DBS Bank has raised its sustainable finance target to $50 billion by 2024 in a bid to help customers incorporate sustainable business practices into their overall business strategy.

As more companies seek to advance their corporate sustainability agenda through sustainable financing, the raised target comes at an opportune time.

DBS’s group head of institutional banking, Tan Su Shan, says that the world at this time has enabled companies to explore an expanding range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges as well as integrate the social and sustainability agenda into their corporate strategy and business practices.

“We thought our earlier target of $20 billion for renewable and other green financing would be a stretch and were greatly heartened at the level of customer interest in moving from business-as-usual mode to adopting sustainability in their strategies,” she says.

“Since Covid-19 hit, many companies have actually doubled down on their ESG commitments and we saw a marked increase in the number of corporate interest in sustainable financing,” she adds.

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In a bid to encourage companies to transition to a low-carbon economy, DBS has offered transition financing to companies that want to take incremental steps towards reducing their carbon footprint, making it the first bank in Singapore to do so.

Tan adds that increasingly, stakeholders also want to understand and measure the value companies create beyond profits and ESG considerations are very much at the forefront now. 

“To remain relevant, companies will need to balance profits with meeting the needs of society. At DBS, being purpose-driven is in our DNA. We want to do our part to help address key areas of environmental and social concerns and support Singapore in its ambition to be a green finance hub,” she says.

As at 10.34am, shares in DBS are trading 14 cents higher or 0.6% up at $25.34.