A new guide released by WWF explains how banks can go beyond reputation and risk management to embrace transformative change. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Integration for Banks: A Guide to Starting Implementation shows how financial institutions acting as lenders, financial advisors and capital raising agents can adopt sustainable practices. “This is the first guide that maps out ‘how to’ steps for financial institutions in the earlier stages of their journey towards Environmental, Social and Governance. It shows them how to manage their risk exposure to unsustainable business practices and lead the trend toward green business,” said Jeanne Stampe, WWF Asia Finance and Commodities Specialist.
Banks can no longer ignore credit risks brought on by severe weather patterns impacting infrastructure or agricultural production, water stress affecting production across sectors, or regulations that affect the value of carbon assets or carbon-related infrastructure. Banks increasingly need to adapt to these emerging challenges through sustainable solutions.
The guide provides banks with a toolkit to develop an environmental, social and governance strategy and an operational framework to integrate it into their practices. This is an expertise that financial institutions across Asia are seeking with urgency.