DigitalCFO Newsroom | 26 August 2022
The Bank received the award for its corporate sustainability report
The Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards (AREA) 2022 is pleased to honor 72 exemplary award recipients for championing ESG to build a resilient world and a sustainable future for all.
The AREA is the most prominent CSR recognition program across Asia initiated by the region’s leading NGO, Enterprise Asia. The award recipients were selected through a stringent judging process which is based on the 3 criterions of effectiveness and reach, relevance, and sustainability.
Government Housing Bank’s Award-Winning Corporate Sustainability Report
Government Housing Bank (or G H Bank) is a solely-state-owned and specialized financial institution under the Ministry of Finance of Thailand to provide financial assistance and mortgage for Thai people especially with low or limited income to have their own homes. The Bank received the award for its corporate sustainability report, ‘Sustainable [GH] Bank for Thai People’, under the Corporate Sustainability Reporting category.
According to the mission of ‘Enabling More Thai People to have their own homes’ and the main strategic positioning to become the best housing bank in Thailand within 2025, G H Bank’s sustainability agenda also aims to claim the title of ‘Sustainable Bank’. With those agendas, G H Bank has initiated strategic objectives aligned with sustainable dimensions to achieve the title of a leading sustainable bank in Thailand. In the short term, its key objective is to maximize the ‘Financial Inclusion’, which aims to ‘Create different Financial Aids’ to support customers to achieve home aspirations and ensure that everyone can gain financial instruments for saving and lending. For the medium-term, G H Bank attempts to ‘Minimize social inequality’ by uplifting the operation process to enable customers to access the services. For its long-term objective, G H Bank aims to minimize poverty in all its forms everywhere in Thailand by equalizing people’s opportunities to own a house and truly making Thai people have their own homes.
G H Bank benchmarked its strategies and performances to comply with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and, under the supervision of the Bank of Thailand (BOT), both influence the direction of the financial institute. By doing so, the Bank has initiated CSR Masterplan 2021-2025, CSR Strategic Objectives, and CSR Model: I AM GHB, which stands for CSR In Process, After the process, and in mind, to serve those benchmarks and the sustainable agendas. Those procedures resulted in sustainability projects and activities such as the One Million Houses Loan Project, Green Loan Project, Bank on Bank, etc.
One of the Bank’s most successful sustainability projects is the One Million Houses Loan Project. The project was initiated to commit to providing those with limited income and hardship an opportunity to obtain a house by developing the financial product with the special low-interest rate for a mortgage valued under THB1.2 million, 100% LTV, and THB5,000 flatrate installment plan. With this monthly installment amount, the customers prefer to purchase rather than rent a house. Additionally, G H Bank absorbed the financial cost gap between the standard and special interest rate.
Derived from CSR Masterplan, G H Bank also set up the CG&CSR Committee to supervise sustainability activities and audit the performance for continuous improvement to ensure that sustainability targets are met. The Bank’s sustainability report was based on the Global Reporting Initiative: GRI standard.
At the beginning of sustainability strategy creation, G H Bank engages with principal stakeholders by setting up a hearing session to gather expectations and opinions from 10 groups of stakeholders, such as customers, regulators, etc., to influence their sustainability strategies, projects, and activities. According to the G H Bank Sustainability report, the Bank has initiated Stakeholder Relationship Masterplan 2021-2055 to continuously improve the relationship and create synergy to achieve sustainability objectives and the mission of “Enabling More Thai People to have their own homes”.
Having been prioritized as one of the stakeholders, G H Bank employees also play major roles in identifying their bank’s sustainability factors and include those as input factors for strategy development. Moreover, G H Bank assigns each business unit responsibility and KPIs to the sustainability factors familiar to their duties to influence G H Bank to achieve its sustainability agendas. These sustainability performances were declared on G H Bank’s website.
To ensure that all deliberations, decisions, and actions on sustainability projects and actions comply with the good corporate governance act, G H Bank has the CG&CSR Committee to supervise the directions from CSR Strategic Objectives and audit performances, accountability, fairness, and transparency on sustainability actions under the good corporate governance practice.
Apart from the committee, the Bank also complies with GRI Standards, the global standards for sustainability reporting, which act as the guidelines for the elements in the sustainability report and influence the direction of sustainability activities. Complying with GRI Standards, G H Bank regularly reviews the plans to ensure they reflect global best practices for sustainability reporting, helping organizations respond to emerging information demands from stakeholders and regulators.