The Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles are a set of obligatory tips that require banks to mitigate the environmental and social dangers of their enterprise actions
Author: Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head of Sustainability, Access Bank
February 27, 2020
The UN estimates that reaching its 17 Sustainable Development Goals would require an annual funding of $5-7trn throughout all sectors. It’s an unlimited sum, however one the world’s monetary markets do have entry to. Having recognised the significance of reaching the UN’s targets, many monetary establishments are actually creating sustainable finance instruments with which to mobilise their funds.
Through its Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the UN helps these forward-thinking establishments. The platform helps banks, insurers and buyers scale up their efforts and promote sustainable financing on a global degree. It additionally facilitates collaboration throughout the sector and promotes adherence to the UNEP FI’s six Principles of Responsible Banking. These principles present the banking business with a single framework for its sustainable growth, consistent with the Paris Agreement.
The non-public sector represents an influential half of any financial system and will due to this fact play a major position in its growth
A way of urgency
Of course, public funding is integral to the development of sustainability efforts, however governments and non-governmental organisations alone can not cowl the prices of such wide-reaching change. The non-public sector represents an influential half of any financial system and will due to this fact play a major position in its growth.
Historically, although, banks haven’t been on the entrance line of sustainability initiatives. However, the sector can not proceed to finance initiatives which are at odds with the UN’s targets. Access Bank recognises that sustainable progress is just not solely pressing, but additionally brings advantages to its stakeholders. This is why we are going to proceed to contribute to Nigeria’s sustainability efforts.
In 2012, the Central Bank of Nigeria launched the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles. The obligatory tips require banks to mitigate the environmental and social dangers of their enterprise actions.
Even earlier than these principles have been launched, although, Access Bank had rooted its company id in sustainability. As key stakeholders within the financial sustainability effort, we consider it is necessary that the companies provided by monetary establishments cater to the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises which have lengthy served as drivers of the Nigerian financial system.
Sustainable growth is so vital to Access Bank’s id that it dedicates one % of its income earlier than tax to sustainability initiatives and partnerships
The financial institution has exhibited this perception by a number of laudable initiatives. For instance, it hosts a cloud-based purposes administration platform that gives info on how to purchase grants, helps funding our bodies to handle grants and purposes, and permits establishments to share info and collaborate. Access Bank additionally not too long ago held its first Womenpreneur Pitch-A-Ton, which acquired 1000’s of purposes from extremely expert enterprise homeowners.
Participating in change
Sustainable growth is so vital to the financial institution’s id that it dedicates one % of its income earlier than tax to sustainability initiatives and partnerships. A educated sustainability unit, headed by high administration employees, oversees these initiatives.
Our workers are given many alternatives to take part in environmentally pleasant nation-building programmes all year long. One of probably the most partaking methods workers do that is by our Employee Volunteering Scheme, which supplies employees the prospect to work on impactful social initiatives from begin to end. Through this scheme, our sustainability unit guides workers in supporting a trigger of their alternative and partnering with beneficiaries to form the mission.
Alongside the Employee Volunteering Scheme, devoted members of employees are inducted into the Sustainability Champions Network. There are at present greater than 1,700 Sustainability Champions on the financial institution, working to guarantee they’ve a constructive influence on society.
In phrases of environmental influence, the financial institution not too long ago issued Africa’s first Corporate Bonds Initiative-certified inexperienced bond – a NGN 15bn ($41.48m) bond that can be used to assist climate-friendly initiatives. It additionally supplies a viable asset class for environmentally pleasant buyers, serving to them scale back their carbon emissions and discover alternatives within the fast-developing low-carbon financial system.
Access Bank will proceed to prioritise environmental, social and governance issues inside all its decision-making processes. Starting on the govt degree, dedication to sustainability is expressed all through the corporate. It is a price that lies on the coronary heart of each exercise and mission undertaken by the financial institution.