Banco Davivienda promotes “Sustainable Companies Club”

El Salvador’s Banco Davivienda has been promoting responsible entrepreneurship through its “Sustainable Companies Club” for five years. To introduce the Club’s members to the potential of green lending, the bank has decided to spread food for thought along with some culinary input and is organizing green lending breakfast briefings, supported by the GCPF Technical Assistance facility. This facility suggested and financed the external energy expert Carlos St. James of Wood Group Clean Energy, who introduced experiences with photovoltaic systems in other countries.

Carmen, what was the topic of your first green lending breakfast briefing?

It has been over five years since we set out to promote energy efficiency, clean energy generation and renewable energy through our “Sustainable Companies Club”. Following up on this initiative, this year we decided to address the topic of photovoltaic systems and how they are being used in other countries. The aim was to introduce tools to improve entrepreneurial sustainability and to share learnings from successfully implemented projects, with the overall objective of encouraging businesses to follow sustainable practices themselves.

Carmen Elena Avalos de Varela

“We wanted to introduce tools to improve entrepreneurial sustainability and to share learnings.”

Carmen Elena Avalos de Varela, Environmental Management
Officer at Banco Davivienda, El Salavdor

Who was speaking?

We welcomed Wood Group’s Carlos St. James, who shared his experiences with photovoltaic systems across various countries and his view of the potential of such projects in El Salvador; Yolanda de Tobar, Executive Director at the National Center for Cleaner Production, who introduced a “Technical Guide for Rooftop Solar Systems” and presented a roadmap for the implementation of such projects; and Néstor Argumedo Argueta, CEO of San José Milk Industries, who presented the financial and environmental benefits of implementing his project.

Speaking in front of our clients, Gerardo Simán, CEO of Banco Davivienda, explained that our bank wants to remain at the forefront when it comes to sustainable and environmental lending and that we can grant a total of USD 60 m jointly financed by GCPF and FMO to companies looking to implement green projects.

What type of clients attended the breakfast briefing?

We had a very diverse audience comprising big corporate clients as well as SMEs active in industrial production, trade and services.

What were their reactions?

The clients who participated in the event appreciated the opportunity to hear about topics that can have such direct impact on their businesses. They expressed a lively interest in implementing this type of project for their own business, especially since they clearly understood the financial benefit involved.

How are you following up on the event?

In order to support clients with the implementation of potential initiatives, we have followed up with visits to some of their operations. As a result, one of them has already commissioned an energy audit designed to establish his business’ current usage and savings potential.

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