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SBFN Co-hosts Training of Trainers Event for Western Balkans Banking Associations, Promoting ESG and Sustainable Finance

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In a concerted effort to embrace Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles and Sustainable Finance practices, Banking Associations (BAs) across the Western Balkans gathered for a Training of Trainers (ToT) event on April 26, 2024. Organized by IFC’s Integrated ESG Program in collaboration with the Sustainable Banking and Finance Network (SBFN) and Sustineri Partners, the event unfolded under the auspices of the ESG Adria Summit.

Representatives from Banking Associations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia, and Slovenia actively participated in the event, in which discussions delved into the pivotal role BAs play in advancing ESG and sustainable finance within the banking industry and fostering collaboration with various stakeholders, including regulators, governments, business associations, and real sector companies.

Rong Zhang, Global Coordinator of SBFN, gave a presentation about SBFN’s mission and the integral role BAs play in promoting ESG and sustainable finance. Zhang shared case studies illustrating the proactive engagement of different BAs and SBFN members. Additionally, Yaseen Lockhat from the Banking Association of South Africa shared a practical perspective on their journey towards ESG integration and sustainable finance practices.

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The ToT event underscored the invaluable platform that SBFN provides for knowledge exchange among its members, with four BAs-SBFN members actively participating. In addition, the collaboration between global and regional ESG teams illustrated the collective effort to advance sustainability initiatives.

The gathering marks a significant step forward in fostering a sustainable banking ecosystem across the Western Balkans, where financial institutions are increasingly recognizing their role in driving positive environmental and social impacts while ensuring long-term financial stability.