Now More Than Ever...


The Financial Times and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced the winners of the 2009 FT Sustainable Banking Awards, with Triodos Bank of the Netherlands named as Sustainable Bank of the Year and Itau Unibanco of Brazil taking the overall Emerging Markets prize.
Now in their fourth year, the awards recognise banks and other financial institutions that have shown leadership and innovation in integrating social, environmental and corporate governance considerations into their operations.
The Awards have grown in popularity and this year the nominees were selected from among 165 entries from 117 institutions across 42 countries. Three categories - Achievement in Basic Needs Financing, Banking at the Bottom of the Pyramid, and Sustainable Investor of the Year - were open to non-banking financial institutions as well as banks.
The awards were presented at a gala dinner at the Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel in London on June 4 attended by more than 250 senior bankers and decision-makers in the area of sustainability. Sir Bob Geldof, Humanitarian, Pop Star, Broadcaster and Businessman  was keynote speaker at the dinner. The event followed a one-day Sustainable Banking Conference organised by the Financial Times and IFC.
The 2009 winners and runners-up in each category are:

Sustainable Bank of the Year
  • Winner: Triodos Bank, Netherlands
  • Runner-up: Standard Chartered, UK
Emerging Markets Sustainable Bank of the Year
  • Winner: Itau Unibanco, Brazil
  • Regional winner Africa/Middle East: Equity Bank, Kenya
  • Regional winner Asia: Industrial Bank, China
  • Regional winner Eastern Europe: Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB)
  • Regional winner Latin America: Itau Unibanco
Achievement in Basic Needs Financing
  • Winner: MicroEnsure, UK
  • Runner-up: Water Capital, Mexico
Achievement in Banking at the Bottom of the Pyramid
  • Winner: Root Capital, US
  • Runner-up: WIZZIT, South Africa
Sustainable Investor of the Year
  • Winner: Global Environment Fund, US
  • Runner-up: E+Co, US
"The financial crisis has necessitated a re-assessment of the way in which banks and investment houses operate, and the winners of these Awards are radically changing the industrys approach to risk and opportunity. These Awards recognise the responsibility institutions have in providing solutions to the worlds most pressing issues and how they are meeting those objectives in a financially viable way," said Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times.
"The current crisis underscores that sustainability is at the core of building a healthy global economy. A growing number of financial institutions, especially those in emerging markets, are driving this change by proving that promoting a clean environment and serving those at the bottom of the pyramid can be sources of business opportunities. We are pleased these awards celebrate their innovation and leadership," said Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO.
The judging panel, which included leading figures involved in sustainable finance and development, initially narrowed down the entries to a short-list of five institutions for each category of award -- and three banks for each regional sub-category under Emerging Markets Bank of the Year -- before selecting the overall winners.
The judges were:
  • Rachel Kyte, Vice President, Business Advisory Services, IFC (co-chair)
  • John Willman, former UK Business Editor and Former Associate Editor, Financial Times (co-chair)
  • David Harris, Manager, Responsible Investment, FTSE Group
  • Richard Laing, Chief Executive, CDC Group Ltd
  • Elizabeth Littlefield, CEO, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)
  • Herman Mulder, international sustainable development advisor
  • Tessa Tennant, Co-founder, Association for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA)
Leading consultancy Sustainable Finance Ltd, a subsidiary of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, was technical advisor for the programme.