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DBS sets carbon targets for clients as well as itself

The Singaporean bank has launched sector-specific decarbonization commitments it says are industry-leading. For them to be achieved, the bank’s corporate client base is going to need to make changes, too.

Piyush-Gupta-thinking-crrdit DBS-960.jpg
Piyush Gupta, chief executive of DBS. Photo: DBS Bank

DBS has launched a set of decarbonization targets covering not only the bank but its own client base in what it says is among the most comprehensive set of commitments by any bank worldwide.

DBS says the idea is to provide an actionable plan to get to net zero emissions, following the bank becoming a signatory of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance in October 2021. Delivering upon that plan is going to require a redirection of the bank’s financing towards less carbon-intensive industries – an ambition long underway – but also persuading clients to change too.

“It is our responsibility to reduce GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions from our own operations and, more importantly, to engage with our clients to reduce their GHG footprint through the activities we finance,” the bank says.

Across seven high-emission industry sectors, between them representing 31% of DBS’s outstanding loans but accounting for the majority of the institutional bank group’s financed emissions, the bank has set specific targets either for outright emissions (in oil and gas), or intensity of emissions.


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