National Development Bank PLC (NDB) recently introduced a programme to educate small and medium entrepreneurs (SME) on environment and social management processes.
The programme, which shares valuable knowledge on sustainable business practices, is conducted in conjunction with the regional SME workshops organised by the bank.
NDB follows an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS), which envisages identifying environmental and social risks and impacts of the projects it finances, while advising the clients on how to mitigate such risks at a very early stage of the credit evaluation. This system is an integral part of the credit policy and credit evaluation process of financing projects in the bank.
Thus, NDB believes that educating customers on these aspects is vital as it bears long-term benefits for the clients and helps them develop more sustainable businesses over time.
Resource persons for the training sessions conducted by NDB are drawn from the Institute of Environmental Professionals Sri Lanka (IEPSL) and the sessions are led by qualified officers registered with the Central Environment Authority (CEA) with experience in dealing with business-related projects.
Further, NDB has also has taken steps to educate the bank’s credit officers on the latest developments in environment and social management practices for business purposes, ensuring that the appraisals of client business proposals are conducted with maximum accuracy and care.
The training programme initiated by the corporate sustainability committee of the bank is yet another progressive effort by the bank to give back meaningfully to the natural environment and the society. NDB’s social responsibility reaches far beyond philanthropy and seeks to uplift and empower the underserved communities in the society. The bank has changed the lives of many through a variety of corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects conducted with special focus on youth development, community empowerment, education and social wellbeing.
Entrepreneurship and sustainable livelihood development, nurturing the reading habit and improving English language skills in the rural youth, raising awareness on the prevention of child abuse, reaching out to the emerging entrepreneurs and cottage industrialists through financial inclusion are a few other CSR initiatives of NDB, that stand witness for the bank’s commitment towards exemplary corporate citizenship.