Sign the Green Pledge The Green Business Handbook

Some Lebanese companies and organizations have already passed the green light. Here are some examples:

  • Byblos Bank/Shouf Reserve Bio-Corridor Initiative
    Launched in 2014, the plantation of 18,000 trees has covered 37 hectares of land with lush vegetation. It effectively connected the cedar forests of Barouk and Maasser el Shouf with the oak forests above Ammik, increased genetic diversity and paved way for a more fertile area. It was made possible with the support of local communities and municipalities in the region, and in partnership with experts in the fields of reforestation and environment, such as the Shouf Biosphere Reserve and the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative (funded by the US Agency for International Development USAID). In 2018, plantation was extended through to 2020, committing about 22,000 new trees in the Bio-Corridor in order to increase both its size and impact
  • Green for Growth Fund Loan Agreement
    Concluded an agreement in 2018 with the Green for Growth Fund (GGF), under which it will on-lend a total of USD 25 million to support energy efficient investments in Lebanon, including industrial equipment upgrades, energy efficient buildings, commercial vehicle replacement, and energy service and supply companies. The Agreement helps with the creation of more jobs in Lebanon and is enhancing energy efficiency and renewable energies
  • Carpool Initiative
    In 2019, launched a carpooling service for staff in collaboration with Carpolo, a community-based carpooling mobile application. This service helps reduce traffic congestion in Lebanon by decreasing the number of vehicles circulating during peak times, and will contribute in cutting the level of pollution through lower levels of CO2 emissions. Carpolo acts as a search engine for un-occupied car seats, effectively connecting drivers and passengers who wish to share a ride. Drivers offer available seats and passengers select who they want to ride with. Staff members benefit from collecting reward points/miles
  • Bgreen Initiative
    Bgreen includes specific and measurable actions to save energy and water, reduce the use of paper, and recycle both paper and plastic bottles. All the floors in the headquarters building were equipped with water dispensers to reduce the number of plastic bottles and paper cups used by employees. Ultimately, the initiative has succeeded in reducing the environmental impact of its premises
  • Environmental Impact of Digitization
    Continuous digitization and process optimization efforts have rendered operations more efficient and made products and services more attractive, which has resulted in less paper documents, which in turn has enabled the Bank to be more environmentally friendly. The Bank’s technological products have also contributed towards this end; whether through mobile banking application or a set of smart ATMs, which  allowed customers to check their account balances, settle their loan payments and make cash and cheque deposits anytime and anywhere they want without needing to use paper documents 

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  • Issued circular 197 on June 26, 2009 which allows banks to release the required reserve on the loans given for green projects, therefore making the financing of such projects more lucrative for banks
  • Provides most loans funded by international banks and funds (e.g. International Finance Corporation of World Bank, Agence Française de Développement, etc) which now contain conditions relating to the environment
  • Companies cannot use the loans unless technical consultants confirm their abidance with strict environmental regulations
  • Issued the wider and more detailed circular No. 236 in November 2010
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  • Environmental Scope: Promoting investment in green projects, Reducing the Bank’s environmental footprint, Educating the public on the importance of eco-friendly projects, Partnering with the Lebanese government, international organizations and NGOs to enhance environmental initiatives
  • Sponsored the renovation of Al-Naqoura Public School. The school is the first of its kind in Lebanon and the Middle East to be recognized as an eco-school with zero CO2 emission
  • Green Financing: Granting soft loans, with competitive interest rates and repayment periods, for eco-friendly green architecture projects, Financing projects that work on reducing air pollution in Lebanon, Financing projects aimed at the rationalization of energy consumption and increasing its efficiency
  • Growth in green loans: Bankmed green loans grew from USD 25,027 in 2010 to USD 4,039, 911 in 2014
  • Reducing Environmental Footprint: Offsetting Carbon Emission, Paper Recycling, Reducing Energy Consumption
  • Customer Involvement: Bankmed devised several payment and money transfer solutions through which it encourages our customers to significantly reduce paper use and even limit their visits to the branches, which helps in reducing energy
  • Promoting Green Awareness: Educating children and youth on the importance of preserving the environment is an integral component of our “Happy Planet” program. Through our annual Greenest School and Green Student competition, Bankmed succeeded at creating opportunities to educate children and youth in a manner that stimulates their interest and motivates them to take an active part in environmental protection
  • Bankmed will remain the official partner of the Garden Show and Spring Festival
  • Bankmed supports nationwide seminars that are aimed at promoting environmental awareness in all public schools around Lebanon
  • Digitized the clients’ statements thus reducing paper consumption within the bank’s headquarters and branches.  To reduce paper usage at the bank’s premises, we have put in place a recycling policy which encourages employees to shred the used papers in order to facilitate their recycling process (Recycling Progress 27,420 Kg in 2013 versus 30,660 Kg in 2014)
  • In order to reduce fuel consumption, we switch off the generators at our branches from 12:00 midnight until 7:00 am. (Fuel consumption was reduced by 4% in 2014 from 2013). This also led to reduction in electricity consumption
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  • Launched "The Power is Energy, Save it!" campaign which included a new series of energy loans that target both consumers and businesses
  • In cooperation with arcenciel, Fransabank launched the Bouchons Roulants initiative, with the objective, on one hand, to educate Fransabank’s employees on the importance of sorting and recycling plastic caps and bottles in order to preserve the environment, and on the other hand, to provide the bestowment of wheelchairs to a person with special needs. Two and half tons collected and sent for recycling, this initiative resulted in the acquisition of two wheelchairs
  • Fransabank’s management matched the number of wheelchairs donated through an equal contribution to employees’ efforts. As a result, four wheelchairs were donated to people with special needs since 2014
  • Fransabank’s plans are underway to execute this project in all its branches in Lebanon, and with its biggest branch network in the country, it will be hopefully also creating a nationwide momentum
  • Launched the Paper Recycling initiative, aiming at reducing the use of paper at its headquarters and branches by encouraging the use of electronic communication, minimizing the use of printed paper, adopting double-sided printing, among others. This initiative has also been a success with over 244.31 tons of paper recycled in the years 2014 and 2015
  • As for the effective promotion of these environmentally friendly initiatives and spreading environmental awareness to the customers,  the Bank  is placing starting April, at selected branches, open-topped recycling bins to promote waste sorting
  • Providing banking and finance specialized for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through funds of International Finance Institutions and Central Bank’s incentive programs
  • Planning a series of projects and initiatives to promote environmental awareness and education on waste sorting and recycling as well as support and financing of related projects nationwide
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  • Underwent a full green retrofit in compliance with the green international specifications and the environment conservation standards. Major components are: installation of a recycling system in the offices, replacement of standard lighting with low consumption lighting and presence sensors, installation of water saving equipment in the lavatories, and generalized  double-sided printing and photocopying practices
  • Conducted green awareness campaigns among its headquarter employees in order to encourage them to “reduce, re-use, and recycle” with the support of eco-consultants
  • Takes into consideration environment preservation guidelines when renovating any of its branches
  • Works in collaboration with Beeatoona, an NGO, to recycle its e-waste
  • Launched its Corporate Environmental Policy through the “Let’s Walk the Green Path” campaign in 2011, promoting a Green culture and an eco-friendly model on its premises through monitoring and minimizing water, paper, and waste consumption. A commitment that the Bank took further in the course of 2012
  • An advocate of many events related to the protection and conservation of the environment. To name a few: Jouzour Loubnan, Lebanon Mountain Trail and Bkessine Natural Reserve
  • Proceeding with the development of banking products for sustainable programs such as financing for the solar water heating launched by the Ministry of Energy and Water in collaboration with the Central Bank of Lebanon
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  • Bank Audi expands its CSR activities on an annual basis, and initiates updated projects within its five pillars. More recently its aim is to further its pledge to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

    Environmental Loans
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Bank Audi partnered for the first green finance project in Lebanon with $200 million to finance green projects in late 2018.
  • With a goal of strengthening sustainable energy in Lebanon, the EBRD and Bank Audi worked together to provide $100 million each for green projects. This included the first loan under the EBRD Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) for the country.
    The program addresses critical issues for Lebanon’s sustainable development, such as diversifying the energy supply, reducing the use of limited natural resources such as energy and water, and improving energy efficiency, thus decreasing pollution levels, conserving resources and contributing to a better environment.
    The funds will be used for climate change mitigation and adaptation investments, in line with the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition approach, a comprehensive strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency
    Extended in 2018 over $20 million of environmental loans subsidized by the Central Bank at preferential interest rates. These loans covered a spectrum of environment-friendly modifications, ranging from financing a project certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), to purchasing absorption chiller solutions, financing energy efficient components and zero waste solutions, planting trees, renovating lighting systems, acquisition of photovoltaic panels, and landscaping implementations in private, residential or commercial buildings.
    The impact of such loans reduced the nation’s carbon footprint by 36,977 tCO2e in 2018 by using energy efficient, solar or photovoltaic solutions

    Bank Audi’s initiative to limit and reduce its ecological footprint
  • Began in 2012 a comprehensive environmental footprint audit, which revealed that GHGs were from several sources grouped into three scopes:
  • Scope 1: Own generation of power and refrigerants;
    Scope 2: From purchase of electricity from EDL and shared generators;
    From selected indirect emission sources in Scope 3: From paper consumption, flights for work reasons and courier services
  • For the fifth year, Bank Audi was awarded a certificate of acknowledgment for measuring and reporting its GHG emissions by the Ministry of Environment
  • The bank’s commitment to reducing its environmental footprint impelled the management to adopt further environmental practices in order to reduce our energy consumption as follow: BMS system for monitoring the bank’s building, LED lights in the head office, motion detectors in low occupancy areas, chillers with heat recovery systems, LEDs for signage, LED lights in branches, BMS system for branches

    ‘Grow Green’ Recycling Program
  • ‘Grow Green’ program encourages employees to recycle paper, metal, batteries, plastic caps, PET bottles, books and e-waste, in the workplace and at home. Three collection hubs are designed for this purpose
  • Paper is sold to a recycling company to be converted into pulp and hence paper again
  • Books collected from employees are given to various NGOs
  • Collected since 2012: 10,527 kg of e-waste, 859 kg of plastic, 30,007 kg of metals, 3,964 kg of PET bottles, 659,461 kg of paper, and saved 11,432 trees
  • Donate unused furniture to various needy NGOs

    Lebanon Water Project
  • Bank Audi has pledged to the principles of water stewardship proposed by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and funded by Lebanon Water Project (LWP). As of January 2018, has taken several steps to reduce water consumption:
  • Monitored water meters installed at Plaza building on monthly basis to build database of actual consumption in collaboration with the Facility Management Department
  • Conducted awareness sessions about water conservation. The first session was held on April 4 for ten senior managers who are responsible of 77 janitorial and cafeteria staff members as well as building management staff. During this roundtable discussion, participants highlighted several concerns, mainly the effect of the reduction of the quantity of water used on the quality of the tasks handled
  • Held brainstorming meetings between managers and their staff as spill over to above session, and aimed at creating concern and emphasizing the issue is about reduction of water for environmental purposes rather than economical

    Environmental Awareness 
  • Partnered with Cedar Environmental to raise awareness about the importance of waste sorting at the source by placing nine street recycling bins for paper in different locations across the greater Beirut area. In addition, dedicated their space at Faqra Club during summer of 2018 to the benefit of sorting recyclables. Highlighted also in a social media campaign to further engage the community on these efforts 
  • Launched in July 2018 the ‘Make a green statement’ initiative by inviting all Bank Audi credit cardholders to switch their credit card statement from paper to an electronic version
  • Adopted ‘My Print Anywhere’, a smart and efficient printing solution

    Lebanon Climate Act
  • Committed among pioneers to the Lebanon Climate Act and received an award for its considerable efforts to reduce its impact on the environment. 
  • The Lebanon Climate Act aims at creating economic growth in a way that also creates value for society by addressing climate change challenges. The organization brought together a selective network of high-level companies, political and civil society actors aiming to lead the fight against climate change in Lebanon through an economic growth-friendly lens, encouraging the private sector to ‘demonstrate positive climate change leadership’ by playing a leading role in tackling destructive environmental impacts

    Earth Hour and Earth Day
  • Annual celebrations of Earth Hour in March: with 200 countries Lebanon celebrated Earth Hour for the 11th year in a row. By reducing the use of energy for 60 minutes, Earth Hour aims to raise awareness to the pressing need of saving the Earth by starting with small behavioral changes. At Naccash-Dbayeh branch, a large message was displayed on the branch’s LED screen hours prior to Earth Hour to raise awareness of this global initiative, encouraging people to become more conscious about the environment. During Earth Hour, the Dbayeh branch’s LED screen was switched off, as were the lights at the Plaza, Palladium, and parts of M1 building
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    Funding green projects:
  • Provided by the end of December 2015 more than $180 million in funding for green projects that are helping Lebanese companies and home owners cut costs, spur growth, and protect the environment, thanks to its partnership with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group
  • First commercial bank in MENA to participate in IFC’s Sustainable Energy Finance program in 2011, to help raise awareness on the protection of the environment, build a knowledge base for its staff and personnel, and expand its loan offerings for corporations, schools and home owners wanting to invest in eco-friendly projects

  • Developing eco-friendly products and services:
  • First bank to launch, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Earth Card, a card made of eco-friendly material, which contributes to funding environmental projects in Lebanon, an initiative which earned the Bank a National Green Award by the Ministry of Environment. 
    Offers SMEs the possibility to reduce their energy footprint and their impact on Earth, by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy with Kafalat Energy, and Kafalat Agriculture to finance farming, agriculture and arboriculture activities

  • Adopting environmentally-friendly practices at the workplace:
  • An initiative launched in 2011 helped to reduce, reuse and recycle paper on all of the bank’s premises. A green guide was issued to raise awareness among employees and provide them with tips on how to reduce paper usage. Shredded paper is being collected and donated to “Association L’Ecoute” allowing the recycling of 367 tons of paper by December 2015, thus saving an equivalent of 6,254 trees
  • Donated 1,834 e-waste items including monitors, printers, PCs, projectors, routers, phones, laptops, fax machines and other electronic devices
  • Embarked on a vast retro-fitting of its physical premises in order to bring them up to the high energy-efficiency standards it has established. The new headquarters is planned to be a sustainable green building which will set new sustainable architectural standards for the banking industry

  • Supporting green initiatives:
  • In collaboration with Mastercard, BLF and UNDP, launched the Earth Card competition to finance eco-friendly projects in Lebanon. Each year a specific theme is selected and eligible participants are invited to submit their applications
    A series of environmental initiatives are also supported such as partnering with Jouzour Loubnan to plant trees throughout the country and teaming up with Jabal Moussa reserve to help preserve its natural biodiversity. It also sponsors and participates actively in major events such as the Beirut Energy Forum and others

  • Raising green awareness among stakeholders:
  • Continuously raises awareness to encourage employees to opt for green attitudes in their daily lives. BLF also raises awareness externally by participating in panels and conferences and by publishing information via its various communications channels.
    In response to the waste crisis faced by the country, we launched in 2015 a recycling awareness campaign on Lebanese TV channels, and created an environmentally-friendly greeting card to spread environmental awareness within its sphere of influence. 
    Strives to impact consumers’ behaviors through its online banking, which is good for the environment as it cuts down paper usage and reduces pollution
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  • Creating and adopting (in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC)), we a tailor-made Social and Environmental Management System (SEMS), consisting of assessing the environmental and social risks and opportunities arising from customers’ business activities
  • Striving to enhance and adhere to sound banking principles and promote an environmentally and socially reliable development across the full range of our activities
  • Accepting and adhering to the European Investment Bank’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, and 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
  • Regularly reviewing and updating the Bank’s lending strategies to align them with industry standards in terms of Social and Responsible Investment (SRI).  Centering our strategy on three priorities: Reducing the intensity of our environmental footprint, Promoting environmentally responsible business activity, and Offering environmental products and service
  • In line with the Central Bank’s recommendations and recently issued circulars, providing 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 toward green banking
  • 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: Architecture, landscape, interior and lighting, recycled, reused and sustainable mechanics and materials, reduced water usage
  • 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 expenditure;  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
  • 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
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