Banks have an important role to play in the global transition to a more sustainable planet. Not only are they a powerful agent through their control of the money supply, the projects they finance, and clients they lend, but they also have financial, reputational, and legal motivations to adopt more sustainable practices. Based on the importance of banks as sustainability agents and their motivation to become more sustainable, this study focuses on the sustainability integration process in the banking sector and proposes a measurement for this integration. More specifically, this study has three objectives: To create a diagnostic tool or model that can assess the extent to which a bank has integrated sustainability, to pilot the tool on a sample bank that has attempted to integrate sustainability in Egypt, and to refine the tool based on the pilot conducted in the second objective. The tool has been developed to probe for a set of standards that a bank is suggested to follow to integrate sustainability. The standards were developed from the review of literature which suggested following division for the standards: vision and strategy, core business, culture and leadership, communication, and internal environment. Once the tool was developed and piloted on the Arab African International Bank in Egypt, it was found that the bank was 38.16% sustainable. However, the pilot experience revealed many refinements that should be made to the tool. After these refinements were taken into consideration, the updated, and fairer, score for the bank was found to be 43.64%. The plans and strategies of the bank, which in the bank's case, covered the next three years, were also accounted for in a separate tool, post-refinement, and revealed a score of 54.51%. This means that if the bank were to follow through the strategy it expressed over the next three years, it can become 54.51% sustainable, up from 43.64%. There are charts that complement every score which reveal precisely the breakdown of each score. The purpose of this study is not to suggest a tool as an end product, rather it is to suggest it as a starting point for future studies and practitioners, such as banks and consultants, to build on and adjust. The refinement process undertaken study is also a method this study aims to propose. The details of the tool may vary, but there is at least a skeleton and an approach that has resulted from this study on which future research can rely.
MS in Sustainable Development
Online Submission Date
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Committee Member 2
Abou Zeid, Mohamed
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(2018).Developing a tool to assess the integration of sustainability into banks: A case study on a bank in Egypt [Master’s thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Sayyadi, Arwa. Developing a tool to assess the integration of sustainability into banks: A case study on a bank in Egypt. 2018. American University in Cairo, Master's thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.