With Singapore having designated 2018 as the Year of Climate Action, organisations including Henkel have spoken up to show their support for the cause.
More recently, on 13 March, in support Singapore's Year of Climate Action, Citi Singapore has submitted its pledge to the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR). The pledge will see Citi contributing to Singapore's Sustainable Future goals by supporting and implementing green initiatives to combat climate change.
In-line with the bank's mission and value proposition to enable growth and progress for its clients and the communities in which it operates, Citi has set specific goals globally within its sustainable progress strategy framework based on three key pillars:
- Environmental finance - guiding Citi in lending, investing and facilitating business activities that focus on environmental and climate change solutions globally.
- Environmental and social risk management - allowing Citi to manage, in partnership with its clients, environmental and social risks and impacts that are associated with its products and services.
- Operations and Supply Chain - enabling Citi to better manage its global facilities and supply chain to minimise direct impact, reduce costs and increase efficiency as well as share and implement best practices.
On the aspect of environmental finance, Citi has committed to lending, investing and facilitating US$100 billion over 10 years from 2014 to 2023 to activities focused on environmental solutions and reducing the impacts of climate change globally. In addition, Citi has earmarked 2020 as the year for its global operations to be 100% powered or be carbon neutral by renewable energy.
Key highlights of the green initiatives and solutions Citi has planned include:
Reducing energy usage Non-critical lighting will be turned off by 7.30pm and air-conditioning by 7pm on weekdays at Asia Square Tower and Changi Citi Service Centre. Occupancy sensors will be activated in the walkways, meeting rooms, pantries and washrooms. All electronic appliances are energy-efficient products, and all equipment requiring end-of-life replacement will be replaced with energy efficient models.
Designating April as the "Earth Month" Starting from 2 April 2018, lighting in non-critical work space areas will be turned off during lunch from 12 to 2pm at Changi Citi Service Centre as an extension of Citi's support for Earth Day on 22 April. By the end of April, the "edible rooftop garden" project that turns part of the roof area of Changi Citi Service Centre building into a garden for edible fruits and vegetation will be launched.
Forming a green/sustainability committee Comprising representatives from different business functions, the committee will be tasked with the sustained engagement and education of Citi employees around climate action, especially around recycling efforts to utilise the existing recycling bins on every floor at Asia Square Tower and Changi Citi Service Centre.
In Singapore, Citi's environmental footprint goals for 2018 are 5% reduction in energy use, 2% reduction in water use and 2% reduction in waste, from 2017.
Even prior to making the pledge, Citi Singapore had already introduced various initiatives to encourage energy efficiency. These include:
- Replacing the lighted signage logo at the top of Asia Square Tower building with more energy efficient LEDs, allowing the bank to save approximately 15,000 kilowatt hours every year.
- Harvesting rainwater at its Changi Citi Service Centre to be used for watering all the plants in the building, since 2009. This has saved an estimate of 1,800,000 litres of water each year.
- Maintaining 100% LEED certification at Citi's main office buildings and office space at Asia Square Tower and Changi Citi Service Centre.
These concerted efforts epitomize Citi's dedication and determination to contribute to a more Sustainable Future for Singapore.
Speaking at Citi Singapore's annual International Women's Day celebration where the pledge was announced, Amol Gupte, head of ASEAN and CEO of Citi Singapore, said "Climate change is one of the most critical challenges facing businesses around the world today. At Citi, we have set specific goals to champion progress in sustainability and to advance environmental and social causes for the betterment of our future. We are delighted to be extending our global efforts to Singapore and look forward to playing a part in this important national agenda."
The International Women's Day celebration, themed "Driving Progress in Sustainability" was held on 13 March. The event was graced by Dr. Amy Khor, senior minister of state for health and the environment and water resources as the guest-of-honour, and attended by more than 140 of the Citi's top-tier clients and senior executives.
In her opening speech for the event, Dr. Khor congratulated Citi for making the pledge, saying: "These goals and efforts not only support Citi's global commitments and aspirations, but also demonstrate the willingness of companies in the financial sector to take urgent action in face of the existential threat of climate change."
Dr. Khor added that financial institutions play a key role in the government's efforts to engage businesses in climate action.
Singapore has designated 2018 as the Year of Climate Action to raise national consciousness around the need to take individual and collective action to fight climate change and build a more sustainable Singapore, while fulfilling the country's international commitment to cut emissions intensity.
In Budget 2018, the government announced a plan to impose a carbon tax (S$5 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions) on businesses from 2019.
Photo / Citi Singapore