Phnom Penh, Cambodia: On January 16, 2024, Woori Bank signed a multilateral business agreement with the Forestry Administration of Cambodia and the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCo) to launch a forest carbon emission reduction project in Cambodia. The project, which will run for 30 years, aims to promote REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and global ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) management.
The project will involve the conservation of a pristine forest area of about 30,213 hectares in the northern part of Cambodia, along the Mekong River. This area is home to about 220 wildlife species and is threatened by ecological destruction from activities like deforestation and land clearing. By preserving the forests, Woori Bank hopes to create a harmonious ecosystem for both nature and people, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2.6 million tons (an average of 88,000 tons annually) and improving the living standards of the rural mountain communities.
Woori Bank is the first Korean bank to implement the REDD+ project, which is a global initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by preventing forest conversion and degradation in developing countries, thereby preserving forests and promoting carbon accumulation. Woori Bank plans to reinvest all the proceeds from the “carbon credit” sales issued during the project period into the project itself, to ensure sustainable preservation and management of the ecosystem and the forests.
“We are proud to be part of this project, which will be an exemplary case for preserving Cambodia’s ancient forests and for fostering coexistence between the ecosystem and the local people,” said Cho Byung-kyu, the president of Woori Bank headquarter, Korea. “In the future, Woori Bank will continue to practice various global ESG management strategies such as lowering greenhouse gas emissions and preserving biodiversity,” He added.
About Woori Bank
Woori Bank is a leading Korean bank that provides a wide range of financial services to customers in Korea and overseas. Woori Bank entered the Cambodian financial market in 2014 by acquiring a microfinance institution (MFI). Since then, it has expanded its presence by acquiring a local deposit MFI and a finance company, and establishing a local branch as it transformed into a commercial bank in 2022. Woori Bank offers various services such as savings, loan, foreign exchange, digital banking, debit and credit card for individual and business, as well as other financial services to serve to the local market.
As of December 2023, in Cambodia the bank has 140 branches nationwide, employs over 4,200 staffs, and serves more than 455 thousand customers with total asset of USD 1.4 Billion, a loan portfolio of USD 1,212 million and deposit savings balances up to USD 434 million.