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Cyprus banks push for green standards with ESG certification

Artemis Credit Bureau sets March launch for certification

Newsroom / CNA

Artemis Credit Bureau, a subsidiary of the Association of Cyprus Banks, announced it will launch an interbank project for the corporate certification on ESG (Environmental – Social – Governance) criteria.

Yiannis Tomasides, Artemis’ General Manager, said in an interview with CNA that the Credit Bureau, which provides banks and credit acquiring companies with information on their borrowers’ credit score, is responding to the needs of both banks and companies and in collaboration with the Association of Cyprus Banks and the international Credit Bureau, CRIF S.p.A, has proceeded with the implementation of a solution concerning certification with ESG criteria.

He added that corporate ESG certification will be implemented within this year for bank’s corporate clients thereby setting the groundwork for an ESG ecosystem in Cyprus.

"Corporate certification based on ESG criteria and the adoption of an ESG strategy is now a one-way street for businesses,” Tomasides said, adding that “there is value for companies, irrespective of their size, sector and activity, to chart a roadmap and align their actions towards this direction for their own sake.”

As a first stage, the banks will notify their corporate clients in Cyprus which will opt to be evaluated on ESG criteria, whereas the evaluation will be carried out by a specific questionnaire with qualitative and quantitative characteristic to be uploaded in the “Synesgy” platform.

Artemis will notify the companies’ bank on their ESG scoring.

According to Tomasides, Synesgy, is a global alliance of companies that enhances transition to sustainability with data and information collected via an innovative digital platform, which provides every company with its own evaluation on the three sustainability pillars, ie Environment, Social, and Corporate Governance.

Moreover, he added, the platform supports the banking sector providing a “sustainable financing” tool, supporting the banks’ credit risk management based on regulatory requirements.

On his part, Dimitris Bourpoulas, Project Manager at Artemis told CNA that the Synesgy platform is available in 76 countries and 27 languages across 4 continents, adding that so far, a total of 620,000 invitations have been sent to companies globally.

The platform, he said, fulfills all conditions according to international and European directives on ESG criteria and will contribute to a correct evaluation of companies and their continuous development towards a sustainable future.

Each ESG certification will be valid for 12 months, Bourpoulas said, whereas a company could implement actions to further improve its ESG score by the next evaluation a year later.

"We are setting the groundwork for what will come in the future,” he said, noting at this stage is important to create a corporate culture whereby incorporating ESG criteria in their practices and strategy primarily for their own benefit.

Concluding Bourpoulas said the current period is a transitional stage on ESG criteria which will gradually become obligatory. “Therefore, this is a great opportunity for companies to invest in new knowhow and management systems for non-financial data for the correct incorporation of ESG criteria,” he concluded.

Cyprus  |  economy  |  banks  |  environment

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