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United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)

We were commissioned by the UNEP FI to develop a Guide assist Malaysian banks in helping Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to embed sustainability / ESG practices as business-as-usual. The Guide was developed through findings from a desk-based review and interviews with 13 Malaysian and international banks.

The Guide includes a Framework for action that banks can take in supporting SMEs in the sustainable recovery from the covid pandemic including 19 key suggestions on bank wide approach and supporting SMEs as well as a step-by-step guide for product development. The suggested actions in the Framework are applicable to all banks, not just those in Malaysia.

The Guide highlighted that banks are uniquely positioned to support SMEs in taking action on sustainability, both through finance related activities (such as developing sustainability products) and broader activities (such as capacity building), illustrated with various case studies. As we recover from the covid pandemic, momentum is building amongst Malaysian banks to further support SMEs on their sustainability journey.

The Guide concluded that responsibility for assisting SMEs on sustainability should not lie with banks alone and support is also required from government and other industry players to incentivise action.

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Download the full Guide for Malaysian Banks supporting SMEs in the sustainable recovery from Covid-19

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