Many may wonder what is the relevancy and urgency of launching a green campaign within banks since the financial service industry’s operations are not related directly to environmental issues.
Bank Indonesia is, nevertheless, finalizing an operational guideline on green banking or green financing as standard-operating procedure for banks to integrate development sustainability into their business, notably lending, strategy.
“For banks, going green is not simply a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program but is a business strategy that integrates environmental considerations into financial services,” said Zach Goldman of Malk Sustainability Partners, an American environmental management-consultancy firm.
Goldman told a workshop on green financing here on Wednesday that banks could go a long way in protecting the environment by refraining from lending to companies with bad environmental records.
By integrating sustainability into a bank’s business strategy and decision-making processes, institutions could support environmentally or socially responsible projects, innovative technologies and sustainable enterprises, Goldman added.
Leonard Panjaitan, Bank BNI’s manager of corporate sustainability, another speaker at the workshop, shared Goldman’s observations, pointing out that Bank BNI had been promoting sustainability principles in its lending decisions.
Panjaitan said that Bank BNI thoroughly audited the environmental record of companies applying for credit and rejected financing requests from corporate borrowers with infamous environmental
“We instantly reject loan applications from companies that get red or black marks from the Environment Ministry,” he said.