Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) has announced the finalists of the 2017 Sustainable Finance Catalyst Awards under the theme “Recognizing Catalytic Finance that Impacts Industry, Economy, and Society”.
The Awards were created to recognize exceptional institutions that practice sustainable finance which has a direct positive impact on the financial sector, the economy, the environment and the society at large. This year, 14 firms have been shortlisted to showcase their progressive stance in integrating sustainability practices in their respective institutions.
The Sustainable Finance Initiative (SFI), upon which the Awards are based, are clustered into two categories that embody the industry’s adopted SFI Guiding Principles. In order to deepen bank staff understanding of the Principles, KBA, with the support of its partners, has successfully trained over 23 thousand bank staff through an industry-wide e-learning course.
The Principles require financial institutions to balance their quest for financial returns with the economy’s future priorities and social-environmental concerns.
Dr. Habil Olaka, the KBA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a vital global undertaking in which financial institutions have a role to play.
“Globally, financial institutions are increasingly taking a leading role in ensuring their businesses are run sustainably, be it in fighting corruption, limiting the firm’s impact on climate or even advancing workplace inclusion,” said Dr. Olaka.
“Kenyan firms are also doing a lot too, through financing sustainable development projects or adopting internal strategies to run their businesses well. That is why we launched the Catalyst Awards; to celebrate companies that, while staying true to their core profitability cause, have not lost sight of doing what is right.”
KBA sponsors the Catalyst Awards annually to honor Financial Institutions, including banks that have demonstrated their leadership in implementing the aforementioned Principles. The shortlisted firms are: Barclays Bank of Kenya; Commercial Bank of Africa; Co-operative Bank of Kenya; Diamond Trust Bank;
Equity Bank; KCB Group; Kenya Women Microfinance Bank (KWFT); Levanter Africa; National Bank; NIC Bank; Prime Bank; Standard Chartered Bank; Safaricom and Stanbic Bank.
Businesses will be appraised on whether they have covered the essential indicators which included the impact to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the growth of the business, job creation and support of minority groups including women and the youth.
To assess the entries, an independent panel of judges has been constituted. This year’s judges are: Mr. Tumurkhu Davaakhuu, the Vice President of the Mongolian Bankers Association (MBA); Engineer Dan Likuyi Ndenga, co-founder of energy advisory firm Miltec Engineering Limited; and Mr. Edward Mungai, the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC); Dr. Peter Muriu, a Financial and Monetary Economics lecturer at the University of Nairobi; Ms. Rosemary Mutunkei, a Corporate Sustainability and Social Investment practitioner; and Ms. Anne Macharia, a Senior Compliance and Enforcement Officer at the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).
The Award categories include: