PABC Live Chat

Delivering a Green Economy for a Sustainable Future

February 3, 2021
In order to preserve and build a greener future for the next generation, the financial sector can play an important role in establishing sustainable business models and make a contribution towards resolving some of the environmental challenges that the world is facing today. Sri Lanka needs to accelerate its sustainability initiatives to preserve its rich biodiversity and supporting green initiatives go a long way in developing sustainable agricultural practices and green energy projects which will have a positive impact on the society and on the environment. The nation’s ‘Truly Sri Lankan Bank’, Pan Asia Bank, has firmly established its credentials as a pioneer and foremost promoter of green initiatives by building an impressive legacy of initiating green projects, receiving accolades from national and international quarters in equal measure.
Pan Asia Bank’s achievements are driven by its Social & Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) policy and investments in promoting sustainable agriculture. Pan Asia Bank believes that extending green funding will create the perfect opportunity to generate long term sustainable economic benefits to uplift the living standards of people by creating cost-efficient energy solutions for businesses and employment, while also preserving the environment by promoting renewable energy. In another accomplishment, Pan Asia Bank became the first Sri Lankan bank to partner with the Switzerland-based Symbiotics for its first green bond issuance for USD 7.75 Million in 2020. Being awarded this bond at such a turbulent time in the global economy, is a testament to the trust and confidence in Pan Asia Bank and its commitment to green financing. With this funding line, Pan Asia Bank aims to focus on promoting indigenous crops that will also support the Sri Lankan government’s initiatives to become self-sufficient through strengthening sustainable agricultural practices and MSMEs.
In yet another green initiative, coinciding with its 25th anniversary, Pan Asia Bank held an auspicious tree planting ceremony at the north side of the Jethavanaramaya Stupa in Anuradhapura, the sacred historical temple under its ‘Haritha Sammana’ CSR project to provide shade to pilgrims while greening the sacred environs. In line with World Environment Day in June, to encourage tree planting, staff of Pan Asia Bank enthusiastically participated in planting over 1000 trees in and around the bank branches, own homes, in and around the main hospitals and parks near Jethawanaramaya in Anuradhapura.
Pan Asia Bank has also been active in combating climate change, organising ‘The Future is Green Sri Lanka 2019’ event, supported by GCPF and attended by representatives from Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority, Regional Development Department of CBSL, Sri Lanka Sustainable Banking Initiative and renowned academics from the University of Moratuwa (UoM) to raise awareness on climate change and sustainable development.
The Bank also launched ‘Haritha Sammana’, a special loan scheme for Green initiatives under its flagship product, Sammana, leveraging on the US$7.75Mn funds received from Switzerland-based Symbiotics’ first-ever Green Bond for Sammana customers to avail of green financing to commence or enhance sustainable agriculture projects such as sustainable agriculture, climate smart inputs, use of indigenous seeds, solar energy and other such projects.
The Bank’s green efforts were reaffirmed by the bestowal of the prestigious ‘Global Climate Partnership Award’ 2019 by The Global Climate Partnership Fund (GCPF), one of the world’s largest climate funds which recognises outstanding performance and impact across categories such as capacities and skills, institutional capacities and green lending offerings, as well as outstanding energy efficiency or renewable energy projects. Pan Asia Bank is the first Bank in Sri Lanka to be recognised by The Global Climate Partnership Awards on an international platform, which invites partnering financial institutions to showcase how they have incrementally advanced their green lending efforts. Further, for winning the Global Climate Partnership Award’ from the Global Climate Partnership Fund (GCPF), the Bank was awarded recognition as a ‘blue green awardee’ at the Presidential Environment Awards in 2016.
Pan Asia Bank, with its island-wide network of 85 branches, identifies deserving projects islandwide. Under the guidance of the Development Banking Division of Pan Asia Bank, its Ambalanthota Branch implemented a papaya cultivation projects at Beragama village within the Ambalanthota Divisional secretariat, using novel methodologies with Drip Irrigation solutions since it lies in the dry zone. Pan Asia Bank additionally focused on introducing benefit of energy efficiency leading to agricultural sustainability to the farming community while impacting the benefits to social and environmental systems and policies of the country. The bank also arranged for cultivators to sign Forward Sales Agreements with the main buyer exporting hard green papaya to Middle-Eastern countries. Further, the Bank has also assigned a dedicated Micro Finance Officer, attached to its Ambalanthota Branch, to establish relationships between the farmers and other stakeholders.
In its latest green lending initiative, Pan Asia Bank has provided irrigation facility to sugarcane farmers in Moneragala in partnership with GCPF, Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research Training Institute (HARTI) and the Lanka Sugar Company Pelwatte – to set up a modern irrigation system along with energy efficient practices in great extent through the proposed irrigation system to improve productivity and yield. Financial assistance is arranged through Swashakthi Loan scheme with the lowest rates ( 5.5%p.a) under CBSL refinance with the recommendation of Small Enterprises Development (SED) Division attached to Ministry of Youth Affairs. Pan Asia Bank also entered into a tripartite agreement to direct sales proceeds of farmers to their individual saving accounts in Pan Asia Bank Moneragala branch. Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector is in urgent need of adoption of sustainable practices and Pan Asia Bank is spearheading this transformation.