Currency sector association signs sector-wide sustainability charter at Annual General Meeting
Cash is a public good – it promotes social inclusion and protects personal freedom and privacy. Around the world, cash is used in the vast majority of payments. It should also be as sustainable as possible across its supply chain – as banknote, ink, paper, coin and payment system leaders came together to affirm this week.
The International Currency Association (ICA) – which brings together the world leaders in the currency sector, supplying central banks across the planet – launched its new sustainability committee this year, and tasked it with drafting a sustainability charter for the ICA and the sector more generally. The currency sector sustainability charter was presented for adoption at the ICA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the 25th of September and specifies our aims and commitments on sustainability. Many companies in the currency industry are already making progress on sustainability, but for the first time the Sustainability Charter holds the industry to an agreed framework that encompasses economic, environmental and social equality aspects which all need to be addressed simultaneously. It recognizes that cash plays a key role in integrating every citizen of the world into a global economic system, by providing safe, reliable and largely accessible means of payment.
Specifically, the ICA membership commits to a number of ambitious goals. The charter calls on members to promote adoption of circular economy principles by designing waste and pollution out of the production process with sustainable solutions and recycling initiatives; the currency sector should integrate sustainability criteria throughout all aspects of current and future processes and projects. Members have committed to reduce their environmental footprint by reducing consumption of water and raw materials, re-assessing the chemicals used in production and increasing recycling. This should be accompanied by a decrease of emissions through innovation and new technologies, increased use of renewable energy and emissions reduction objectives.
The ICA – as an industry body with members around the world – commits to actively support and apply Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) best practices by following best practices for our sector and for society at large. Its charter aims to reflect that.
The ICA’s AGM saw 24 members and 7 associate members come together to re-confirm board members up for reelection, including Vice-Chairman Eric Boissonnas (of KBA-NotaSys), as well as Barna Barabas (Jura), Ruth Euling (De La Rue), Phil Holland (Komori), Malcolm McDowell (Note Printing Australia) and Jean-Yves Ray (SICPA). For the first time, this was done virtually, as Covid-19 prevented the ICA from meeting in person in Barcelona as originally planned. The ICA was able to look back on a year of successful advocacy for cash, from outreach to policymakers and decision-makers through participation in consultations and other dialogues to extensive media relations and social media outreach to make the case for cash payments.
ICA Chairman Wolfram Seidemann stated: “Cash has never been so important – while we see a lot of different payment instruments becoming more popular, the current crisis induces cash usage worldwide and underlines the value of cash – and I am proud of the work that the International Currency Association has done to defend cash payments in the face of disinformation and make the positive case for cash as a factor for social inclusion and personal freedom. As Covid-19 continues to affect our lives, we will be vigilant in our continued work to advocate for the right to use banknotes and coins.”ICA Sustainability Charter
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