20.08.2019

TSKB Became One of the Founding Signatories of the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking

TSKB became one of the Founding Signatories of the ‘Principles for Responsible Banking’ developed by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). The Principles set up the role and responsibilities of the banking industry in shaping a sustainable future, in alignment with the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. While mentioning that TSKB assumes a pioneering role in this area as a bank that has been adopting the sustainability principles for nearly 20 years, TSKB’s CEO Suat Ince said, "We have been working for the sustainable development of our country since the day we were founded and implementing all our activities within the globally accepted framework of sustainability. The UNEP FI Principles of Responsible Banking of which we are a signatory now are of great importance for enhancing our contribution to a more sustainable future.”

The Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB) has become a Founding Signatory of the Principles for Responsible Banking developed by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and 30 Member banks from around the globe, jointly representing more than USD 17 trillion in assets.

The Principles for Responsible Banking are designed to define and affirm the banking industry’s role and responsibilities in shaping a sustainable future and in aligning the banking sector with the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. These Principles provide a common framework for the responsible and sustainable banking that guide a bank to embed sustainability at strategic, portfolio and transactional levels and across all its business areas.

Following a six-month long public consultation process, the final official Principles have been released by UNEP FI in July 2019, and will be officially launched on 22nd September 2019 in New York during the United Nations General Assembly.

In this regard, addressing the six (6) UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking, TSKB’s CEO Suat Ince said, "Since our foundation in 1950, we have been working with all our strength for the sustainable development of our country and implementing all our activities within the globally accepted framework of sustainability. The UNEP FI Principles of Responsible Banking of which we are a signatory now are of great importance for enhancing our contribution to a more sustainable future".

"A driver in building of a sustainable future"

Drawing attention to the powerful impact of the finance sector on environmental and social transformation, Ince indicated that these kinds of commitments constituted a significant driver in building of a sustainable future. Ince went on to say: "Acting responsibly, we have become the staunchest supporter of our country in terms of sustainable development since the very beginning and continue to do so. Acting in line with this philosophy, nearly 73% of our bank's total loan portfolio is today comprised of sustainable finance themed loans such as renewable energy, energy and resource efficiency, environment, women’s employment and occupational health and safety, and supporting priority development regions. As TSKB, we adopt an integrated approach and consider each project we finance not just a banking transaction but also a milestone that contributes to both the country's development and global sustainability. We set all our goals and render all our decisions within an awareness that it is part of a holistic solidarity for sustainability. Be it our lending and consultancy services or the internal sustainability practices, we positively contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

Stating that TSKB became the first Turkish bank to issue a Green/Sustainable Bond on international markets in 2016, Ince indicated that TSKB broke another new global ground in 2017 and issued the first Subordinated Sustainable Bond on international markets, the yield of which was extended to the funding of environmental and social projects.

Reminding that TSKB was also the first Turkish bank to join the UNEP FI, Ince said, "We further strengthen our sustainability activities through our ongoing collaborations with strong initiatives. We have been involved in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) since its launch in 2010. We are the first Turkish development and investment bank member of the United Nations Global Compact, and also an organizational member of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

Underlining that TSKB is a signatory to various declarations and principles particularly under the commitments related to sustainability, Ince listed them as follows: "Climate Action in Financial Institutions Initiative drawn up by IDFC, the Declaration on Low Carbon Economy Transition issued by the members of the European Long-Term Investors Association (ELTI) under COP21, UN Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs), the Statement by Financial Institutions on Energy Efficiency jointly launched by the EBRD and UNEP FI, and Global Compact Turkey's Declaration on Sustainable Finance are other international initiatives of which TSKB is a signatory. Finally, the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking embrace all the values that we respect in our day-to-day operations and that have become an inseparable part of our corporate culture for long years".

Principles for Responsible Banking

  • Alignment: Aligning business strategies in a way to comply with and contribute to the needs of individuals and the goals of the society as indicated in the Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Climate Agreement as well as the relevant national and regional frameworks.
  • Impact and Target Setting: Mitigating negative impacts arising out of activities, products and services as well as the associated risks for people and the environment and continuously improving positive impacts. Setting and sharing high-impact goals in this direction.
  • Clients & Customers: Introducing activities in a responsible manner against clients so as to promote sustainable practices and enable economic activities that create common wealth for the current and future generations.
  • Stakeholders: Consulting with the relevant stakeholders in a proactive and responsible way so as to achieve social goals.
  • Governance and Culture: Ensuring commitment to these principles through effective governance and a responsible banking culture.
  • Transparency & Accountability: Periodic review of the extent of implementation for principles at individual and collective level as well as the transparent measurement of the contribution of their positive and negative impacts to the goals of the society.

Türkiye Sınai Kalkınma BankasıTurkey’s comprehensive environmental portal cevreciyiz.com is supported by TSKB.