Kurumba – During the 3rd session “Sustainable Banking” of the 35th ABA General Meeting and Conference held in Maldives on November 16, 2018, two speakers, Anna Batenkova and Dr. Niven Huang, elaborated on this emerging trend in banking and the factors propelling their relevance in the market.
Ms. Anna Batenkova, Sustainable Finance Engagement Manager, WWF Singapore argued that as key financiers to many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and regional businesses, banks in the Asian region can play a unique, enabling role in driving sustainable development and the transition toward a low-carbon and resilient economies. This involves redirecting financial flows toward sustainable business models and away from environmentally and socially destructive economic activities.
Ms. Batenkova said that banks can use the access, and cost of loan capital, to influence their clients to take ambitious steps to transform food, energy, transport and infrastructure systems in the region. In this way, the regional finance sector can accelerate region’s nations’ progress towards achieving their SDGs and Paris Agreement commitments.
Ms. Anna Batenkova also used the opportunity to inform the audience that Sustainable Banking in ASEAN 2018 report and associated interactive web-based tool Sustainable Banking Assessment (SUSBA) were launched by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore in September 2018. The tool aims to help banks assess and benchmark their Corporate Governance (CG) and Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) integration performance to accelerate their efforts to stay competitive, resilient and relevant in a resource-constrained, low carbon future.
Ms. Batenkova’s presentation in PDF format can be downloaded HERE.
The second speaker of the session was Dr. Niven Huang, General Manager at KPMG Sustainability Consulting, Co., Ltd in Taiwan and Regional Leader. KPMG Sustainability, Services in Asia Pacific made a presentation on “Sustainable Banking by Integrating ESG Factors.”
Dr. Huang spoke about Sustainable banking principles were to be launched in November by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). Dr. Huang said that these principles were the outcome of banking industry’s joined forces to redefine the sector’s purpose, in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.
Dr Niven Huang explained the integration of ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors into sustainable finance practices, and their positive impact on sustainable development in Asia. Mr. Huang’s presentation in PDF format can be downloaded HERE.
The other panelists of the session were Dr. Ma Jun, Chairman, Green Finance Committee of China Society for Finance and Banking; Mr. Michael Lor, Senior Advisor Asia Pacific, European Financial Management Association (EFMA); and Mr. Peter Favila, Member of the Monetary Board, Bangko Sentral ng Pilip who moderated the session.