KCB Group CEO Paul Russo has been appointed to serve on the United Nations Environment Programme Finance (UNEP-FI) Leadership Council, joining other global leaders in mainstreaming and deepening sustainability integration across the financial industry.
The UNEP FI Leadership Council brings together a group of CEOs and chairpersons of institutions who have been elected to serve on the UNEP-FI Global Steering Committee, the board of the Principles for Responsible Banking or the board of the Principles for Sustainable Insurance.
Mr Russo’s appointment to the UNEP-FI Leadership Council underpins the bank’s commitment to accelerate and facilitate financing the transition to a more stable and sustainable economy that comes on the eve of UN COP 27 discussions.
“We are pleased to welcome Mr Paul Russo, KCB CEO, as a new member of UNEP FI’s Leadership Council. This high-level advisory body of 20+ CEOs of banks and insurers from across the globe is designed to be a powerful enabler of change, turbo-charging sustainable ambition across the global financial system and strengthening the unique partnership between the United Nations and the finance community,” Mr Eric Usher, Head, UNEP FI said.
Sustainability is at the core of KCB’s strategy, and it’s been integrated into all aspects of business operation – from product offerings, to investment decisions, to internal operations. As a leading regional bank, they have demonstrated the capacity to support the ongoing transition to net zero via responsible lending and investment decisions, and by reducing emissions from internal operations.
And now, Mr Russo said, KCB has an additional responsibility to support the wider industry and its customer’s transition. “It’s been an honour to join the UNEP-FI Leadership Council. This role will enable me to rally the financial sector Across East Africa to foster sustainable finance transformation and deepen the integration of sustainability across the industry,” Mr Russo said.
“At KCB Group, we have continued to set our focus on redefining the future of the African finance ecosystem by making investment decisions that consider financial returns while at the same time considering positive environmental, social and governance impacts. We will be encouraging our peers in the industry to join us in setting similar, tangible targets, so we can see action now and in the future.”
UNEP-FI, the platform bringing together the United Nations and the global financial sector, promotes the integration of sustainability concerns into the mainstream financial system by ‘Changing Finance’ and the mobilisation of finance to foster a more sustainable economy by ‘Financing Change’.
The Council meets annually, providing vision and strategic direction to UNEP-FI in orienting its role and that of the UN in shaping, mainstreaming and deepening sustainability integration across the industry. It will further mobilise the financial community to support sustainable, resilient and inclusive economies.
In October 2022, KCB Group signed up to the African Business Leaders’ Coalition (ABLC), to bolster actions in addressing the climate change crisís. The coalition, convened under the UN Global Compact brings together companies across Africa to help drive more initiatives on addressing pressing sustainability issues — such as human rights, labour, environment, and anti-Corruptíon — on the Continent, ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) gathering in Egypt next month.