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Hong Leong Bank Looks to Revitalize the Circular Economy by Developing Business Solutions with Sustainability Changemakers

PRNewswire May 15, 2024

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, May 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Aligned with its long-term commitment to drive the national transition towards a low-carbon economy, Hong Leong Bank (“HLB” or the “Bank”) is looking to co-create innovative business solutions with visionary sustainability changemakers, with the goal of revitalizing and contributing towards the circular economy. Through its HLB LaunchPad program, which is now back for its 6th edition, the Bank is inviting impact organizations and startups to pitch their out-of-the-box ideas focused on the circular economy, while providing them with the opportunity to be further developed in collaboration with HLB.

Hong Leong Bank invites sustainability changemakers, entrepreneurs and startups to pitch innovative ideas on the circular economy at its 6th HLB LaunchPad program

Alongside the country’s increased focus on circular economy initiatives, HLB has embraced the theme “Circular Economy Solutions for a More Sustainable Tomorrow” for this year’s HLB LaunchPad program. The circular economy is an economic system that reduces waste and maximizes resources by reusing, recycling, and regenerating materials and products, with the goal of retaining materials at their peak usability at all times while minimizing environmental effect. Based on this, there are three challenge statements that organizations can choose to tackle – namely ‘Enhancing Green Building & Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions’, ‘Reimagining How Goods are Produced for SMEs’, and ‘Exploring Innovative Solutions in Waste Management’.

Kevin Lam, Group Managing Director and CEO of HLB commented on the Bank’s long-standing commitment to marrying environmental sustainability with economic viability.

“As a financial institution with a deep-rooted entrepreneurial heritage, we are constantly committed to future-proofing our businesses by ensuring that our operations are both economically competitive and climate resilient. This extends to us implementing various sustainability-focused practices and initiatives in our internal and external proceedings, from reducing our operational carbon emissions by 21% since FY2019, to providing green financing to businesses and introducing an ESG Assessment Framework for our business banking customers.

Our constant dedication to helping businesses achieve carbon-neutrality culminates in our commitment to reinforcing the circular economy, ensuring that sustainable businesses receive the support and guidance needed to integrate them into the wider ecosystem. Through programs like HLB LaunchPad, we hope to unearth new ideas and initiatives which can drive the sustainability agenda even further, embedding low-carbon businesses into the national economic landscape.”

Over the years, HLB has consistently supported businesses in adopting environmentally-conscious practices in their operations. A prime example of this is the Bank providing guidance and support to sustainability-focused social enterprises such as Refiller Mobile and Green Hero through HLB Jumpstart. This is where the Bank provides support such as advisory, marketing expertise, and data analysis services to social enterprises, enabling them to be economically-resilient and grow their businesses. HLB has also organized several Sustainability Roundtables in collaboration with the Small and Medium Enterprises Association (SAMENTA), equipping its SME customers and partners with industry-level insights and guidance on integrating ESG considerations into their operations.

Alice Goh, HLB’s Head of Payments, Partnerships and Fintech Ecosystems shared that the Bank’s emphasis on the circular economy aligns with the Bank’s commitment to impactful sustainability action, in its pursuit of being Here for the Long Term.

“The circular economy is the fastest-growing sustainability policy globally, as it presents a powerful solution to the way we consume, use, and manage resources. Our current economic model, often referred to as the “take-make-dispose” system, is fundamentally unsustainable. This linear approach is leading to a concerning depletion of resources and increased waste generation, which the impact on our planet is undeniable. At HLB, we are firmly committed to building a more sustainable future, and we hope to empower entrepreneurs and startups to develop solutions that address the limitations of the linear system, so we can create a more responsible and resilient future for generations to come.”

Businesses participating in HLB LaunchPad will have the opportunity to be mentored by the Bank’s top executives and senior management, alongside esteemed industry leaders from the startup ecosystem, including MDEC, MBAN and Cradle/MyStartup. The top three winners will stand a chance to win cash prizes worth RM50,000 in total, get access to funding through the BNM High Tech and Green Facility and the exciting chance to pilot their solutions with HLB.

Sustainability changemakers, entrepreneurs and startups are encouraged to submit their applications for the HLB LaunchPad 2024 before 20 May 2024. This unique opportunity allows startups to gain invaluable experience, refine their solutions, and potentially forge a long-term partnership with HLB for commercialization.

To apply and learn more about HLB LaunchPad 2024, please visit  https://www.hlb.com.my/en/business-banking/hlblaunchpad.html.

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SOURCE Hong Leong Bank

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