CIMB Group Holdings Bhd recently launched RM100 million in financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to acquire and install renewable energy technology, as part of its RM15 billion SME allocation for 2019–2020, and the group’s sustainability commitment.
Among the first initiatives of this agenda is to provider smaller SMEs with 100% financing to cover the cost of solar photovoltaic systems and the installation of these on their rooftops. The financing initiative offers packages from as low as RM20,000 and up to RM1 million, and is in support of the government’s Net Energy Metering (NEM) scheme. However, SMEs need to first obtain the NEM approval from Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA), to be eligible for CIMB’s Renewable Energy Financing.
The financing initiative provides a practical solution to enable even the smaller and micro SMEs to purchase solar PV systems to save on their electricity bills, and contribute to planet earth’s well-being.
"Our planet is at a tipping point, from an environmental, economic and social (EES) perspective, and we must take action now. To that end, members of the banking and finance industry can and must leverage on our resources and network to catalyse real lasting change across these fronts, and to begin pursuing profits with a purpose,” - CIMB Group chief executive officer Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz.
CIMB's sustainability programme was launched at their two-day Cooler Earth Sustainability Summit, held on October 1 to October 2, 2019. It is CIMB's first-ever regional platform to raise awareness on social and environmental risks and opportunities within the context of business and finance in shaping a sustainable economy and was witnessed by Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin. The group mentioned that they have taken other steps to fulfill its commitment to Sustainability, a key pillar in its current growth strategy. These include launching its Group Sustainability Policy and Sustainable Financing Policy to guide decisions on operations and lending policies to ensure positive EES impact. Besides that, CIMB is one of 30 founding member banks and the only Asean banking group that helped draft the UNEP-FI’s Principles of Responsible Banking, currently supported by 130 signatory banks globally. And on September 30, 2019, CIMB also announced that it had successfully priced its US$680 million SDG bond, the proceeds of which will be channeled to various impactful sectors that serve seven of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) that CIMB Group has committed to.
SMEs encouraged to participate in NEM programme.
SMEs participating in the newly enhanced net energy metering (NEM) programme stand to enjoy better tax allowances, in addition to being able to manage their electricity costs more effectively. Under the programme, energy produced from the installed solar PV system will be consumed first, and any excess energy can be exported to TNB on a “one-on-one” offset basis. The scheme is applicable to all domestic, commercial, industrial and agricultural sectors as long as they are TNB customers.