Standard Chartered commits $75bn towards SDGs

standard chartered bank

Standard Chartered Bank on Thursday announced a $75 billion as support for its clients as they transition to a low carbon economy as part of its sustainability aspirations.

Under the deal, by the end of 2024, the bank commits to providing $40bn of project financing services for infrastructure that promotes sustainable development; and providing $35bn of project financing services, M&A advisory and debt structuring services for solar and wind renewables and clean tech projects.

According to a news report circulated by the African Press Organisation (APO) Group underpinning the aspirations, the bank also intends to reduce its emissions across its global properties by 2030.

With an office footprint spanning 60 countries, including many large emerging markets, the bank will achieve net zero emissions by only sourcing energy from renewable sources and continuing to pursue energy efficiency measures across its 12 million square feet of property.

Commenting on the financing initiative, the bank’s Group Head, Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing, Tracey McDermott, said: “Over the past 18 months, we have made series of commitments which are all geared towards supporting the Paris Agreement on climate change and the transition to a cleaner, greener and fairer economy.

“We know that the investment required cannot be provided by governments and NGOs alone, so it is critical that investors embrace the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at pace and scale.

“Our unique footprint means we are well placed to help get finance to where it matters most. That is why, as well as ceasing support for clients who generate more than 10 per cent of earnings from thermal coal by 2030, we also have a renewed target for financing and facilitating $35bn of clean technology and renewables, and $40bn of sustainable infrastructure.”

In his remarks, the bank’s Regional CEO for Africa and the Middle East, Sunil Kaushal, said, “It is estimated that emerging markets need an annual $2.5tn investment to meet the SDG targets by 2030.

He explained that: “A bulk of this investment will need to be focused on Africa and the Middle East, which is home to some of the key sustainable development opportunities. The financing gap in Arab countries has been estimated to be over $100bn annually. While in Africa this figure stands between $500bn and $1.2tn, for the goals to be met by 2030, investors and banks need to coordinate and connect capital to promote sustainable development.”

“With our unique footprint into emerging and developing markets, we can use our banking knowledge, people and products to catalyse capital to where it matters most for SDG financing.”

He added that, “The Africa and Middle East region is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies, though we also face some of the world’s most pressing environmental and social issues. Our ability to solve the issues here will have tremendous impact on our 2030 ambition to meet global SDGs.”

Standard Chartered has a broad range of sustainable finance product offerings that can be deployed to help clients pivot their businesses towards more sustainable models.

In October, 2018, it created the Sustainable Finance team and has since launched sustainable deposit products in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and New York; plus, a EUR500m Sustainability Bond, the proceeds of which will be used to provide finance in areas aligned with the SDGs – including clean energy projects, smaller business lending and microfinance loans.

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