ANSA Merchant Bank in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, and ANSA Bank in Trinidad and Tobago, in partnership with The Cropper Foundation and the Capitals Coalition, has launched the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub. This pioneering initiative acts as a catalyst for the business community to come together to transform corporate decision-making to reflect and better their impact on Nature’s assets and to develop sustainable initiatives which will benefit the environment, communities and economies.
Speaking at the launch on Tuesday 12th July at the Port of Spain Ballroom, Hyatt Regency, Mr. A. Norman Sabga, Chairman of ANSA Merchant Bank Limited and Executive Chairman of the ANSA McAL Group, stated the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub will help to integrate biodiversity issues into public policy and private sector strategy across the Caribbean. “The Natural Capital protocols we will adopt will identify, quantify, and then allow us to communicate publicly how our operations affect, or are reliant on Nature’s resources. The Group has always been conscious of its duty to operate businesses responsibly in the interest of employees, investors, customers, and the broader society.”
Gregory N. Hill, Managing Director of ANSA Merchant Bank Limited and Chairman, ANSA Merchant Bank (Barbados) Limited, noted that the partnership with NGO The Cropper Foundation, which is facilitating the initiative, and the Capitals Coalition, which is providing the Natural Capital Framework, will have a lasting impact on future generations: “Under the Hub there will be several initiatives such as Grant Challenges for SMEs, start-ups and innovators in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, sponsorship of a citizen’s blog, and much more. Our commitment goes to the heart of how we conduct our banking business. We think globally, and act regionally and locally.”
Omar Mohammed, Chief Executive Officer, The Cropper Foundation said this initiative with ANSA Merchant Bank and ANSA Bank is a shining example of multi-stakeholder partnership for sustainability. The Hub, Mr. Mohammed noted, will bring together and catalyse a bold movement of progressive Caribbean companies and institutions.
The Honourable Pennelope Beckles-Robinson MP, Minister of Planning and Development, was the keynote speaker. She stated that “while the Government has a major role to play, there is only so much any administration can do on its own. The cooperation of its citizens, especially its corporate citizens, therefore, is essential to any successful effort to surmount environmental liabilities and turn them into opportunities and gains. What I like most about this concept of the Natural Capital Hub is that it is based on the platform of an emergent form of accounting which considers the worth of ecological assets. The concept takes into consideration that with care, ecological assets and services add value while reducing costs in any given development and with neglect or inappropriate use, they depreciate exponentially. It is laudable that one of CARICOM’s leading private-sector financial institutions is pioneering the change in the approach to the funding of development.”
Attending the launch were Victor Boyce, Managing Director of ANSA Merchant Bank in Barbados; Kathleen Galy, Acting Managing Director of ANSA Bank; Marta Santamaria, Executive Director, Capitals Coalition; the diplomatic community, international funding agencies and interest groups operating in the sustainable development space.