Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Our Approach to Sustainability

We recognise that sustainability is integral to the successful execution of our corporate strategy. As we deepen our presence in our core markets, this deep conviction underpins and defines the way we conduct our business activities and has become embedded within the ethos of the organisation.

  • Governance Structure

A robust governance structure is of paramount importance to the achievement of our sustainability commitments. Our Board takes our environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into careful consideration when formulating OCBC’s strategy. Together with the Sustainability Council, the Board oversees sustainability efforts across the Group which are managed and implemented by the Sustainability Working Group.

  • Sustainability Efforts and Performance

Our sustainability efforts and performance are documented in our Sustainability Report and in this section of our website. For a comprehensive understanding of our sustainability efforts, we recommend reading both the Report and our additional disclosures on our Responsible Financing approach as well as how we engage our customers , communities , employees and the environment.

Our Sustainability Report is prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards – Core Option. The Report contains the policies, practices, performance and targets relating to our material ESG factors.

We believe in the importance of making continuous progress towards sustainability, and we urge our stakeholders to share our commitment towards improving our ESG performance in the markets in which we operate.

We welcome your feedback and suggestions at corpcomms@ocbc.com

Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, are the core elements of a 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which is fully negotiated by United Nations member states. The Agenda provides a global framework that addresses a broad range of issues including the eradication of poverty and hunger, empowering women and girls, improving access to education, promoting sustainable economic growth and employment, protecting natural resources, as well as strengthening governance and institutions.

As a trusted financial institution that values and forges enduring relationships with our stakeholders, we recognise the important role we play in promoting long-term sustainable development. We have chosen to focus on five SDGs where we believe we can make meaningful contributions, taking into consideration our business and the needs of the core markets we operate in:

Our Sustainability Report sets out our Sustainability Pillars and ESG factors that we have determined to be material to us. These are largely aligned with the five SDG goals that we have selected.

We contribute to building sustainable growth for the markets we operate in, including developing countries. As a provider of financing, we support economic activities and contribute towards annual economic growth which in turn promotes productive employment.

Economic growth and employment are closely related to energy. In developing countries, the energy mix used for power generation is dependent on the availability, affordability and feasibility of adopting various energy sources. In our financing of energy projects, we will continue to conduct our ESG risk assessment and selectively support the needed energy mix which makes practical sense for the local community. These energy projects include a range of fossil fuels and renewable options.

We have adopted a progressive approach to promote the transition to a low-carbon economy. We have expanded our financing of infrastructure that supply modern and sustainable energy services for all, encompassing renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean environmentally sound technologies. We are committed to promoting sustainable development and will contribute towards the progressive improvement of global resource efficiency in consumption and production, and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation.

In our operations, community engagement efforts and sustainable financing push, we will promote the actions needed to combat climate change and its impact.

As a leading financial services provider to large corporates and small and medium-sized enterprises, we also contribute to building a resilient regional and cross-border infrastructure and support sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation in the markets we operate in.

At the same time, we continue to expand access to banking, insurance and financial services. We promote healthy lives and well-being for individuals of all ages, including by availing financial risk protection to improve health coverage through our strong bancassurance business and our insurance subsidiary, Great Eastern Holdings. Great Eastern Holdings supports the Singapore government’s nation-wide health insurance schemes, including administering the ElderShield scheme, which provides basic financial protection in the event of severe disability, and Integrated Shield Plans which augment the government’s MediShield Life health insurance scheme.

As with the phased approach that we have adopted for our sustainability reporting, we will enhance our disclosure on targets and initiatives that relate to these SDGs over time.