DBS sets up board sustainability committee

DBS signage at the DBS Marina Regatta dragon boat race on 2 June 2019.DBS signage at the DBS Marina Regatta dragon boat race on 2 June 2019.

DBS has established a board sustainability committee, the first for a Singapore bank, to create greater focus on the bank’s sustainability agenda, which is a key strategic initiative, Southeast Asia’s largest bank said in a filing to SGX Monday. 

“It was timely to establish a Board Sustainability Committee to oversee the complex and extensive work being done as we further weave ESG into the fabric of our business,” Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS Bank, said in the statement. 

“DBS takes our role in building a sustainable future very seriously. That is why our commitments to driving the transition to a net-zero world were made only after we had some line of sight towards a viable course of action that is constructive and impactful,” Gupta said. “This included first establishing a clear handle on our financed emissions, mapping out viable transition pathways for different industry sectors, and developing a taxonomy that guides conversations with customers in their transition.”

The board sustainability committee (BSC) will provide added oversight and governance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues including targets for responsible business practices, impact efforts and sustainable development goals, the filing said. 

In addition, the BSC will focus on climate-related matters and sustainability disclosures, the filing said.

The BSC is chaired by DBS CEO Piyush Gupta, and its members include current DBS board members Chng Kai Fong, Judy Lee and Tham Sai Choy, who all have significant experience in sustainability issues, the filing said.

DBS’ commitments on ESG include zero thermal coal exposure by 2039 and since April 2021, it has stopped onboarding new customers which have more than 25 percent of their revenue from thermal coal, with plans to lower the threshold ahead, the filing said. 

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