SG • Global

Banking on making sustainability a must for everyone

OCBC group CEO talks greenwashing, saving the environment, and why sustainability must be accessible to the man in the street.

Ms Helen Wong, group chief executive of OCBC Bank, discusses the importance of making sustainability easy to adopt by everyone. ST PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR
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When she was working in China around 10 years ago – this was before the country’s clean-air campaign took off – Ms Helen Wong was hit by the acrid smell of polluted air in Beijing the moment she stepped out of the plane.

It was a far cry from her childhood, which was filled with fond memories of long hikes in the fresh air in Hong Kong with her family. OCBC Bank’s group chief executive, who is a lifelong nature lover and the first woman to head a Singapore bank, said to me: “Mankind progresses, but as we progress, we also destroy. Now we need to save and rebuild.”

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