IIC holds Second Annual Week of Sustainability Workshops Targeting Brazilian SMEs and the Regional Financial Sector


IIC’s Sustainability Week 2011 Features Information on Energy Efficiency, Climate Change, and Environmental Risk Management

São Paulo and Salvador, Brazil – From September 26 to 30, 2011, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) held its second annual Sustainability Week comprising a series of workshops to raise awareness on energy efficiency. The event also offered practical tools to help SMEs and the financial sector incorporate sustainability issues into their practices.

At the first workshop, held September 26, the IIC partnered with Banco Itaú-Unibanco, a bank that has participated in the IIC’s Environmental Risk Management workshop for over a decade. On this occasion, Itaú shared with other banks of the region its sustainability-related expertise and experiences. The focus of this workshop was to offer SMEs the tools they need to identify and implement efficiency measures aimed at reducing their energy costs and carbon footprint.

The second workshop, Environmental Management for the Financial Sector, took place September 28-30 in the Brazilian city of Salvador, and was facilitated in conjunction with the Environmental and Social Safeguards Unit (ESG) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Taking part in this workshop were 26 participants representing 18 financial institutions located in 13 countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and the United States). The focus of this interactive workshop was training financial institutions on how to reduce environmental and social risks.

The final workshop in the series, Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities for Financial Institutions, is organized by the IIC in collaboration with the IDB’s Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Unit (INE/ECC). Its objective is to raise awareness on climate change and to help financial institutions identify both climate change-related risks and opportunities. This workshop will cover the implications of climate change for financial institutions as well as the clients that make up their portfolios.

The IIC is interested in offering capacity-building to, and partnering with, local financial institutions and other organizations to raise awareness on climate change, promote energy efficiency, and encourage the use of renewable energy sources. In recent years, the IIC has partnered with other financial institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean. Since first launching its Environmental Risk Management workshop in 1999, the IIC has trained more than 430 participants from 189 financial institutions, and Itaú-Unibanco has participated consistently over the years, both as a participant and workshop lecturer.

To learn more about Sustainability Week, please visit www.iicsustainabilityweek.org

About the IIC

The IIC is a multilateral financial institution that is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group. The IIC’s mission is to promote the economic development of its regional member countries by encouraging the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. It does so by providing financing (in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other instruments) and advisory services to private enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2010, the IIC reached US$1.4 billion in assets and approved 49 operations, channeling US$374.8 million to SMEs in the region. For more information on the IIC’s activities, please visit www.iic.org

Contact: Angela Miller

Telephone: (202) 623-3936

Email: angelam@iadb.org