KUALA LUMPUR: United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (UOB Malaysia) has approved RM6 billion in sustainable finance, partly driven by its two financing frameworks designed specifically to help real estate players make the switch to net zero emissions.

The first is the Sustainable Finance Framework for green building developers and owners to develop green real estate, while the second is the Smart City Sustainable Financing Framework to support companies that contribute towards the creation of sustainable and smart cities.

According to UOB Malaysia’s executive director and chief executive officer, Ng Wei Wei, the frameworks were developed to help building owners and other players in the building value chain.

“We believe that a sectoral approach is more effective as it addresses each sector’s unique characteristics and challenges,” she said in her opening address at the International Green Build Conference 2023 here today.

Sustainable built environments were the main topic of the one-day conference, which was organised jointly by Green Real Estate (GreenRE) and the Rehda Institute.

The conference’s theme, “Realising Low Carbon Real Estate,” included international speakers and business leaders.

Ng called on building owners to participate in the bank’s U-Energy programme and save 50 gigawatt hours between now and December 31, 2024.

According to her, this programme aids in the implementation of energy efficiency projects in new developments and the retrofitting of existing buildings by real estate players and building owners.

GreenRE chairman Datuk Seri FD Iskandar urged for the long-delayed Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act to be passed in order to promote demand-side energy reduction.

He said that GreenRE has also proposed that suppliers and equipment makers be required to reveal their emissions factors, especially for steel and concrete.

FD Iskandar said GreenRE is prepared to collaborate with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change (NRECC) to drive these initiatives through its certification framework.

In Malaysia, he said, there are more than 400 green projects that have been registered, totaling more than 400 million square feet of space.

“Our reach has also expanded globally with two international projects,” he said.

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