Thursday, 21 July 2022 02:40

Consultancy agreement to implement the sustainability protocol for ABANSA member banks

Written by Evelyn Alas

The Asociación Bancaria Salvadoreña held the closing ceremony of the advisory agreement to implement the sustainability protocol for ABANSA member banks, provided by IDB Invest, signed in early 2020, and executed in conjunction with the Sustainability Committee, composed of representatives of the Association's member banks.

The starting point in the path towards sustainability dates back to 2019, when the Association's membership marked an important milestone in the history of El Salvador, with the signing of the Sustainability Protocol of ABANSA's member banks; in previous years the banks developed individual initiatives to promote this issue.

The Protocol seeks to unify efforts to promote the sustainable development of the country, work for environmental preservation and the sustainable use of natural resources, allowing banks, regardless of the maturity of their sustainability policies, to have a clear path of the impact that, as a guild, they want to achieve.

In his closing message, the president of ABANSA, Raúl Cardenal, emphasized that "IDB Invest has been a strategic ally of great relevance at this stage; the experience obtained with this agreement has been positive and enriching for the banks, allowing the joint implementation of initiatives necessary to advance on the road to sustainable banking. Specifically, this Agreement made it possible to:

Elaborate a roadmap for the implementation of the Protocol.

Conduct seminars and workshops to train bank employees. The assistance received from the Eco Business Fund on SARAS issues played an important role in this achievement.

Conduct an analysis of sustainable practices in the country, through the application of the scorecard to banks, in order to carry out an individual evaluation.

Develop a sustainable finance web portal for the benefit of banks, which allows them to compare themselves with regional benchmarks." The road ahead towards sustainable finance entails challenges, among which are to continue working for the implementation of the Sustainability Protocol; to implement recommendations emanating from the IDB Invest Agreement; banks will continue to improve social and environmental risk management systems; to develop sectoral guidelines for sustainable projects.

ABANSA and its member banks will continue working together to promote sustainable finance, joining as active players in the efforts to continue preserving the environment and improving the quality of life of Salvadorans, thus contributing to the sustainable and inclusive development of El Salvador, as part of the 2030 Agenda of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.