Hong Leong Bank recently hosted its inaugural virtual ‘Sustainability Roundtable’ as a platform to engage its SME and Corporate clients on a sustainability transformation conversation.
The Bank engaged with industry stakeholders including related associations and organisations as well as companies who have embarked on sustainability transformation to share and discuss the benefits and challenges in sustainability practices for the benefits of its clients.
Yow Kuan Tuck, Managing Director for Business & Corporate Banking of HLB shared that with the increasing pressure for businesses to respond to the broad range of sustainability threats and risks they face, it is important that they embark on a transformation towards sustainability to find new opportunities and avenues to protect and sustain the future of their business.
“At HLB, sustainability is a priority to us and we want to empower our clients to not only adopt and assimilate ESG considerations as part and parcel of their business strategies and operations, but also help them to innovate and turn their sustainability risks into opportunities. We recognise that moving towards sustainability is a big change for many of our clients and as such they will require partners to help in their sustainability transformation – from the right financing from the Bank to knowledge of best practices from relevant authorities and leading companies in their industries.
HLB will organise more roundtable sessions in partnership with relevant trade associations, authorities and leaders from industries in manufacturing of rubber, chemicals, metals, forestry, agriculture, palm oil, and mining or quarrying, in the pipeline throughout the rest of the year,” added Yow.
The Bank strengthened its own sustainability practices by launching its Business & Corporate Banking ESG Framework last September. The Framework serves as a foundation to help the Bank incorporate ESG considerations in its credit evaluation of its SME and Corporate customers, underlining its efforts towards building a vibrant and sustainable ecosystem for businesses, communities and the environment.
The engagement session follows the Framework’s plans to promote the adoption of sustainable business strategies and practices amongst customers.
The Bank has also started supporting green sectors, which is evident in the Bank’s approval of RM1 billion in financing for renewable energy and energy efficiency related projects and investments since January 2019, including an allocation for SMEs looking to venture into renewable energy, with solar, biogas and small hydropower.