bb awards 2015

2015 beyondBanking Award Winners

Financial intermediaries from Latin America and the Caribbean are recognized for their contributions to making the region’s financial sector more sustainable

BUSAN, Korea – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced today the winners of the fifth annual beyondBanking awards, which recognize best projects and initiatives in the region contributing to the creation of a more sustainable financial sector. The awards were given in a ceremony at the Bank’s Annual Meeting in Busan, Korea. This year’s winners were financial intermediaries from Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Paraguay.

Created in 2010, the awards seek to identify, share and inspire good practices in Latin America and the Caribbean’s financial sector. The award categories reflect distinct types of sustainable development in the region, from financial inclusion strategies to the application of new technologies, as well as sustainability reporting and projects that reduce the effects of climate change, among others.

The winners by category were the following:

  • accessBanking Award: promotion of financial inclusion strategies

Banca Joven – Banco Nacional de Bolivia (Bolivia)

  • clearBanking Award: strengthening corporate governance, transparency and the use of sustainability reports

Relato integrado – Banco Itaú (Brazil)

  • connectBanking Award: dissemination of new information and communication technologies

Credimóvil – Banco Familiar (Paraguay)

  • equalBanking Award: support for diversity and gender equality

Un compromiso de VIDA para CREER – Banco D-MIRO (Ecuador)

  • learnBanking Award: development of financial education as a tool for responsible financial decision-making

Programa de educación financiera Sanodelucas – Banco Santander (Chile)

  • planetBanking Award: searching for answers to the effects of climate change

BanCO2 – Bancolombia (Colombia)

  • Socially responsible/Impact investment Award: the most socially responsible or impact investment

Vox Capital Investing Fund – Vox Capital (Brazil)

  • People’s choice Award: project with the most popular support

BanCO2 – Bancolombia (Colombia)

“This year we are celebrating the fifth anniversary of the beyondBanking awards. When we started these awards, our goal was to identify the best sustainability practices in the financial industry in the region and to showcase them as part of a new financial model that combines economic, social and environmental returns,” said Gema Sacristan, Chief of the Financial Markets Division of the IDB. “This year’s awards included a record number of applicants and high-quality projects.”

The awardees were chosen from over 150 proposals for the seven categories. A Committee of Experts selected the best 21 proposals, three per category. Finally, the winner was selected by the public through an online vote.

About beyondBanking

The beyondBanking program is managed by the Financial Markets Division of the Structured and Corporate Finance Department and promotes social, environmental and corporate governance practices among financial intermediaries in Latin America and the Caribbean. It was created in order to contribute to the Bank of the Future – a financial business model that combines financial profitability with social and environmental returns; values principles of transparency, responsibility and integrity; seeks to promote financial inclusion through new channels; and respects the environment and community in which it operates.

Aquapolo (2)

IDB Announces Winners of Infrastructure 360º Awards

Awards developed with the Harvard Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure

BUSAN, Korea – Projects in Brazil, Chile, and Mexico have won the Infrastructure 360º Awards, which showcase leadership in climate and environment, social impact, governance and innovation.

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President Luis Alberto Moreno delivered the awards to three companies as part of the second annual ceremony of the Infrastructure 360º Awards, staged as part of the Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the IDB.

The EURUS Wind Farm project in Mexico was selected as the winner of the People and Leadership category. The Cerro Dominador Solar Concentration Plant in Chile won in the Climate and Environment category, and the Aquapolo Industrial Water Production Project in Brazil was named the winner of the overall Infrastructure 360º category, demonstrating the most comprehensive implementation of a sustainability strategy.

The IDB Private Sector Infrastructure Sustainability Awards, or the Infrastructure 360° Awards, seek to identify, assess, and reward sustainable infrastructure investments made by the private sector and public-private partnerships in the IDB´s 26 borrowing member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Developed jointly with the Harvard Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure, the Awards help underscore how sustainability can be integrated during the planning, design, construction, and operation of infrastructure projects. Eligible projects must have been under construction or in operation within the past three years, and have a total investment of $30 million or more.

“We must invest in sustainable infrastructure to meet the challenges of climate change and ensure socially inclusive growth in the region,” said Hans Schulz, IDB Vice Presidentfor Private Sector and Non-Sovereign Guaranteed Operations. “The Infrastructure 360º Awards recognize cutting-edge private sector sustainability efforts in this direction.”

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore congratulated the awardees in a recorded message, noting, “Innovations in design and technology are revolutionizing the way engineers and architects think about infrastructure, allowing us to build a sustainable future that is a better future in every way.”

The awards initiative was launched in Panama in March 2013, and had its inaugural ceremony in March 2014 in Brazil.

In 2015, over 40 projects applied from ten countries in the telecommunications, energy, transport, water treatment and solid waste/sanitation sectors. Each project was submitted online through a self-evaluation tool developed by the Harvard Zofnass program.

The IDB announced the 12 finalists for the awards in September 2014. Each finalist submitted additional documents and materials that were reviewed by the Harvard Zofnass team, which then prepared a detailed assessment of each project for review by the nine-member panel of international experts that chose the winners.

Gen Con participants get Job Exp at Marriott 078-2

Three Pillars for Jamaica to Achieve Sustainable Growth

There are many encouraging signs emerging from Jamaica these days.  Three of the major rating agencies provide a positive outlook for the economy, consumer confidence reached a two-year peak in 2014, and lower oil prices are helping to cut energy costs and improve the fiscal accounts. What this means is increased investment opportunities in a country that is proudly emerging from a period of economic hardship.

As the country moves forward, both the public and private sectors will have key roles in defining a new growth path for Jamaica, which in my mind will depend greatly on three pillars: connectivity, expanding business opportunities, and sustainability. Let me explain why.

  • Connectivity: In today’s globally connected markets, it is not enough to offer great services or sell high value products. The key to success, beyond geographic position, is to develop efficient logistics networks, leveraged through deep partnerships.  Connectivity is measured by an economy’s linkages to global markets for goods and services, capital, technology and ideas.  Jamaica must prepare for the 21st century by investing in hard and soft infrastructure that boosts its connections with external markets.
  • Expanded business opportunities: Expanding business opportunities means creating the conditions for a dynamic business environment, one that can count on access to finance as well as programs that help firms upgrade their skills and increase their competitiveness. Reducing government excessive bureaucracy is central to create these conditions, but is not sufficient.  Investment in dynamic SMEs is needed for long-term growth and firm upgrading.
  • Sustainability: It is paramount for future growth to be built on sustainable environmental and social practices – both in business and government.  Investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency are needed to reduce the impact of volatile fossil fuel prices, while lowering Jamaica’s carbon footprint. More broadly, sustainability encompasses social elements such as: gender equality, youth employment, and improved access to basic services for underserved populations.

The IDB is a long-standing partner for Jamaica, committed to work with the government and private sector to capitalize on these opportunities. We are investing to increase Jamaica’s connectivity in multiple ways: from exploring long-term financing to upgrade Kingston’s container port to take advantage of the expansion of the Panama Canal and Jamaica’s potential as a regional hub; to using the internet to connect businesses from Jamaica and across the region through our ConnectAmericas platform – the first online community of companies dedicated to international trade and investment.

To boost the expansion of business opportunities, we are supporting the Junior Stock Exchange by helping to expand the range of debt and equity finance for high impact entrepreneurs and develop a credible exit for venture capital investors. We offer a range of credit programs to finance microentreprenuers, small-scale firms and larger corporates as all need a piece of the action.

As to sustainability, we are investing in sustainable tourism and industry, for example the Marriot Courtyard in Kingston, where we financed the construction of the first LEED certified building in Jamaica that incorporates green technologies improving the hotel’s carbon footprint, while reducing its operational expenses (Video). The IDB also partnered with Marriott and the Jamaican construction firm building the hotel to provide construction jobs for youth from disadvantaged communities, a win-win for the hotel and Jamaican youth.

From my viewpoint, Jamaica is on the move. The many conversations I had during the Jamaica Investment Forum earlier this month revealed a tangible awareness that sustainable and inclusive business is not only necessary but marks the path toward a smarter growth path. From the IDB’s perspective, Jamaica’s economy is ripe for increased private sector investment and sustainable growth.

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