Bangkok, Thailand, July 26, 2011—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is helping banks in Thailand better manage
environmental and social risks in their lending operations and improve
the sustainability of the projects they finance locally and abroad.
IFC and the Thai Bankers’ Association
are holding their first workshop in Thailand on international environmental
and social risk management best practices and tools, including the Equator
Principles, which have been adopted by 72 financial institutions worldwide.
The Equator Principles are based on IFC’s Performance Standards, which
define clients’ roles and responsibilities for ensuring environmental
and social sustainability in their projects.
“This workshop is a timely effort to
raise local banks’ awareness and understanding of how to pursue sustainable
banking through environmental and social risk management,” said Chartsiri
Sophonpanich, Chairman of Thai Bankers’ Association. “The current challenge
for Thailand is maintaining sustainable growth and effectively addressing
environmental issues such as industrial pollution and waste treatment.
The financial sector can play an important role if it adopts sustainable
approaches in risk management and lending policies, and proactively finances
projects offering good economic, environmental, and social returns.”
The workshop brings together speakers
from Citibank and Industrial Bank, the first bank in China to adopt the
Equator Principles. An official from the China Banking Regulatory Commission
will be sharing China’s experience in successfully implementing the IFC-supported
“Green Credit Policy,” which encourages banks to lend more to energy-efficient
and climate-friendly projects and enterprises.
“IFC has been a leader in setting standards
for environmental and social sustainability and in sharing its experience
with financial institutions around the world,” said Simon Andrews, IFC
Regional Manager for Thailand, Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic,
and Vietnam. “The achievements of banks that have adopted the Equator
Principles, including China’s Industrial Bank, make a strong business
case for sustainable banking in emerging markets and show that environmental
and social responsibility goes hand in hand with commercial success.”
The workshop forms part of IFC’s program
to provide guidance, training, tools, and cross-border knowledge sharing
to support financial institutions in managing their environmental and social
risks while bringing about sustainable economic growth.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth
by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and
governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets.
In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our
clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute
to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time
high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Thai Bankers’ Association
Since its establishment in 1958, the
Thai Bankers’ Association has played an active role in representing the
banking community in discussions with the Bank of Thailand, Ministry of
Finance, Ministry of Commerce, and other government agencies in formulating
and implementing key economic and financial policies. For more information,
About the Equator Principles
The Equator Principles are a voluntary set of guidelines for managing
social and environmental issues related to project finance. Launched in
Washington D.C. on June 4, 2003, the Equator Principles were developed
based on IFC’s Performance Standards and initially adopted by 10 global
financial institutions: ABN AMRO Bank, N.V., Barclays PLC, Citigroup, Inc.,
Credit Lyonnais, Credit Suisse Group, HVB Group, Rabobank Group, The Royal
Bank of Scotland, WestLB AG, and Westpac Banking Corporation. To date,
72 institutions in 27 countries have officially adopted the Equator Principles.
For more information, visit www.equator-principles.com.