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Asia Bank OCBC Names Group Chief Sustainability Officer: 4 Things To Know

July 25, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

OCBC (Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp), one of Singapore's largest banks, has named Mike Ng as its first group chief sustainability officer (CSO). The move comes amid multiple sustainability milestones and net-zero strategy announcements from the Asia-focused bank.

Here are four things to know about Ng and OCBC's sustainability strategy.

1. Business Scope and Scale: OCBC, based in Singapore, is the longest established Singapore bank, formed in 1932 from the merger of three local banks, the oldest of which was founded in 1912. The company's key markets include Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Greater China. It has more than 570 branches and offices across 19 countries and regions. OCBC has more than 16,000 employees listed on LinkedIn, and total headcount is somewhere around 30,000 employees, according to Wikipedia.

2. Mike Ng's Sustainability Expertise and Experience: Ng previously was managing director, head of sustainability office, global wholesale banking at OCBC since June 2022. Earlier, he was managing director, head of structured finance and sustainable finance from 2010 until June 2022. Many of OCBC's sustainability milestones and goals (listed in point 3 below) involved Ng's leadership efforts and/or influence.

3. OCBC's Sustainability Strategy and Progress: OCBC set up the Board Sustainability Committee in February 2023 to step up efforts in its oversight of ESG issues. And in May 2023, OCBC announced decarbonization targets for six sectors and the key actions needed to achieve Net Zero in its financed emissions by 2050. OCBC is well on track to cross the S$50 billion mark in committed sustainable finance in 2023, two years ahead of schedule in hitting the target of ‘S$50 billion by 2025’, the company asserts. OCBC in 2020 launched a structured SME Sustainable Financing Framework to help small and midsize enterprise (SME) customers in their net-zero transition. Moreover, OCBC in 2019 commitment to cease financing for new coal-fired power plants.

Helen Wong, group CEO, OCBC

4. Executive Perspectives: In a statement about Ng's new role, OCBC Group CEO Helen Wong said: “The diversified nature and size of the OCBC Group, coupled with the catalyst role that we play in the society, required us to curate the role of a Chief Sustainability Officer differently from other organisations. OCBC has always been very strong in community development and governance. In recent years, we have stepped up our efforts in climate actions. Therefore, this new role requires an individual to have a strong sense of business acumen as well as deep expertise not just in sustainability and climate change but also in financial products and services. Mike is thus a natural fit. He is highly regarded as a sustainable finance veteran with an innovative and forward-looking mind. Throughout his career in OCBC, he has always pushed for greater heights in achieving excellence. I have no doubt that he will be able to replicate the success that he has achieved so far in his new role as the Group Chief Sustainability Officer.”

In a statement on LinkedIn about his new role, Ng wrote: "Sustainability has long been at the heart of OCBC's business, anchored on our purpose and values. I'm honoured and humbled to be given this opportunity to take on this new role and look forward to working alongside my friends and colleagues in various industries to further accelerate our sustainability efforts."

OCBC Group Chief Sustainability Officer: Why Technology Partners Should Care

By 2027, 25% of Global 2000 companies will have assigned a chief sustainability officer (CSO) responsible for meeting their organization’s ESG goals and making ESG-related IT purchasing decisions, according to IDC.

Technology partners need to extend their sales, marketing, engagement and support strategies to successfully fulfill those CSO needs, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

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