Founding Signatory to the Principles for Responsible Banking
Banco Promerica de Costa Rica, S.A is part of. Grupo Promerica, present in all Central America, in addition to Ecuador and Dominican Republic, for a total of nine countries. The groups’ assets represent approximately US$15 B. The bank is one of the few Central American capital groups still remaining. Twenty-scven (27) years ago its main shareholder, Ramiro Ortiz Mayorga, envisioned the banks’ strategy on a paper napkin. One of the key points he focused on was the positive impact he wanted the organizations to have in the communities where the banks operated.
Summary of sustainability strategy
The sustainable strategy for Banco Promerica de Costa Rica is based on four pilars:
1) Family of products: Portfolios that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as SMEs, green lending, agribusiness on the active part of the balance sheet and gcnerating strategic rclationships with development finance institutions (DFIs) and other sources of funding.
2) Corporate responsibility: To be responsible and help the communities where it operates is an important part of sustainability. It supports charitable organizations in each of the countries where it operates, and aims to involve employees in giving back to the community.
3) Leading by example represents another defining perspective of a sustainable strategy. The bank cannot ask its clients to invest in technologies, recycle and have carbon neutral practices in place if the bank does not do so itself. This is why the bank has five branches with solar panels, one is certified LEED Gold, all lighting is energy efficient, and the bank measures its water footprint and composts.
4) The last pillar involves choosing the right indicators to measure what is accomplished in the other three pillars, and determining how the bank is contributing to the UN SDGs. And the basis for the whole the strategy is have a strong environmental and social management system and screening all business clients.
Why did the bank join UNEP FI as a member?
Banco Promerica wants to learn from the experience of other banks and to join them in working as agents of change towards a better world.
“Our society is facing serious challenges. The world is at a crossroads and each of us needs to make a decision. At Banco Promerica, Costa Rica, we understand our responsibility to all our stakeholders and the world we aspire to achieve. Banks are agents of change, we believe in the Sustainable Development Goals, and we are determined to support those goals with our daily banking activities. We are very proud to join UNEP FI and be the first Costa Rican Bank to endorse the Principles for Responsible Banking,” John Keith, CEO Banco Promerica Costa Rica