. As part of this, CIMB has committed to publicly disclose our sustainability targets and to align our portfolios to the goals of the Paris Agreement within a set timeframe, for which we are on track. The Board provides oversight of our sustainability strategy, framework and business integration, and implementation is overseen by a Group Sustainability Council chaired by the Group CEO.
At the same time, CIMB has introduced a Positive Impact Products and Services Framework, which takes into account economic, environmental, social and governance factors when designing financial solutions. Using this framework, we launched CIMB’s USD680 million SDG bond in 2019, with proceeds fully allocated to finance positive impact opportunities such as renewable energy, energy efficiency and affordable housing. At the beginning of 2020, CIMB committed MYR3 billion to Sustainability-Linked Loans from January 2020 to December 2024, and we are proactively presenting these offerings to clients.
The push towards greater sustainability is complex and must be seen as a journey. CIMB's aim is to steer our clients towards responsible business practices through mitigating negative impacts and encouraging and enabling responsible business practices. We require our clients to meet our environmental and social (“E&S”) standards at the point of acquiring financing, or failing which, to commit to time-bound and measurable sustainability performance improvement plans to continue their credit facilities and relationship with CIMB. As a bank with regional presence in markets of differing maturity and stages of economic development, it is important and we take a holistic and inclusive approach in our business decisions.
In this context and with regard to coal, we are in the advanced stages of developing financing guidelines for the coal sector, which we plan to release by the end of 2020. Besides defining our financing policy for the coal sector, we will also outline our long-term roadmap for managing our exposure to the sector. This sector guide is a continuation of our progress on the sustainability front, where we have earlier introduced sector guides covering palm oil, forestry, oil & gas, as well as construction & real estate. Our approach will evolve and we will keep raising sustainability criteria thresholds in line with global standards and best practices to help our clients manage their economic, environmental and social (“EES”) impacts.
We remain committed to advancing sustainability principles and encouraging responsible business practices, and will continue to be an advocate with our clients and other stakeholders.