Sustainable finance

Our approach to sustainability

At Standard Chartered we recognise that as a leading international bank we have an exceptional ability and responsibility to contribute to the long-term sustainability of our planet.

By far the biggest impact we have on society and our environment is through our support for the business activities of our clients. Our financing decisions – who and what we finance – enable us to make our strongest contribution to sustainable development.

We seek to lead by example and we work with clients who share our commitment to driving sustainable economic growth, protecting the environment and contributing positively to the societies where we live and work. As a partner to our clients, we work with them to manage environmental, social and governance risk and support business activities that improve people’s livelihoods.

“As we enter such a critical year for global climate change agreements, it is more important than ever that companies integrate environment and climate change considerations into their core business. Standard Chartered has demonstrated its leadership in emerging markets through the development of the position statements.”Tom Burke,

The environmental, economic and social costs of climate change are well known. Their impacts are becoming increasingly evident, especially in those countries that have limited capacity to mitigate against, and adapt to, the key risks associated with climate change. In our core markets, we and our clients are working to respond to these challenges in two important ways:

And our efforts are bearing fruit. Our specialised renewable energy team has, to date, financed $3.2 billion of projects in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Expanding our efforts within our footprint, in 2008 we partnered with the Asian Development Bank to support energy efficiency investment in China in a programme worth up to $117 million (800 million yuan) over nine years.

Taking a holistic view of sustainability, our Environmental and Social Risk policy requires all lending and investment due diligence to include an assessment of key sustainability risks. In 2008, we put in place position statements providing guidance to frontline staff including our relationship managers, credit officers and portfolio managers, on 11 key business sectors and critical topics such as climate change and child labour.

This section reports on the opportunities to finance the shift to a low-carbon economy and our management of sustainability risk. Protecting the environment reports on other aspects of our environment strategy, including managing the impacts of our operations and engaging with stakeholders. Supporting social and economic development is addressed in Access to financial services.


  • $117mfinance pledged for energy-efficient systems
  • $3.2bnrenewable energy and clean technology projects financed since 2007
  • 13Sector and issue position statements developed
The Banker Logo Awards

The Banker Commendations 2008 – Banking the Unbanked

The Banker Commendations 2008 – Best Corporate Finance

The Banker Commendations 2008 – Best Overall bank