Development Bank watches green compliance
“As a responsible corporate citizen, the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) adheres to all relevant legislation and regulations that impacts on the bank’s line of business” said Jerome Mutumba, the bank’s Communication Manager adding that they ensure that all funded projects are in compliance with their own environmental and social requirements as stipulated in the DBN Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) and Policy.
Some project with an environmental or social angle include semi-purification of water at Walvis Bay, manufacturing of biofuel logs, large-scale solar energy and numerous social enterprises such as private medical and educational facilities.
Mutumba said the recent appointment of a Manager for Environmental and Social Development is a clear sign that the bank intends to monitor its client’s environmental and social compliance and stewardship.
He said the bank recognises the need for environmental sustainability, and has demonstrated this in its track record of finance for projects with a positive environmental footprint but pointing out that they often have to walk a fine line between human development and the environment. The Development Bank’s formalisation of an Environmental and Social Management Systems is expected to address conflicts in this regard.
The bank’s Environmental and Social Management System will have an outreach component covering all “affected” existing clients, reviewing, inspecting and auditing all Environmental and Social Management Plans. The bank also addresses non-compliance while ensuring that corrective measures are put in place to abide by the bank’s own policy.
On the topic of social development, the bank finances numerous projects with strong social benefits. Beyond the expectation that projects adhere to the Namibian body of laws surrounding conditions of employment, empowerment and occupational health and safety, the bank also considers the impact that enterprise and infrastructure has on social development, Mutumba noted.
These impacts, he said, can be felt within the workplace and within the surrounding communities. Mutumba offers Ohorongo Cement as an example of how one organisation can have multiple beneficial impacts, with an operational approach that ensures the health and safety of its employees, in addition to stringent and highly controlled mitigation of health impacts on surrounding communities and the environment.
Ohorongo Cement is actively involved in community health and education, which are additional beneficial social initiatives.