Siam Commercial Bank injects over 52 billion baht in sustainable loans in first nine months, spearheading Thailand's business sector toward Net Zero transition
Siam Commercial Bank stresses that sustainability is not merely a choice, but rather a vital path for survival requiring collective commitment. Its commendable success in championing sustainable finance, surpassing 52 billion baht in the first three quarters, or 52% of its 100-billion-baht target by 2025, is a testament to collaborative efforts between the bank and its diverse customer base dedicated to fostering positive change in Thailand. Looking forward, the bank is dedicated to aligning internal operations with Net Zero by 2030 and advocating for societal change, aiming for a sustainable future for both the bank and society.
Mr. Kris Chantanotoke, Chief Executive Officer of Siam Commercial Bank, highlighted the bank's enduring partnership with the Thai community spanning over 116 years. The bank's core commitment lies in nurturing an organization rooted in sustainability, underpinned by principles of robust governance and a keen awareness of generating value for the organization, customers, and society. With the global challenge of climate change looming, the current business focus underscores the critical integration of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) policies into business strategies to fortify capability and sustain growth. The overarching operational objective is to achieve Net Zero within the bank's internal operations by 2030 and extend this commitment to lending and investments by 2050. This trajectory emphasizes propelling the bank, its customers, and society toward sustainable business practices and economic growth while safeguarding the environment. This roadmap is structured upon three guiding principles:
1) Adjusting internal operations to achieve Net Zero by 2030: The Bank has initiated gradual changes in energy consumption at its headquarters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These changes involve strategies such as reducing energy usage in buildings by 10-15% through improved lighting, transitioning to LED bulbs, enhancing heat transfer systems for buildings, planning the installation of solar cells at the Bank’s head office, replacing over 3,000 air conditioners with environmentally friendly R32 refrigerant, and transitioning the entire vehicle fleet to 100% electrical operation. The completion of these operations is anticipated to reach 100% by 2028.
2) Supporting customers with sustainable financial products for Net Zero by 2050: The Bank aims to facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy for all customer segments by providing a range of sustainable finance solutions. The objective is to extend loans and investments of 100 billion baht by 2025 while imparting knowledge and fostering an understanding of organizational adjustments needed for customers to adapt to a sustainable future collectively.
3) Driving societal change: The Bank shares knowledge with business customers, spanning large corporations and SMEs, to aid their transition toward sustainability. More than 500 companies have shown interest in engaging in social assistance projects promoting social and environmental sustainability. Over the last 30 years, this has included over 14 significant initiatives, such as reforestation and conservation projects, water resource procurement projects, youth development, and community projects. The focus remains on creating awareness within both the business and public sectors about the significance of environmental consciousness and sustainability. The aim is to unify the Thai community's perspective on collectively addressing these matters.
Mr. Kris emphasized, "The Bank is ramping up efforts to raise customer awareness about climate change impacts and business opportunities through seminars and knowledge-sharing courses. This includes collaborating with experienced partners and specialists to disseminate best practices. Notably, large corporations, SMEs, and retail customers are aligning their strategies with greenhouse gas reduction goals. In the first 9 months of this year, loans and investments for sustainability reached 52 billion baht, surpassing the annual target of 30 billion baht and achieving half of the three-year goal set for 2025."
"The financial support of 52 billion baht in the initial 9 months of 2023 encompassed all customer segments, spanning more than 11 vital industries in the country, including tourism, energy, and manufacturing. Special focus was directed towards projects transitioning to alternative energy (12.6 billion baht), electric vehicle initiatives (over 10 billion baht), and sustainability-linked loans (over 26.1 billion baht), catering to SMEs, SSMEs, and individual customers (more than 3 billion baht)."
"Mr. Kris concluded by asserting, “As a financial institution, Siam Commercial Bank is ready to lead the country in promoting financial sustainability across all customer levels. This commitment aligns with steering the nation and the world towards the Net Zero objective, mitigating various risks and disseminating essential knowledge to integrate sustainability practices into business strategies for collective sustainable growth."