Posted on 20 October 2016
WWF-Myanmar and CB bank held a seminar on 16th August 2016 which demonstrated how bank lending can have a direct positive or negative impact on the environment.
21 August 2016, Yangon:
WWF-Myanmar and CB bank held a seminar on 16th August 2016 which demonstrated how bank lending can have a direct positive or negative impact on the environment. Issues, such as deforestation, climate change and flooding were discussed and how they impacted economic growth, livelihoods of communities and bank profits. The aim of the seminar was to develop Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Policy awareness in Myanmar's banking sector, and demonstrate the business case for lending towards development which is sustainable.
"We weren't aware how a bank contributes to environmental conservation before," a participant said. “It will be very valuable if there are more seminars for Myanmar banking sector, to increase understanding of ESG practices and how we can contribute to the sustainable economic growth of our country.”
Globally, the banking and finance system is changing as customers and bank regulators demanding banks contribute to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In response, many banks across the world are developing and implementing ESG policies which allow banks to screen business opportunities through an additional ESG lens.
“Having a sound ESG policy can protect banks from many emerging risks and create a market for new innovative products.” said Gaurav Gupta, the Sustainable Business Manager, WWF-Myanmar “WWF Myanmar stands ready to support committed banks to start their ESG Journey.”
Sixty-five CB Bank management staff took part in the seminar and professors from the Department of Commerce, Yangon University of Economics, were also present. All participants agreed that the seminar helped them understand the environmental and social impacts of investing and lending in various high-risk sectors.
WWF will continue collaborating with CB bank and will reach out to more banks to raise awareness and develop industry level ESG standards.