Korea's best bank for CSR 2019: Shinhan Bank
As Korea’s top domestic bank, Shinhan is in a position to lead the way for corporate social responsibility in the country. And the bank has done just that, under its motto of ‘Compassionate finance’.
Since becoming the first South Korean financial player to publish a CSR report in 2005, Shinhan has shown itself to be something of a ground-breaker.
The bank has since expanded its CSR initiatives, establishing a committee in 2015 and has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index World since 2013. In 2018, it ranked first in the South Korean banking industry.
Shinhan made a bold statement by establishing an environmental- and social-risk management system in 2018, which establishes best practice by considering 12 risk industries, including forestry, mining and oil refining.
Shinhan’s efforts extend to its own fundraising. The bank sold Asia’s first dollar-denominated UN Sustainable Development Goals-linked bond in April. It went on to sell a sustainability labelled bank capital note in July, a rarity in the global market. And in October, Shinhan sold a green bond as its first euro-denominated deal.
The money raised will be put to good use: Shinhan stated in its 2018 annual report that it planned to invest W20 trillion ($16.8 billion) in green industries by 2030. The bank also said that it would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in the same time frame.
On top of this environmental action, Shinhan has also been a vocal advocate for the social and governance parts of ESG. For instance, it has spent the last couple of years increasing female leadership at the bank, with dedicated programmes and a medium-term roadmap, such as its ‘Shinhan SHeros’ initiative that provides mentoring and leadership training for female employees.