OCBC awards $16 mil sustainability-linked loan by using ESGpedia

The deal made use of the ESGpedia platform developed by STACS, a Singapore-headquartered ESG data and tech solutions company.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) has extended a $16 million sustainability-linked loan (SLL) to textile and apparel manufacturer Ghim Li, with data collected and verified by a local fintech company.

The deal made use of the ESGpedia platform developed by STACS, a Singapore-headquartered environmental, social and governance (ESG) data and technology solutions company, the company announced on Nov 8. STACS is also a technology partner of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Project Greenprint.

SLLs are typically structured with pre-established key performance indicators or sustainability performance targets, such as lower electricity use or reduced emissions.

STACS says ESGpedia makes it easier for banks to extend SLLs to businesses more efficiently. The platform also helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) leverage digitalisation to get started on their sustainability journeys, adds the company.

STACS claims ESGpedia contains more than five million sustainability data points and 115,000 company profiles, which are overlaid and standardised by its artificial intelligence-powered engine.

ESGpedia first collected data from Ghim Li via the ESBN Asia-Pacific Green Deal digital assessment, which was then independently verified by Bureau Veritas, a certification firm and ESGpedia marketplace partner.

The streamlined process arose from the ESCAP Sustainable Business Network (ESBN) Asia-Pacific Green Deal for Businesses programme, which was launched on ESGpedia in May. It provides a digital self-assessment tool that helps companies report ESG and operational metrics and automatically calculates their emissions.

As a Silver badge achiever of the ESBN Green Deal digital assessment, Ghim Li has completed the ESBN Green Deal assessment through ESGpedia. To ensure that the data disclosed by Ghim Li and subsequent emission figures are accurate, Bureau Veritas digitally verified the data through ESGpedia. OCBC then worked with Ghim Li to set the sustainability performance targets of the SLL.

Linus Goh, head of global commercial banking, OCBC, says digitalisation is a critical enabler for businesses in their pursuit of sustainability. “We are glad to partner Ghim Li in this sustainability-linked loan, working with STACS to leverage the digital solutions on ESGpedia to make it easier to track and measure operational and emissions-related data for sustainability reporting. We believe the shift towards sustainability by SMEs and corporates will accelerate with the increased availability of digital and data-driven tools to support the transition and financing of their businesses.”

Felicia Gan, CEO of Ghim Li, says ESGpedia helps to simplify the ESG reporting process and allows for an automatic calculation of emissions. “[It] provides Ghim Li with greater insights into our current ESG profile, putting us on the same playing field as other industries so that banks have consistent data across a variety of industries and can measure our sustainability performance targets in Ghim Li’s sustainability-linked koan with OCBC.”

Benjamin Soh, managing director of STACS, says: “In order to accelerate Asia’s supply chain transition towards sustainable development, the availability of sustainable financing to SMEs and businesses plays a pivotal role. Through ESGpedia, we are delighted to have provided digital solutions to streamline and digitally facilitate the entire process of sustainable-linked financing for Ghim Li and OCBC on a one-stop platform. This will help SMEs and banks manage the increasing ESG regulatory requirements and scrutiny today.”

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