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To emphasize the importance of a financial institution’s ESMS, the commitment of Senior Management to environmental and social issues should also be communicated on a frequent basis. Staff responsible for environmental and social risk management are also encouraged to complete the Sustainability Training and E-learning Program (STEP) for FIs, 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.

A dedicated training program should be developed for all staff with responsibilities for implementing the procedures of the ESMS. This should be conducted for all new staff and periodically for existing staff. Typical training formats include workshops, seminars, interactive sessions and office meetings. If needed, the financial institution can hire an external consultant to help develop and conduct the necessary training.

The training should highlight the purpose of the ESMS in managing E&S risks as well as specific expectations of staff in doing so. The training should familiarize staff with the environmental and social risk management procedures, their roles and responsibilities, and the practical implications in terms of conducting the enhanced transaction appraisal and monitoring process, particularly in terms of changes to existing forms or the use of new forms.

Additional periodic training may be required as updates and revisions are made to the ESMS, to share practical experience obtained through the implementation of the ESMS and to further motivate staff to pro-actively identify new environmental business opportunities.

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