NOTE ON 2018 GCPF AWARD WINNER
In 2018, GCPF has celebrated the first Global Climate Partnership award winner. The competition was open to all GCPF partner FIs to submit their story on how they have incrementally advanced their green lending efforts. An award jury of four independent members was formed: One jury member represented the GCPF IM to provide a global understanding and experience of FIs implementing GL globally, one represented the GCPF Investment Committee to evaluate the efforts in line with the Fund’s strategic objective, one represented an investor evaluating the submissions from the perspective of shareholder expectations and one representative had previously worked within a GCPF FI in the role as green lending officer, therefore he could bring the insights on practical challenges that FIs encounter when promoting green lending.
Even though the Global Climate Partnership award 2018 was the first of its kind, there were many FIs interested in participating in the competition. Despite the relatively short opening time for submissions and acknowledging that working on a submission required additional efforts on people’s already busy work schedule, we were pleased to receive several submissions. The evaluation task proved to be quite tough as all the FIs that submitted their candidacy did show great commitment to green lending while the nature of their efforts was quite different.
Among all the applications received, The City Bank Limited (CBL), Bangladesh stood as the winner of first Global Climate Partnership Award 2018. CBL produced a strong application across all three categories of the award. They have demonstrated strong management commitment and institutional capacity to handle green lending in the application. The independent jury appreciated the bank’s initiative to integrate environmental consciousness into their everyday operations.
Some examples, among many:
- A bank-wide newsletter on green lending activities;
- Qualified (Certified energy auditors and engineers) staff to carryout initial screening of projects for GCPF reporting;
- Dedicated E&S officer and ESMS implementation team;
- Capacity building of loan officers on various E&S risk management topics;
- Computer screensavers reminding employees to turn off their monitors and turn down the air conditioning when not in the office, and;
- A certificate of recognition to the relationship manager supporting the ‘greenest’ loan of the month.
Their perspective and initiatives represented a ‘second-generation’ approach, where they have not implemented as a quid-pro-quo for attractive funding, but rather as intrinsic to the bank’s own brand & strategy. That is, recognizing a sense of environmental responsibility for its own stand-alone value – also vis-à-vis its clients.
CBL was also able to achieve the complete utilization of GCPF funding through reporting eligible EE / RE projects. And this has created a great momentum within the bank to promote more green lending.
The effect of being nominated as award winner was enourmous for the bank: Not only did two CBL staff value the importance of participating at the FS Summer Academy, but their management also recognized all staff within their organization with recognition awards, which was jointly hosted with GCPF (see: https://www.gcpf.lu/press-release-detail/bangladesh-recognition-for-green-champions.html).
THE GLOBAL CLIMATE PARTNERSHIP AWARD
15. JUN 2018
The Global Climate Partnership Award was launched in March 2018. Luke Franson, Head of Green Lending at GCPF’s investment manager responsAbility and chairman of the jury, talks about the outcome.
WHY DID GCPF LAUNCH THE AWARD?
One of the beautiful qualities of GCPF is its exclusive focus on GHG mitigation. While that provides us with the ability to focus, it also gives us time to listen to the needs of our partners. Well, after a year of surveys, meetings and phone calls, one thing stood out: all the individuals we worked with were making incredible efforts in advancing the cause of green lending. But they told us they often struggled to raise awareness within their own institutions and garner the recognition that could multiply their efforts. We met to explore ways that GCPF could help and we decided to launch the GCPF Green Lending Award 2018.
HOW DID YOU CHOOSE THE JURY?
The fund benefits from a very passionate and exited investment team. While they are excellent champions for their partner institutions, they are clearly not impartial. Confronting this dynamic, a jury seemed to be a great solution. Over the years we have also gathered a small circle of ‘special GCPF friends’. They were willing to volunteer their time and brought decades of expertise to review the submissions we received.
“THE RESPONSE WAS HUMBLING AND OVERWHELMING!”
WHAT WERE THE EXPECTATIONS?
Low! This was the first time we had ever done anything like this! We recognize that green lending is often not seen as a core business area for a financial institution. Therefore, we treat any time or attention they provide for us as a special gift. For this reason, we did not know if our partners would be willing to sit down and put together applications for the Award.
WERE THEY MET?
The response was humbling and overwhelming! In the end we had submissions from seven partners in 12 categories. Afterward, they would not stop contacting us, very curious to hear if they had won. The response made it clear to us that we are truly having an effect on changing the institutions we partner with.
“THE RESPONSE MADE IT CLEAR TO US THAT WE ARE TRULY HAVING AN EFFECT ON CHANGING THE INSTITUTIONS WE PARTNER WITH.”
WHAT IMPRESSED YOU MOST?
Look, we know these institutions – we have dinner with them, know what sports their kids play and how close environmental sustainability is to their hearts. Yet, we were still surprised by the wide array of innovative measures that our partners are implementing – many we had never heard of before! It became clear that they are not doing this because someone came and told them they had to – they are doing it because they see that they are part of a movement that is larger than themselves – and even larger than the companies they work for. From creative financing solutions to advance green buildings to the more mundane screen savers reminding staff to turn off the air conditioners and lights, the breadth and seriousness of the efforts were inspiring.
“OUR PARTNERS ARE DOING THIS BECAUSE THEY SEE THAT THEY ARE PART OF A MOVEMENT THAT IS LARGER THAN THEMSELVES.”
IS THIS A ONE-OFF OR WILL THE AWARD CONTINUE?
It was so incredibly difficult to pick a winner. There remain so many untold stories out there and so many unrecognized green lending heroes. After what we’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s any longer a choice – we must continue to do them justice!