UOB launches SAGE programme to support SME sustainability

SME Banking
14/06/2024 News

UOB and Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) have introduced the Sustainability-Linked Advisory, Grants, and Enablers (SAGE) Programme, designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt sustainable practices. This initiative simplifies sustainability-linked financing for SMEs by offering preferential loan rates from UOB for those meeting pre-agreed sustainability performance targets (SPTs).

The SAGE Programme partners with CDP, Convene ESG, M1, Paia Consulting, PwC Singapore, and TÜV SÜD, providing SMEs with a unified programme featuring pre-set SPTs. This approach addresses challenges identified in a UOB survey, which found only 40% of businesses had adopted sustainability practices due to increased costs, insufficient knowledge, and lack of manpower.

Participants can select from three predefined, sector-specific SPTs to obtain financing from UOB. These targets, validated by Environmental Resources Management (S) Pte Ltd, align with globally recognized Sustainability-Linked Loan Principles. The SPTs focus on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, certifying management systems, and improving ESG ratings.

SMEs in Singapore benefit from preferential pricing through UOB’s sustainability partners and Enterprise Singapore support, covering up to 85% of costs for ESG digital platforms, advisory services, GHG inventory, ISO management system certification, and enhanced ESG performance disclosures.

Ms. Lim Lay Wah, Group Head of Sector Solutions Group & Financial Institutions Group at UOB, said, “The SAGE Programme represents an industry-first collaboration with leading partners, providing SMEs a seamless experience in implementing sustainability initiatives. This one-stop access connects them to a network of sustainability service partners to advance their green transition.”

Geoffrey Yeo, Assistant Managing Director of Enterprise Singapore, added, “With the growing focus on net zero, sustainability is essential for businesses. This programme with UOB offers Singapore enterprises clear targets and resources to enhance their sustainability capabilities. We encourage companies to utilize this programme to improve sustainability performance and remain competitive.”

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