Standard Chartered Bank recently published its first annual Sustainable Finance Impact Report highlighting the Bank’s unique contribution to tackling climate change, and financing dedicated to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The report reveals the Bank’s Sustainable Assets amounting to USD3.9 billion which includes loans towards renewable energy, healthcare, and education, as well as microfinance and SME lending in low-income countries. It further measures the impact of the Bank’s EUR500 million Sustainability Bond issuance of July 2019.
With 91% of Standard Chartered’s total sustainable finance assets located in emerging markets, and 86% in some of the world’s least developed nations, its financing commitment to sustainability in Asia, Africa and the Middle East extends to some of the markets at most risk from climate change and broader environmental, social and governance-related challenges. While these emerging markets face a larger risk from climate change, they also show the most potential to make significant changes by advancing low carbon technology.
Commenting on the highlights of the report, Bingumal Thewarathanthri, CEO of Standard Chartered Sri Lanka said, “The Sustainable Finance Impact Report reaffirms our aspirations and efforts towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through tackling the impending climate emergency and other key social issues such as poverty, education and access to clean water. Our global focus is now taking shape in the Sri Lankan context, with the first local initiative being the funding of an EUR17.9 million loan to the Government of Sri Lanka which will support the upgrade of the existing neonatal facilities at the De Soysa Maternity Hospital in Borella.”
The upgrades at the De Soysa Maternity Hospital constitute the design and construction of a modern building and the installation of upgraded medical equipment, including 40 special incubators for new-borns and training for the medical staff.
Lakshan Goonetilleke, Head of Financial Institutions, Standard Chartered Sri Lanka, commented on the Bank’s commitment to sustainable finance and emerging markets. “The funding of the De Soysa Maternity Hospital is directly aligned to the SDG Goal #3 of good health and well-being, which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. We will continue to explore other avenues for financing through which we can continue to enhance Sri Lankan lives by creating a better, cleaner and safer future. Globally, the Bank’s focus on SME lending and microfinance is reflected in its asset base and impact. Over 20,000 SME loans have been provided to emerging markets including India, Kenya, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with the objective of driving trade and fostering their emerging economies,” he said, highlighting the direction the Bank was taking in alignment to the UNSDGs.
The Bank has made a positive impact on over 1.3 million people in countries such as Nepal, Tanzania and Bangladesh through loans provided to microfinance institutions The positive impact on the environment include avoiding 738,998 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the past year through the Bank’s green projects, which is the equivalent of 217,000 people’s annual emissions in low- and middle-income countries.
The Sustainable Finance Impact Report can be found online via av.sc.com/corp-en/content/docs/Sustainable-Finance-Impact-Report-Sept2020.pdf.