Sustainability reporting is an essential tool for banking institutions in Bangladesh as it provides a comprehensive overview of the environmental, social, and governance issues that affect their operations.
It helps banks communicate their commitment to sustainability to stakeholders, track progress against goals, and identify areas that need improvement. By incorporating sustainability reporting into their operations, banks can ensure that they are making responsible investments and delivering value to all.
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Making a commitment to transparent and comprehensive sustainability disclosure has multiple positive effects. Despite being obligated to follow ‘green banking’ practices, many banks fall short when it comes to sustainability reporting.
Banks must act as responsible corporate citizens and devise strategies for sustainable financing activities that will secure a sustainable world economy. To achieve this, various effective initiatives should be implemented.
Sustainability reporting is the practice of disclosing and analysing an organisation’s environmental and socioeconomic performance, assessing their progress with regard to sustainable development goals (SDGs), increasing transparency, and making sure they are held accountable to both internal and external stakeholders.
Sustainability reporting is an avenue to maximize performance and enhance dedication to sustainable development.
Banks offer a variety of services to generate profits; however, this should not lead to any form of environmental degradation. It is essential for banks to be aware of and take steps toward maintaining an eco-friendly atmosphere, which begins with having sustainability reports in place.
Banks have an important role to fulfil in order to achieve sustainable development. They are intermediaries in the economy and can be used to facilitate this goal. Banking has a significant effect on a nation’s economic development as it alters money in terms of time, location, risk, and scale.
Adhering to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, banks should develop strategies that will promote the prosperity and wellbeing of present and future generations. Seventeen SDGs were put in place to address major global issues by 2030.
Environmental responsibility is a primary concern for the world today and sustainability reporting is becoming increasingly important for banks. There is a strong correlation between the expansion of the banking industry and economic progression. Investing in sustainable development of this sector can lead to positive outcomes for local communities. The government needs to prioritise sustainability reporting initiatives and emphasise the importance of taking measures to safeguard the environment.
Banking institutions must show commitment to engaging stakeholders and publishing their sustainability reports, otherwise, it will be impossible to put this practice into effect. Banks, as key stakeholders, must provide full backing for the establishment of a sustainability reporting process that necessitates considerable attention from businesses.
Raising awareness among customers and investors regarding sustainable disclosure and its importance in relation to the SDGs can facilitate the creation of standard sustainable reporting.
For optimum efficiency, it is suggested to amalgamate sustainability reporting and green banking reporting into a single set of policy analyses. This will permit the continued use of standardised procedures while preserving their individual characteristics.
The author is a banker and the first certified sustainability reporting assurer in Bangladesh.