“Sustainability in the Turkish Financial Sector” discussed under the leadership of TSKB, UNEP FI and TBB

8 October 2010
- 3 min Read

A workshop titled “Environmental and Social Risk Management for Turkish Financial Sector” was held under the main sponsorship of the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB), which regards environmental policies as the foundation of the sustainability approach and is the first bank in Turkey to acquire the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certificate. Co-organized by UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Banks Association of Turkey (TBB) the workshop covered consideration of environmental and social risks in lending and investment projects, determining the next step for efficient application of risk analyses and guiding participants using strategies and tools.

Held on October 8 at the Garden of Eden (Cennet Bahçesi) facilities of TSKB, the seminar was marked by speeches delivered by Hülya Kurt, Department Head, Engineering Analysis, TSKB, Karen Wendt, E&S Risk Practitioner, HVB/Unicredit Group and Christina Wood, Tutor, UNEP FI.

At the workshop attended by managers from the finance sector issues discussed included environmental and social risks relating to investment projects in the lending process and how such risks can be mitigated and monitored. The main goal of the seminar was to promote the consideration of not only financial but also environmental and social aspects in the evaluation and survey of investment decisions and to increase awareness of those issues.

Divided into parts titled “Sustainable Finance” and “Environmental and Social Risk in Practice”, the seminar was marked by a speech titled “Sustainability at TSKB” delivered by Hülya Kurt, Department Head, Engineering Analysis, TSKB and Head of Environment Initiatives Group, Banks Association of Turkey. In her speech, Mrs. Kurt talked about the environmental and social parameters requiring attention at the project evaluation stage at TSKB, evaluation infrastructure established by TSKB in this perspective as well as works and projects conducted by TSKB for the last 3 years in the Sustainable Banking field. She continued the speech by saying “Environmental and social risks are now a global issue and financial institutions are a part of it. We at TSKB demonstrate an exemplary way of doing business for our industry by being sensitive to the environment and sustainable development. Furthermore, we enhance our strength in this perspective by cooperating with our business partners. Our being the only Turkish bank to become an UNEP FI member is one of the best examples of this effort. We are extremely happy of cooperating with the Banks Association of Turkey in the effort to increase awareness of the issue in the Turkish financial industry here today, which will be another step to the destination.”

In the speech that followed, Wei Peng, Central and Eastern Europe Program Coordinator, said “As United Nations initiative officers, we are extremely happy of working with the Banks Association of Turkey, which supports local banks in creating capacity for environmental and social risk management in order to increase globally sustainable finance efforts.”

The seminar was finalized by closing speeches and awarding of certificates.