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As with any other internal management system, an ESMS can only function effectively and properly if its development and implementation is supported by the financial institution itself. This requires ownership, dedication and commitment by the financial institution to allocate the necessary resources for the successful development of an ESMS.

Even though support from an external consultant may be useful or needed to provide expertise on planning and managing environmental and social risks, the process of developing the ESMS should be led by the financial institution itself. This ensures that the ESMS is tailored to the existing internal processes and procedures and is relevant for the local market.

The financial institution should designate a representative from the Executive Board, who is responsible for the overall commitment to environmental and social risk management and oversees the development and implementation of the ESMS. Typically, a financial institution also designates an ESMS Officer, who is responsible for the development of the ESMS and in some cases also an ESMS Coordinator, who is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the procedures by operational staff.

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