Singapore, 17 September 2020 – The StarHub Group (“StarHub”), a leading Singapore homegrown provider of communications, information and entertainment services, announced today that its subsidiary, Malaren International Sdn. Bhd., has entered into a RM270 million sustainability-linked term loan facility agreement with CIMB Bank Berhad (“CIMB” or “the Bank”). This marks the Group’s first loan in which the interest is linked to the achievement of sustainability performance targets.
Sustainability is an integral part of StarHub’s strategy and operations. StarHub’s commitment and transformation to become a more responsible and sustainable business began in 2008. It has since implemented many sustainable and green practices across the business, including tackling electronic waste (e-waste), reducing energy and water consumption and promoting actions to address climate change while delivering world-class communications, entertainment and digital solutions to consumers as well as corporate and government clients.
Having identified e-waste as a growing issue, StarHub in 2012 spearheaded and launched its RENEW – REcyling the Nation’s Electronic Waste initiative together with like-minded industry partners. The RENEW initiative has expanded over the years to become the largest company-led voluntary e-waste recycling effort for individuals and households in Singapore. RENEW currently deploys 420 bins across the island, and as of the end of 2019, has collected over 500 tonnes of e-waste for recycling since launch. StarHub is also constantly looking for ways to optimise operations so that the business minimises its carbon emissions. Last year, the implementation of water-efficient fittings yielded 10% year-on-year reduction and the Smart Base Station Energy System improved energy efficiency by 2-4%. Closer to home, StarHub introduced a “Skip the bag” initiative across all its retail stores, where customers are encouraged not to take a bag and to ‘Go Green with StarHub’.
StarHub’s ongoing efforts in sustainability have been recognised both locally and internationally. Since 2013, StarHub had been accorded various industry awards and ranked favourably in sustainability indices, including Corporate Knights’ Global 100, Singapore Apex Corporate Sustainability Awards, Top in Asia Pacific for Equileap’s Gender Equality and Community Partnership Excellence Awards from the People's Association. StarHub is also a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact and is committed to aligning its operations and strategies with the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact while taking actions to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Dennis Chia, Chief Financial Officer of StarHub, said, “As we are driving our business to support the growth and development of new services, we are pleased to underpin our commitment in our sustainability strategy by taking up our very first sustainability-linked loan with CIMB. We look forward to more opportunities to participate in sustainability-linked financing to proactively drive a sustainable business and enhance the performance of the company.”
Gurdip Singh Sidhu, Group Chief Strategy & Design Officer, CIMB Group, said, “We are pleased to announce our very first sustainability-linked loan. This facility is especially meaningful as it brings two large organisations together in this maiden Malaysia-Singapore cross-border sustainability-linked transaction. It is a testament also to CIMB’s commitment in driving the sustainability agenda across ASEAN. Since announcing our sustainability-linked offering early this year, we are encouraged by the high levels of interest amongst clients in Malaysia as well as the region.”
To incentivise environmental transparency and performance, CIMB will grant a rebate against the loan interest based on StarHub’s performance in its annual CDP Climate Change Scores from FY2021 to FY2023. StarHub will be eligible for interest savings each year if it is able to achieve the pre-agreed annual targets on CDP Climate Change Scores. CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, is a leading global benchmark on the management of climate-related impacts, to assess responders’ progress towards environmental stewardship.
“We are cognisant of the risks and opportunities associated with climate change, as well as our multifaceted role as a financial institution in working with stakeholders to advance sustainability principles. This sustainability-linked loan is a testament to CIMB’s commitment to help clients on their respective sustainability journeys, in this case by incorporating environmental and social considerations into financing terms to drive sustainable corporate behaviour. Our aim is to encourage and enable positive developments such as climate risk mitigation and adaption, as well as financial inclusion. We hope to be able to announce more sustainability-linked loans and sustainability-linked developments with like-minded clients like StarHub in the near future,” Gurdip added.