Creating a sustainable world
Our Sustainability Strategy
As a socially and environmentally responsible Bank, we are committed to ensuring that sustainability is at the core of our business activities and operations.
We have adopted a triple bottom line approach in our business activities and operations.
We are committed to ensuring that sustainability is at the core of our strategy; we strive to ensure that environmental and social considerations are included in our strategic business decisions and these are implemented accordingly. This has been evident in our various Sustainability strategies and initiatives to enrich the lives of our stakeholders;
We have established a strategy targeted at impacting businesses within socially and environmentally conscious sectors – HEART (Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Transportation) which is well-aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
We have also deployed sustainable and revolutionary products and services like I-Invest, Farepay, EveryNanny, Quickcash, and many more.
Our mantra ‘committed to be nature’s keeper’ is a binding decision that has ensured we remain committed to identifying and mitigating the negative impacts of our business operations and activities on the immediate environment, thereby reducing our ecological footprint and committed to implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation actions to reduce emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gases(GHGs).
We are committed to enriching the lives of our stakeholders through the adoption of various employee welfare initiatives, Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, innovative products and services.
Beyond this, the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBPs) adopted by the bank provides a standardized framework that guides our actions towards sustainable business practices. We also adopt international best practices in the implementation of sustainability across our activities and operations such as products development, carbon footprint management, environment and social risk management, ﬁnancial inclusion and women’s economic empowerment, among others.
Our HEART Sector
Sustainable Investment Strategy
The core of our business as a financial institution is the commitment to improving lives and encouraging economic development as well as sustainability.
In 2017, We unveiled our HEART Sector (Health, Agriculture, Education and Transportation) Sustainable investment strategy; which focuses primarily on socially and environmentally conscious sectors which align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Our goal in this sector is to address – the inadequacy of medical technology and diagnostic infrastructure; little or no access to quality and affordable healthcare; and proliferation of fake pharmaceutical products. To achieve this, we will:
•Improve healthcare delivery infrastructure through Equipment Financing
• Improve access to medical technology that also improves health business by providing access and information to practitioners in the sector. These will include technologies such as Hospital Management Systems to improve data collection, analysis and decision making and Inventory Management system to keep track of stock
• Create a platform for the pharmaceutical ecosystem, where all the stakeholders can interface seamlessly to curb counterfeiting.
Our goal in this sector is to contribute significantly to the development of the sector by solving two critical problems – lack of access to education for the Nigerian child and the decadence of the quality of education in the country. To achieve this, we will: o Provide access to finance for parents, schools and other stakeholders. We will go a step further to fund unapproved schools to enable them to meet the criteria for approvals from the government
• Invest in technology that enables easy learning and dissemination of information to students and teachers
• Seek strategic partnerships outside of Nigeria to enable foreign investment flows into the education sector
‘Feeding the Nation is everyone’s responsibility’. This is the mantra that guides our actions in the Agriculture sector. We believe that Nigeria’s industrialisation and poverty reduction will come from the sector that currently provides the highest means of livelihood and thus we will:
• Provide finance across the value chain for agriculture to ensure that clean food reaches the table of Nigerians, Agriculture industrialists are wealthy, and Farmers live a healthy and fulfilling life
• Provide a platform that links all players within the industry while providing information to help improve their business
Our goal in the sector is to tackle – the inadequacies of the on-grid power sources; and underfunding/under investment in the power sector. We have taken a 3-pronged approach to achieve this:
• Trading- we intend to create a platform that enables the sale of renewable energy solutions between electricity generators, distributors and users.
• Financing- large projects that provide electricity to communities and businesses
• Creating Partnerships to encourage the flow of foreign investments into the renewable space and bridge the service gaps which currently exist with the solutions.
We believe that an efficient transport system optimizes the value chain in any economy and impacts on other sectors of the economy. For the transportation sector, we are focused on bridging the following gaps;
• Poor mass transit systems
• Inefficient and lack of transparent collection systems underpinning lack of investment and development of new technologies
Our approach to solving these problems include:
• Investing in technologies that ensure efficient collections for transport businesses
• Providing financing that enables transport businesses scale up from their current models
• Actively encouraging the use of mass transit systems to reduce carbon emissions in line with our commitment to a cleaner environment “
Our Sustainability Milestone
• We Established a Sustainable Banking Unit, under the Enterprise Risk Management Group to oversee the implementation of the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles.
• We developed a compendium of policies and frameworks to institutionalize the adoption of best-practice sustainability principles.
• We commenced the Environmental and Social risk assessment of credit transactions.
• We published our 1st Stand Alone Sustainability Report inline with GRI: G3 standards
• We established an internal reporting portal to capture and analyze Sustainability metrics such as water, waste, energy consumption, paper usage etc.
• We established partnership with a hybrid power outsourcing vendor to deploy this solution to several of our branches
• Sustainability Capacity Building was included in the staff recruitment training and eLearning programs.
• We commenced the computation of our Carbon footprint assessment.
• We commenced the onsite Environmental & Social Risk Assessment of credit transactions.
• We successfully adopted a Waste segregation and recycling initiative at our Head Office location - Sterling Towers.
• We commenced our Uber for business service, thereby reducing our company fleet vehicles by 27%
• We established a “Flexi-plan and Flexi-place” initiative for staff to enable them to achieve a desirable work-life balance.
• We launched our ‘One Woman’ proposition in 2017 - an initiative focused on supporting women in business by granting them access to market and finance.
• We established a Recyclart competition to further create awareness around waste management practices such as recycling and upcycling.
• We commenced the implementation of paper consumption reduction strategies such as Print as A Service.
• We implemented a medical insurance scheme for staff with leading Health Management Organisations (HMO) to enhance qualitative medic-care.
• We commenced our H.E.A.R.T Sector sustainable investment strategy - a strategy targeted at impacting businesses within socially and environmentally conscious sectors - HEART (Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Transportation) which is well-aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
• Successfully subscribed as a participatory member of the United Nations Global Compact - which focuses on Human Rights, Labor, Environment and Anti-Corruption.
• We commenced the recycling and responsible destruction of our Electronic wastes.
Our Sustainability Initiatives and Community Investments
Our mantra ‘committed to be nature’s keeper’ is a binding decision that has ensured we remain committed to identifying and mitigating the negative impacts of our business operations and activities on the immediate environment, thereby reducing our ecological footprint and committing to implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation actions to reduce emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gases(GHGs).