13/8/2018 12:00 AM
Commercial International Bank-Egypt (CIB), the country’s leading private sector bank, participated as a speaker in various sessions at the “Forum on Green Banking: the Road to Sustainable Development”, under the auspices of the Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), Union of Arab Banks (UAB) and Federation of Egyptian Banks (FEB). The three-day forum was held from 26 -28 July 2018, during which CIB presented its approach to incorporate sustainable and green banking practices into its business model in alignment with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Egypt’s Sustainability Strategy: Vision 2030, and international standards.
“We were excited to have the opportunity to share CIB’s successful model with other financial institutions in Egypt. The forum allowed us to showcase a number of significant initiatives that have had a ripple effect on both society and environment,” said Amal El-Araby, Sustainable Development Manager at CIB, at the forum. “Such initiatives focused at the core on energy savings and the usage of renewable energy. CIB has implemented a bank-wide initiative to integrate energy efficient and renewable energy solutions, resulting in energy savings of 40% — the equivalent of lighting 4,500 medium-sized homes in Egypt on an annual basis,” added El-Araby.
The first-of-its-kind event served as a platform for knowledge exchange based on hands-on experiences by banks across the Arab world through panel discussions. CIB’s sessions focused on the Bank’s journey to become a green and sustainable bank, confirming its commitment to integrating sustainable development practices in its day-to-day operations and long-term business strategy. The forum also allowed CIB to showcase its experience in calculating and regulating greenhouse gas emissions, waste management, financial inclusion by way of facilitating banking for the differently-abled, and constructing green buildings.
Green finance initiatives top the list of priorities for CIB. During a panel discussion on renewable energy and business, Adel El Ashmawy, Head of Social and Environmental Risk at CIB, highlighted that CIB recently launched a unique green finance product — developed in house — focused specifically on energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. “The product aims to mainstream the concept among CIB customers, capitalizing on the Bank’s success in reducing its own energy consumption,” he went on to say.
Developed in partnership with the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy as well as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the product was tailored to offer clients a holistic package that entails not only financing, but also technical support, energy audits and a list of trusted suppliers.
Participating in this forum is part of CIB’s latest effort to connect its internal and institutional sustainability practices with global best practices in sustainability. The Bank has been taking steps to align its sustainability targets with the SDGs. Every year, the Bank reports on its sustainability and CSR efforts in a sustainability report developed according to Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards. As a member of the UN Environmental Programme - Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI), CIB is working with other leading domestic, regional, and international financial institutions to promote sustainable practices in the global financial sector. Most recently, the Bank is participating along with 27 other financial institutions from around the world to develop the UNEP-FI’s Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB), which are the first principles addressed specifically for banking institutions to encompass social, environmental, and governance practices as part of their day-to-day operations.