Social and Environmental Management System (SEMS) in credit assessment
In collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Credit Libanais created and adopted a tailor-made Social and Environmental Management System (SEMS) that consists of assessing the environmental and social risks and opportunities arising from customers’ business activities.
Environmental Considerations and the International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Through our agreement with IFC, we strive to enhance and adhere to sound banking principles and promote an environmentally and socially reliable development across the full range of our activities.
Environmental Considerations and the European Investment Bank (EIB)
All projects financed by the Bank through the European Investment Bank (EIB) are also required to be acceptable in environmental terms. Credit Libanais is in full acceptance and adherence with the EIB’s environmental objectives, namely to:
- Preserve, protect and improve the quality of the environment.
- Protect human health, in relation to the environment.
- Ensure the prudent and rational utilization of natural resources to conserve nature.
- Promote measures to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems, notably climate change and access to potable water and sanitation. In doing so, both banks apply the principles of “prevention”, “precaution” and “polluter countries”, as embedded in the European Community policy.
In this perspective, all projects requesting financing from the EIB have to comply with the Environmental Survey covering both the environmental and the social impact of the project being financed.
Environmental Sustainability and Green Products
Credit Libanais weighs the importance of regularly reviewing and updating its lending strategies to align them with industry standards in terms of Social and Responsible Investment (SRI). Our strategy centers around three priorities:
- Reducing the intensity of our environmental footprint.
- Promoting environmentally responsible business activity.
- Offering environmental products and services.
In line with the Central Bank’s recommendations and recently issued circulars, we provide green facilities to fund projects that have a positive environmental impact. Projects encompass eco-friendly initiatives in Lebanon, such as green architecture and ecological ventures, implementation of renewable energy, wind power, solar water heating panels, energy saving lighting systems, tiles cladding, and eco-bricks. Loans are granted at competitive interest rates and for long terms, as a token of Credit Libanais’ commitment to the planet and a step towards green banking.
An Ecofriendly Working Environment
CL Group’s recently executed landmark 32-story Head Office Tower in Ashrafieh responds to the latest trends in construction and utilization sustainability.
At CL Group new Head Office Tower, special attention has been given to using environmentally friendly construction materials, taking into account the use of renewable energy sources for future daily utilization. Considerations such as efficiently using energy, water, and other natural resources, reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation were also been given broad attention in all phases of the project, from design to commissioning. Those considerations are reflected in the green:
- Interior and Lighting
- Recycled, Reused and Sustainable Mechanics and Materials
- Reduced Water Usage
A green Tier III Certified Data Center
CL’s Group main data center is about 450 m2 with 120 kW of net IT load and is designed to handle all the functions of the Bank. An additional 350-m2 space hosts the sister company Credit Card Management (CCM), which has a dedicated server room within CL data center.
The main data center environment is water cooled at relatively high temperatures, which greatly increases the efficiency and reduces cost.
CL Tier III data center features are summarized as follows:
- Chilled water-cooled white space. The chilled water system significantly increases efficiency and running costs.
- The chiller compressors and pumps optimize energy consumption based on actual demand.
- A special variable primary chilled water system further reduces energy expenditures.
- Computer room air conditioning units reduce energy consumption.
- Cold air containment enhances the overall system efficiency.
- The fresh air for the data center is centrally pre-treated with an energy recovery unit.
- Associated office space is air conditioned by a VRV (variable refrigerant flow) system for high efficiency and lower energy expenditures. The system interfaces with the BMS (building management system) for scheduling and centralized parameterization to avoid operation during unoccupied periods.
- The latest VRV system technology provides cooling to the office space.
- Re-circulated air from offices ventilates the UPS/battery room through transfer fans, which reduces the amount of treated fresh air.
- Modular UPS systems adjust capacity to actual IT loads. The lighting is switched by a lighting control system that includes automatic motion sensors and centralized parameterization and scheduling to avoid operation during unoccupied periods.
- The BMS (Building Management System) integrates all subsystems, either directly or via SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), KNX, and data center infrastructure (DCIM) controls. The system allows an overall insight on the operations of the data center, monitoring all energy expenditures, faults, and alerts.
- DCIM optimizes operations and increases overall efficiency.
Recycling Endeavors and Reducing Paper Consumption
To reduce the Bank’s carbon footprint, CL departments and branches became greener this year with reduced paper consumption and responsible recycling for glass, plastic, electronic consumables and others.
- A scrupulous procedure is integrated at Credit Libanais to promote the recycling of used papers. This activity encourages the contribution of all divisions within the Group to separate papers that are collected at the Group level and delivered to a local recycling plant.
- To encourage environmental moves in the workplace, personal printers are replaced by large departmental ones shared by many employees. New printers have the features to print double sided documents, thereby reducing paper consumption.
In this perspective, Credit Libanais is extending support to local NGOs who benefit from the recycled material to finance awareness campaigns or acquire medical support equipment to patients across Lebanon. These endeavors constitute another building block in the green culture disseminated throughout CL Group.
CREDIT LIBANAIS WEIGHS THE IMPORTANCE OF REGULARLY REVIEWING AND UPDATING ITS LENDING STRATEGIES TO ALIGN THEM WITH INDUSTRY STANDARDS IN TERMS OF SOCIAL AND RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT (SRI).