Thursday, 14 May 2009 5:38 AM

New ADB Report Shows Continued Shift Toward Environmental Sustainability

Manila, Philippines - ADB is continuing a shift in its emphasis and resources toward reducing poverty and, simultaneously, promoting environmentally sustainable growth in the Asia and Pacific region, according to a new report.

Sustainability Report 2009 focuses on ADB's efforts to integrate environmental management, improved governance, and social inclusiveness into its development programs.

"The report highlights how ADB is supporting environmentally sustainable growth in Asia and the Pacific consistent with our new Strategy 2020, and how we are 'walking the talk' both in our operations and our facilities," says Nessim Ahmad, ADB's Director for Environment and Safeguards.

ADB has provided more than US$9.5 billion for projects and programs with environmental objectives over the past decade, according to the report. These include initiatives that have helped member countries become less carbon intensive and enact measures to cope with now inevitable negative consequences of climate change. Other programs being given fresh emphasis include efforts to enhance the sustainability of agricultural systems and natural resource management, expand educational opportunities, establish effective financial institutions, build water supply and sanitation systems, and respond more effectively to disaster risks.

Presenting data through 2008, the report also examines the measures taken by ADB to minimize its own environmental footprint at its Manila headquarters. For example, ADB has recently completed an inventory of its greenhouse gas emissions from headquarters, where it has reduced electricity consumption by 3.6% since 2004 - despite a steady expansion of operations and staff. The report notes that these efforts are now being extended to more than 20 overseas offices, and that further measures - including the use of solar power, recycled wastewater, and composting - will be added to those already employed.

The report follows an outline that is in keeping with international norms for sustainability reporting, and it will primarily be made available online to reduce its environmental footprint, available at Sustainability Report 2009.