Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya aims to raise 10 percent of its revenue from sustainable sources. The initiative is pegged on the bank’s sustainable economic growth perspective which has two client business segments – Corporate Commercial and Institutional Banking (CCIB) and Consumer, Private & Business Banking (CPBB).
This is according to the Sustainability Impact Report 2021 that details the bank avenues in leveraging on the social, commercial, and environmental impacts to support strategy, achieve purpose and impact on the future.
“In 2021, we reflected and sharpened our impact ambitions, approach and priorities and linked them to the most pressing needs in society. Our inaugural Sustainability Impact Report highlights the efforts we have made to accelerate the stewardship of our environment, widen economic participation between and within communities and address the growing imbalances brought about by globalisation,” said Chief Executive Officer for Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Mr Kariuki Ngari.
“We have driven these priorities by focusing on three key sustainability pillars; sustainable economic growth, being a responsible company and investing in our communities. These sustainability pillars have allowed us to provide much-needed funding, donations, infrastructure, and skills throughout the year in line with meeting the goals set under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
The report also reveals the avenues the bank has done in driving operational efficiency including using substantially less energy and water and producing less waste and carbon emissions. A total reduction in energy use of 25.4 percent and water use of 54 percent was achieved, with waste production reducing by 24.3 percent and the carbon footprint by 45 percent when compared year on year. This was not only facilitated through the migration to remote work but also the usage of LED lighting, grid-tied solar panel installations, waste recycling and water recycling among others.
The bank also prioritized investments to job creating sectors such as manufacturing, energy, water, and ICT sectors which amounted to Ksh136 billion.
The digital and innovation was also key as the bank continued to innovate new products and made banking easier. More than 92 percent of clients used Straight2Bank to access channels for collections, payments, tax, payroll, mobile wallet, trade finance, custody, and foreign exchange (FX) services with convenience and safety. Over 85 percent of FX client activities now being originated on the digital platforms. This enabled the bank to increase efficiency and improve service levels for clients.
The bank also created an inclusive culture, promoting ethical conduct and supporting colleagues’ well-being. Gender parity on the Board has improved from 23 percent in 2019 to 45 percent in 2021, with women at management level and across staff now set at 47 percent and 54 percent respectively. Although women owned businesses in the supply chain only constitute 17 percent the target is set to increase to 30 percent by 2024.
In cybersecurity, the bank has invested over Ksh200 million over the last few years to deploy first-in-class technology and training to fight financial crįme and fráud.
The bank also continues to support communities through Futuremakers – The global initiative to tackle youth economic inclusion and enable the next generation to learn, earn and grow focusing on three pillars – educátion, entrepreneurship and employability. The bank has so far raised the total contribution to Ksh311 million since 2019 which has impacted over 24,000 beneficiaries to date.
The Women in Technology incubator has had a total of 40 beneficiaries supported. The Goal Programme, an educátion initiative for empowering young girls has also impacted a total 14,625 beneficiaries by 2021. Further focus on employability, saw 4,805 university students supported in 2021 under EmployABLE programme, 244 of which were students with disabilities.
By participating in accelerating to net zero in our communities, the bank also launched and signed a three-year strategic partnership with Nairobi Arboretum Conservancy Community Forest Association (NACCFA) to rehabilitate The Nairobi Arboretum Park and to promote urban green spaces through restoration of running paths, support educátion and creating awareness on conservation of the environment in the community.
The bank also launched the new format for the 18th edition of Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon due to the COVID-19 restrictions with at least 5,600 participants completing both formats of the marathon receiving a tree seedling to plant at their place of choice with over Ksh6.7 million being raised for Futuremakers.
As the country was recovering from COVID-19, the bank also launched The Bouncing Back Programme to reduce the rates of youth unemployment in Kenya by focusing on impacting 500 girls including those with disabilities. The project provided soft loans, seed grants and psychosocial support. The company worked closely with Employment and Entrepreneurship participants who are financially struggling with their businesses in hopes of improving their levels of viability.