Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman yesterday called for a cultural shift among the country's senior bankers to boost efforts to reduce carbon footprints.
"The biggest challenge is greening of the mindset. We all have to be green in mind. For a start, the mindset among bankers should not be that environmental guidelines are damaging to growth of business and a hindrance," he said.
"Rather, it is in your own interest too for long-run growth of your profits."
Rahman spoke at the inaugural session of the Green Finance Conference 2014 at Bangladesh Bank Training Academy in Dhaka.
Rahman said better collaboration and partnerships among leading businesses, investors and key public institutions could lead to new models of inclusive, green and sustainable growth.
"The transition to a green economy has the potential to unlock new growth engines and spur business opportunities."
"Improving resource efficiencies and greening the value chain, as means of creating major growth opportunities, generating new markets and jobs, and promoting social and environmental benefits are inevitable for sustainable development."
The governor said local banks should start working on sustainability as the international banking communities are embracing the new way of doing business.
He said green technology might be an effective way to improve resource efficiency and coordinate the different processes responsible for green growth.
"Appropriate financing mechanism is essential from banks and financial intermediaries to foster the development of green technology."
"Widespread implementation of green initiatives and energy-saving technologies can facilitate Bangladesh clean its environment. But access to finance is vital for the successful implementation of green initiatives."
"An unencumbered flow of financing can expedite the growth of green industry."
Bangladesh Bank has issued guidelines on sustainable banking issues, like green banking, environmental risk management, corporate social responsibilities and financial inclusion, in recent years.
"The central bank is committed to pursuing digital, nearly paper-less, sustainable, green banking operations by making the best use of the information technology and related professional skills," said Rahman.
"Our different initiatives particularly IT-based green banking activities through online banking, e-banking, e-commerce, online Credit Infor-mation Bureau, automated clearing house, e-tendering, e-recruitment and National Payment Switch are moving ahead in full swing."
In order to bring further momentum to green financing, the central bank has already introduced a Tk 200 crore refinance line against bank loans for investments in 16 green products.
The Green Banking and CSR Department of the central bank organised the event.
SK Sur Chowdhury and Nazneen Sultana, deputy governors; Main Uddin Monem, vice chairman of NCC Bank Ltd; and Ataur Rahman, executive director of Bangladesh Bank Training Academy, were also present.