The Business Times

OCBC joins Net-Zero Banking Alliance, to announce targets by H1 2023

Michelle Zhu
Published Tue, Oct 25, 2022 · 12:02 PM

OCBC has become a signatory to the United Nations-convened Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), which now has 119 member banks across 41 countries to represent close to 40 per cent of global banking assets amounting to US$70 trillion.

In a press statement on Tuesday (Oct 25), the bank said it has begun developing a systematic plan to achieve net zero by 2050. It also aims to unveil sectoral financed emission targets by the first half of 2023.

The move comes as part of OCBC’s commitment to working with industry peers, customers and policymakers to transition to a low-carbon world, it said.

As a signatory of the NZBA, the bank has committed to transitioning its operational and attributable GHG (greenhouse gas) from its lending and investment portfolios to align with pathways to net-zero by 2050 or sooner.

It will set 2030 targets as well as a 2050 target within 18 months of joining, with intermediary targets to be set every five years from 2030 onwards.

The bank said it will also take a robust approach to the role of offsets in transition plans. This is in addition to annually publishing its absolute emissions and emissions intensity in line with best practices, and within a year of setting targets, as well as disclosing its progress against a board-level reviewed transition strategy.

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OCBC group chief executive Helen Wong described the transition to net-zero carbon emissions for the bank’s customers in key sectors as a “mammoth” task.

“Customers, industry peers and policymakers must all collaborate if a sustainable low-carbon world is to be realised at speed: It must be ‘all hands-on deck’,” she said.

“For our part, joining the alliance reflects our commitment as a group to achieving net zero not just in our operations but also in our lending and investments businesses. We want to help bring about progress that is measurable and broad-based; it should gain momentum over time and be irreversible.”

The NZBA was launched by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative in April 2021. DBS signed up in October 2021, making it the first Singaporean bank and among the first 100 banks globally to join the alliance. 

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