The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has entered into a landmark cooperation agreement with the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka, laying the framework for the two institutions to work together to promote eco-friendly building construction in Sri Lanka.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) commits the Bank and the Council to cooperate in activities related to the introduction of sustainable financing products by the Bank to facilitate the transition to carbon-neutral and environmentally sustainable economic developments.
These financial products will support projects that prioritise resource efficiency and healthy ecosystems, promote the circular economy and lead to the adoption of sustainable financing principles as the way by which the environment thrives, the economy prospers, and society grows to ensure the future well-being of Sri Lanka, the Bank said.
“This partnership is particularly important because any effort in eco-friendly construction must be professionally guided and certified in order to be able to measure its impact,” Commercial Bank’s Chief Operating Officer Mr S. Prabagar commented. “The Green Building Council is the leading authority in this sphere in Sri Lanka, and its contribution to our Green Lending initiatives will be a significant value addition to our customers.”
Commercial Bank acknowledges and recognises the GREENSL Rating Systems developed and published by the Green Building Council for certifying buildings, building materials, infrastructure development, homes and apartments, transport infrastructure and sustainable cities under this agreement, and the Bank has agreed that the construction and development projects that obtain GREENSL certification from the Council will be eligible to apply for the specially-designed financial products with special interest rates and other benefits offered by the Bank.
The Council has agreed to offer its expertise to Bank customers seeking to construct green buildings and to offer discounts to Bank customers that are interested in obtaining Green Building Certification from the Council.
Among the other undertakings covered by the agreement are the Council formulating and developing education and training programs in collaboration with the Bank to train the Bank’s employees on climate change and the concepts and requirements of green buildings as well as sustainable financing products introduced by the Bank; and to jointly conduct awareness programmes to promote the sustainable financing products of the Bank among customers and the general public.
Commercial Bank has already launched Green Building Loans for retail, SME and corporate customers that have been granted Green Building certificates by the GBCSL, and for the construction of buildings that will be so certified. Loans are also available for the purchase of solar power systems, solar net metering systems or for any other green initiative such as waste or rainwater management or composting, that leads to Green certification.
Sri Lanka’s first 100% carbon-neutral bank and the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World, Commercial Bank operates a network of 271 branches and 957 automated machines in Sri Lanka. Commercial Bank is the largest lender to Sri Lanka’s SME sector and is a leader in digital innovation in the country’s Banking sector. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 20 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.
Commercial Bank Chief Operating Officer Mr S. Prabagar exchanges the agreement with the Chairman of the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka Prof (Eng.) Ranjith Dissanayake in the presence of representatives of the corporate and senior management of the Bank and senior officials of the Council.