KUALA LUMPUR – A new green financing programme by UOB Malaysia, set to enable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to transition and embrace sustainability was recently launched by the bank in collaboration with Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan Malaysia (SJPP).
According to a recent statement from UOB Malaysia, the green financing programme, known as U-Green Financing, has an allocation of RM1 billion where up to 80% of the applied loans will be guaranteed by the SJPP via its PEMULIH Government Guarantee Scheme (PGGS).
The statement added that this collaboration makes UOB Malaysia the first bank to partner with SJPP on a green financing programme.
The U-Green Financing is available to eligible SMEs and also medium-sized companies from any industries who are looking to transition into sustainable practices and to contribute to smart sustainable cities.
Eligibility is also extended to companies that are looking to develop green buildings, facilitate green trade, or contribute to a circular economy.
Apart from that, the bank is also partnering with the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI) to start an ESG workshop series for the SMEs to learn the skills for adopting ESG practices.
Ng Wei Wei, CEO of UOB Malaysia, said, “UOB Malaysia is proud to enter into this synergistic partnership with SJPP and MRANTI, which is highly complementary and crucial in supporting SMEs to adopt ESG practices. While the MRANTI workshop will assist SMEs in acquiring the necessary knowledge to embrace ESG, our partnership with SJPP will provide the financing support to help them kick-start their sustainability journey.”
“We are honoured to be the first bank to partner SJPP to launch a green financing programme for SMEs. By making green financing more accessible, we hope to encourage SMEs to adopt sustainable business practices. This will boost their ESG profile, especially if they are keen to participate and compete in the global value chain,” she added.
Meanwhile, Chen Yin Heng, Principal Officer of SJPP, said that the proposed collaboration is in line with the national goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
“SJPP, via its guarantee schemes, is committed to supporting the government’s effort to boost economic growth, especially within the SME sector. Many strategic initiatives and policies have been put in place with the aim to spur and develop business opportunities for this sector. We hope that U-Green Financing will encourage more SMEs and the mid-sized corporates to start adopting ESG practices and reduce their carbon footprints. Additionally, we are also pleased that financial institutions like UOB Malaysia and organisations like MRANTI are taking the step forward and drawing on their synergistic strengths to further support this noble aspiration,” he said.
Apart from that, Dzuleira Abu Bakar, Chief Executive Officer, MRANTI, said that the research accelerator is committed to raise ESG awareness among SMEs through workshops, roadshows and sustainability programmes.
“The ESG workshop series developed with UOB Malaysia will help businesses, especially SMEs, gain the necessary market knowledge and insights, receive advice, connect with technology players, and obtain U-Green Financing to support their transition to sustainability,” Dzuleira said.
The workshop series established with MRANTI will combine classroom teaching, workshops with real-life case studies, and practical coaching to offer participants insights into ESG best practices. It covers topics such as Introduction to Sustainability for Businesses, ESG Materiality Identification, Green Technology Management, Waste Management, and Social Impact Strategy.
Upon completion, participants will receive a certificate by MRANTI including endorsements by its approved training partners. This will enable the participants to apply their knowledge to advance their learning in other formal ESG courses.