Today companies around the world are leading the way in green initiatives, adopting a wide range of admirable, in-house sustainability practices such as ambitious recycling programs and the installation of low-energy systems, in addition to financing external green projects of which they want to be a part. In many cases, they are motivated by cost savings and of course, a desire to protect our planet by reducing their carbon footprint. In Lebanon today, many banks and leading companies are actively engaged in green corporate social responsibility programs.

Here we look at BANK AUDI

Listing of energy projects (by order of importance):

a. “Grow Green” recycling program

b. Carbon footprint measurement and assessment and third-party engagement

c. Environmental loans

d. Reducing consumption

e. Environmental awareness – workshops and presentations

f. Participating in Earth Hour and Earth Day.

Bank Audi’s initiative to limit and reduce its ecological footprint:

– Solid waste: our “Grow Green” program encourages employees to recycle paper, metal, batteries, plastic caps, PET bottles, books and e-waste, both at the workplace and at home. There are currently 3 collection hubs designed for this purpose.

The paper is sold to a recycling company in order to be converted into pulp and hence paper again. Over the span of
4 years, we have saved over 6800 trees.

The plastic caps are donated to arcenciel who recycle it into wheelchairs for the disabled. To date, we have donated
467 kg of plastic.

Books collected from employees are given to Assabil Friends of Public Libraries.

e-waste is refurbished and donated to various needy NGOs.

The remaining collected materials are donated to Association de l’Ecoute.

We also donate furniture which is no longer used to various needy NGOs.

– Environmental awareness through internal communications includes regular messages and intranet aimed at encouraging employees to recycle and sort their waste.

– A presentation entitled “Waste in Our Society”, given by a leading expert in environmental and industrial engineering, provided 90 employees with recycling solutions and a projection of what could be done.

– In partnership with a certified expert and as acknowledged by the Ministry of Environment, we annually conduct comprehensive audits of our carbon footprint by monitoring all our premises (branches, offices and warehouses). This process was launched in 2012, hereafter considered as base year, with a view to comply with the GRI G4 guidelines on environmental impact. With a 22,199.8 tCO2e in 2012, we have managed to decrease to 21,738.2 tCO2e as measured in 2015; hence a drop of 2.1% even with an expansion of 7.86% in area occupied and 11.40% of additional employees. GHG emissions per employee decreased from 8.0 tCO2e in 2012 to 6.9 tCO2e by 2015 and per square meter from 0.230 tCO2e in 2012 to 0.225 tCO2e by 2015.

– To promote energy savings in 2015, Bank Audi established a micro-site intended for school students and designed to help them input their household energy consumption. With the data collected, the students were able to decrease their household energy consumption. The top 3 students were offered a reward for their efforts. This is a continuing project: our aim for 2016 is to widen the scope of schools in order to spread more awareness among students and encourage their participation, while providing them with the necessary tools for energy consumption and effects on the environment.

– Since 2015, we reduced our paper consumption by 18.5% due to the active steps taken in all our branches: all printers which have the option of printing on both sides were set to print on duplex mode by default.

– Annual celebrations of Earth Hour in March, where we voluntarily join the global initiative and turn off the lights in our headquarters during a whole hour.

– As for our own consumption reduction efforts, the below was already installed:

o BMS system for monitoring the Bank’s buildings

o LED lights in the Head Office

o Motion detectors in the low occupancy areas

o Chillers with heat recovery systems

o LED for signage.

– With the same objective, we are planning to implement the following in 2017:

o LED lights in branches

o BMS system for branches

o Energy efficiency audit for branches.

Eco loans to customers. Type and value of loans  to date, type of customers etc. 

– To date, we have extended over USD 97 million of environmental loans subsidized by the Central Bank of Lebanon at preferential interest rates. These loans cover a spectrum of environment-friendly modifications, from renovated lighting systems to the acquisition of photovoltaic panels, to landscaping implementations granted to a wide range of customers from different sectors and applied in residential, commercial and retail buildings, as well as in schools and in various industries (for production and energy saving purposes). We also extended more than USD 253,000 in sponsorships to various environmental and animal rights projects recommended by our different branches.

– Bank Audi contributed to reducing the nation’s carbon footprint through facilitating environmental loans granted by the Central Bank (Circular 236) in coordination with the Lebanese Centre for Energy Conservation (LCEC), as observed for 2013, 2014 and 2015. These loans helped various residential, commercial and industrial projects emerge with reduced carbon emissions. Hence an overall saving of 12,771 tCO2e in carbon footprint using energy efficient, solar or photovoltaic solutions.

The eco loans that Bank Audi provides include:

– EE solutions

– Solar PV (off-grid and on-grid)

– LED lighting

– LEED – Gold

– LEED – Silver

– BREEAM – Pass