Sustainable Banking Forum Discusses Value of Environmental and Social Responsibility

nigeria-ifc3 March 2014: Participants discussed how to manage environmental and social opportunities and risks at the International Sustainability Banking Forum, hosted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Central Bank of Nigeria. The Forum aimed to share international and local experience and best practice on sustainable banking and environmental and social risk management, as well as to facilitate partnerships on sustainable banking in emerging markets.

The Forum took place in Lagos, Nigeria, on 3-4 March 2014. "Global business cases for practices from a wide range of countries show that environmental and social responsibility supports business success and long-term economic growth,” said Sarah Alade, Central Bank of Nigeria. She noted that the Bank encourages the adoption of sustainable banking in Nigeria.

A panel discussed regulatory frameworks to support management of environmental and social risks. Participants debated how to to stimulate the design and implementation of financial inclusion strategies, including through promoting monitoring and evaluation and incentives.

An IFC report discussed at the meeting highlights how managing environmental and social opportunities and risks can help financial institutions, suggesting that it can allow them to: differentiate themselves from competitors; improve their reputations; and create long-term value for their business and shareholders.

The Forum included participation from government policy-makers, multilateral development banks (MDBs), financial institutions and civil society representatives from Bangladesh, China, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Viet Nam.

The Forum is an annual event of the Sustainable Banking Network, a voluntary platform of bank associations and regulators that shares experience and works to develop guidelines, policies and standards on environmental and social risk management for regulators in emerging markets. [IFC Press Release] [IFC Event Description] [Information on Sustainable Banking Network]