Sustainable Development Goals– Our Commitment to You, The Environment & Clean Energy

Around the world, an upsurge in extreme weather events has made everyone take a closer look at the effects of Climate Change. Are you aware of the frequency and intensity of hurricanes in the Caribbean, the long and severe droughts gripping the eastern Horn of Africa, and news surrounding the historic heatwave and droughts across the Pacific Northwest (U.S.A)? These are just a few events that highlight the urgency with which the world, and by extension, you have to adopt sustainable solutions to ensure our best future.

As Howard Zinn once said, “We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world”.

Our efforts to respond to the Caribbean’s climate change reality are currently at a critical juncture on our path toward sustainable development. Let us remember that our region is faced with its unique vulnerabilities and characteristics which include its small size and susceptibility to coastal erosion due to rising sea levels and the vulnerability to external economic shocks. Regionally, we must all take the path that ensures our economic development adopts sustainable practices.

As a response to the growing challenges Caribbean countries face, the RFHL Group took up a leadership role in contributing to the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) when it became an official signatory to the Global Principles for Responsible Banking on September 25th, 2020. Furthermore, we have identified climate action and clean energy as key priority areas for the Group.

Here is RFHL’s commitment at a glance.

Office of Sustainability
For us, the introduction of the forward-thinking Office of Sustainability is an extension of our purpose to contribute to the development of our ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) strategy. With the creation of this unit, the group intends to accelerate its mission to align with the Paris Agreement, as well as to deepen a broad understanding of the socio-economic and environmental changes and challenges we face and the op-tions that are open to us.

Climate financing commitment.
The Group believes that the most direct and impactful contribution we can make is in the form of a lending goal across the Group. This commitment will represent all the initiatives across the Group that involve either climate goals or clean energy.

Republic Bank pledges to lend, invest and arrange USD 200 million by 2025. Our commitment seeks to increase activities that reduce the impact of climate change. For example, the promotion of electric and hybrid car loans will increase the trend of using clean fuels, renewable energy technology, and the improvement in energy efficiency. Only you can take advantage of this opportunity to create a better tomorrow for our future generations.

Accelerating the global transition to affordable and clean energy.
Making clean energy forms such as solar energy widely available is a key milestone in our ambitious efforts to combat climate change. Imagine a world where we no longer contribute to harming the environment due to our use of non-renewable energy forms such as fossil fuels. Currently, the use of fossil fuels to power the electric grid is the main energy source for most of the Eastern Caribbean. However, with the ongoing shift from hydrocarbons to renewable power forms, the private sector and you have an opportunity to change the way our energy system functions. To facilitate this change, we must continue the good work, and continue educating people on the benefits of adopting solar, wind, and geothermal energy to lessen the dependence on fossil fuels. RFHL understands that to ensure the seamless transition to clean energy we must continue engaging the private sector as the Micro-Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (MSMEs) sector is the engine of growth in the Caribbean economy. Any agreement will require collaboration and investment from all involved as we continue our shift to clean energy forms.

Reducing the Carbon Impact
Given our commitment to becoming a responsible bank, we find it imperative to align our commitment to areas of the organization where we can make a meaningful change. We intend to achieve net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions in our financing activities by 2050. Only through engaging key stakeholders across functional areas in the Bank to review policies, procedures, processes, and systems can we adequately support sustainable solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

By encouraging consumers to switch to electric vehicles, you accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility in important industries like tourism. A shift in consumer behavior towards the use of electric vehicles in the tourism sector will have a positive environmental impact but also an economic impact as clean energy is set to become cheaper due to further technological developments in electric car manufacturing. So, when deciding to purchase a new vehicle for personal or business use please consider the benefits to the environment your actions will bring.

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