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KB Financial to halt financing of coal-fired power plants

KB Kookmin Bank president Heo In (left), KB Financial Group Chairman Yoon Jong-kyoo and the board of directors participate in the group’s ESG committee held on Friday, Yeouido, Seoul. (KB Financial Group)
KB Kookmin Bank president Heo In (left), KB Financial Group Chairman Yoon Jong-kyoo and the board of directors participate in the group’s ESG committee held on Friday, Yeouido, Seoul. (KB Financial Group)
KB Financial Group said Sunday it has decided to halt financing construction of coal-fired power plants and to expand investment in infrastructure projects aimed at improving and conserving environment.

As part of its corporate roadmap to combat global climate change, the South Korean financial giant will no longer participate in financing of new thermal power plant construction in and out of the country, and instead, increase investment in new eco-related investment opportunities, such as green vessels and vehicles.

The group‘s key unit, KB Kookmin Bank, and 12 other subsidiaries will scale up current lending programs for renewable energy businesses as well as issuance of ESG bonds, officials said.

The decisions were made during a ESG committee meeting attended by KB Financial Group Chairman Yoon Jong-kyoo.

The intraboard meeting discusses ways to enhance the financial group’s capability in handling environmental, social and gender issues, as well as to improve transparency in its governance.

In August, KB Financial unveiled a management slogan for sustainable growth dubbed the “KB Green Way 2030.” 

Under the new slogan, KB aims to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by up to 25 percent by 2030 and increase the value of ESG products from the current 20 trillion won to 50 trillion won. 

In recognition of its ESG activities, the group has been listed on Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a global sustainability benchmark, for four consecutive years, officials added.

By Choi Jae-hee (cjh@heraldcorp.com)
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