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The ESMS Working Group’s core members should include a representative from the Executive Board, the ESMS Officer and/or ESMS Coordinator, operational staff and, if needed, an external consultant. Core members are encouraged to complete the Sustainability Training and E-learning Program (STEP), designed for managers and staff of financial institutions. This free, online training provides an understanding of sustainable finance and outlines how financial institutions can identify and manage environmental and social risks and opportunities.

The financial institution should allocate sufficient time to staff to develop the ESMS. Operational staff, who will be responsible for implementing the ESMS on a daily basis, should also be involved in the process. Their input on the operational aspects of the ESMS will help ensure that the management system is practical. Involving operational staff early on in the process will also help build ownership and commitment to the ESMS when it is implemented.

The ESMS Working Group should develop an Action Plan, which states the necessary steps, timetable, responsibilities and resources needed to complete the Environmental and Social Management System. The effort required to complete each of the tasks will vary by financial institution. It is estimated that it takes 4-8 months to develop a ESMS.

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