CIMB Bank Berhad and CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad (collectively “CIMB” or “the Bank”) have launched CIMB GreenBizReady, a one-stop sustainability solution for Malaysian small and medium enterprises (‘SME”) looking to start and progress on their sustainability journey. With an allocation of RM250 million, SMEs will be empowered through financial solutions and incentives such as sustainability-linked financing benefits, access to sustainability service providers, training and capacity building, certification and advisory services, and business matching with support from industry leaders and government agencies.
Through GreenBizReady, CIMB hopes to catalyse the transition of Malaysian SMEs towards the green economy, in line with the Malaysian Government’s aim of advancing the sustainability agenda as part of a holistic and inclusive economic approach. GreenBizReady will provide SMEs with a competitive advantage by equipping them with practical knowledge and tools to incorporate economic, environmental and social (“EES”) considerations into their business, helping them become sustainability-ready for long-term business resilience. It will also help SMEs to tap into the support and incentives provided by various Government agencies that are tasked with accelerating the adoption of the green economy.
Ahmad Shahriman Mohd Shariff, CEO of CIMB Islamic said, “CIMB’s GreenBizReady solution will enable SMEs to embark on their transition towards sustainability in line with global standards and best practices. Last year, CIMB engaged around 500 SMEs through various initiatives, and a common theme that has emerged is the growing interest in sustainable business. In collaboration with our strategic associates, GreenBizReady was developed as a comprehensive solution to help SMEs incorporate EES elements into their business, reduce their carbon footprint and create a positive impact with an eye on long-term considerations. This is also aligned with Bank Negara Malaysia’s value-based intermediation (“VBI”) initiative, of which CIMB Islamic is a strong proponent, and a founding member of the VBI community of practitioners.”
“Over time, as participating SMEs progress on their respective sustainability journeys and achieve certain milestones, they will then be able to enjoy the benefits of being sustainability-linked business including wider product marketability, potential cost saving, lower carbon footprint and potential sustainability-linked financing benefits. One of CIMB’s strategic themes under our Forward23+ strategy is to be a purpose-driven organisation to advance customers and society. Accordingly, we will continue to provide innovative offerings such as GreenBizReady to ensure our customers receive the best solutions to fulfill their sustainability aspirations for the benefit of people, planet and profit,” Ahmad Shahriman added.
As evidenced by the adverse impact of the global pandemic and severe weather events related to climate change, there is an urgent need for businesses of all sizes to take EES considerations seriously. Being a founding member of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Responsible Banking and a signatory of the Collective Commitment on Climate Action (CCCA), CIMB takes a long-term view on its business to build a sustainable future for itself as well as its strategic associates in growth. In recent years, shareholders, regulators, investors and stakeholders have increasingly taken a more active approach such as through shareholder resolutions and regulations to compel companies to have fair labour practices, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase diversity and inclusion, among others.
Among the organisations and government agencies who will be working with CIMB as part of GreenBizReady are Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre (MGTC), Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE),TNBX Sdn Bhd, Impacto Sdn Bhd, SIRIM Berhad, Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN), OpenSys Technologies Sdn Bhd (buySolar), Aerodyne Group, Mentari Alam EKO (M) Sdn Bhd, Sols Energy Sdn Bhd and Revotech Electrical Sdn Bhd.
The support of CIMB’s strategic associates will enable SMEs to participate in programmes and activities via online platforms while also enjoying complimentary mentorship sessions on a regular basis. About 10 webinars have been planned in 2021 and CIMB aims to have up to 50 SMEs in each session. After completing each session, SMEs will have a designated contact person to help them plan the next steps of their sustainability journey by assessing their readiness and providing recommendations for implementation.
GreenBizReady is the latest edition to CIMB BizReady offering after it launched HalalBizReady in 2019 and MicroBizReady in 2020. These propositions aim to empower SMEs with holistic solutions specific to their business aspirations.