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CDL secures $400 mil sustainability-linked loan from DBS with TNFD-aligned targets, the first of its kind

Jovi Ho
Jovi Ho • 3 min read
CDL secures $400 mil sustainability-linked loan from DBS with TNFD-aligned targets, the first of its kind
Republic Plaza, CDL's flagship commercial building in Singapore's Central Business District. Photo: CDL
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City Developments Limited (CDL) C09 -

has secured a $400 million sustainability-linked loan (SLL) from DBS Bank D05 - , with nature conservation targets aligned with the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures’ (TNFD) recommendations. 

The SLL is the first of its kind and incorporates specific performance targets related to biodiversity conservation, waste management and water efficiency. According to a June 25 announcement, the proceeds will be used for general corporate funding and working capital purposes, including the redevelopment of CDL’s existing assets. 

In March, CDL became the first company in Singapore to publish TNFD-aligned disclosures. CDL’s latest sustainability report includes TNFD disclosures aligned with Target 15 of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, which was adopted in December 2022 at COP15. 

Yiong Yim Ming, group chief financial officer, CDL, says robust sustainability reporting can channel capital to expedite green building and climate action. “We are pleased to partner with DBS in this first-of-its-kind financial solution aligned with our nature-specific climate action targets.”

Since 2017, CDL has secured over $8 billion in sustainable financing to develop smarter, greener and more nature- and climate-friendly infrastructure, says Yiong. “We aim to enhance our triple bottomline through sustainable development, achieve our net-zero ambitions and align finance with sustainability performance through innovative capital management initiatives.” 

At least four other local firms have committed to start making nature-related disclosures by end-2025; they are: United Overseas Bank U11 -

(UOB), Olam Agri, consultancy firm Oceonomy and Olam Food Ingredients (ofi).

See also: CDL first to obtain OCBC's 1.5°C loan with three-year GBP200 mil sustainability-linked facility

The TNFD was established in June 2021 with the support of G20 and G7 governments. The TNFD published its corporate reporting recommendations on nature-related issues in September 2023 after a two-year process led by the Taskforce’s 40 members and supported by 20 knowledge partners.

The TNFD has published its 14 disclosure recommendations — along with a guidance document — for organisations to report and act on evolving nature-related dependencies, impacts, risks and opportunities. These “drivers of nature change” include climate change, pollution and use of land, freshwater and ocean, among others. 

CDL has embraced ESG integration into its business operations since 1995. In 2015, the company established a climate change policy and in 2017, it published a set of climate-related targets to mitigate its environmental impact.

See also: CDL, UOB among 320 organisations that pledge to make nature-related disclosures by FY2025

CDL was the first real estate developer in Singapore and the first real estate conglomerate in Southeast Asia to sign the WorldGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment in 2021. 

CDL says it has a “long-standing partnership” with DBS to advance the sustainability agenda in Singapore. In 2017, DBS supported CDL to launch the first green bond by a Singapore company. In 2019, CDL pioneered its first sustainability-linked loan with DBS, securing a discount on the SDG Innovation Loan provided for piloting DigiHUB, an in-house digital platform to raise building management efficiency. 

Earlier this year, DBS was named the financial partner for CDL’s SME Supplier Queen Bee Programme, which aims to help SMEs decarbonise and manage their Scope 3 emissions through enhanced carbon accounting and reporting.

Chew Chong Lim, group head of real estate in DBS’s Institutional Banking Group, says it is essential to integrate considerations around biodiversity and ecosystem preservation into financial solutions. “This first-of-its-kind sustainability-linked loan, aligned with CDL’s TNFD-related targets, demonstrates our commitment to exploring new frontiers in the ESG space, and helping to build a future where economic growth and ecological stewardship go hand in hand.”

As at 11.30am, shares in CDL are trading flat at $5.35; while shares in DBS are trading 10 cents higher, or 0.28% up, at $35.64.

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