Absa Bank Kenya PLC has announced a commitment to plant 10 million trees across Kenya by 2025 in line with the bank’s renewed Sustainability Agenda.
The declaration forms part of thirteen broader commitments by the bank under the Sustainability Agenda that seeks to protect the people, the environment, and well-being of communities where it operates focusing on three key areas: climate action, recycling, and sustainable sourcing.
The bank’s sustainability strategy is anchored on leveraging business practices and decisions that enhance the objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Absa’s sustainability goals include quantitative targets in areas identified as an opportunity for significant impact and value. They include; Quality Education (Goal 4), Decent Work and Economic Growth (Goal 8), Reduced Inequalities (goal 10), and Responsible Consumption and Production (Goal 12).
As part of the thirteen commitments that address diverse SDGs, the bank further announced a commitment to equip one million youth with the requisite employment and entrepreneurial skills under its Ready to Work Programme by 2023.
In addition, between now and next year, the bank said it will be investing in training and upskilling the future skills and competencies of its employees with at least one future skill introduced to all staff by 2021.
Absa Bank Kenya Managing Director Jeremy Awori said: “Our ambition as Absa Group is to become a leading, purpose-orientated, African bank that is deeply rooted in the countries it serves, which recognizes that our own sustainability is directly linked to the sustainability of the communities in which we operate.”
He noted that the bank has reinforced this commitment as a signatory to both the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking at a Group Level, and the United Nations Global Compact Kenya Chapter.
Another key commitment is to increase the proportion of women within all levels: junior, management, and board positions to attain a 50% balance by 2025. This is in addition to the commitment towards becoming among the top 10 best employers in Kenya by 2025.
The bank also plans to be carbon neutral by the end of 2040 through the reduction of carbon emissions, sustainable procurement practices, reforestation initiatives including investments in carbon-reducing projects and purchasing more renewable energy to power Absa offices.
“Sustainability is important to our day-to-day business activities as we navigate the current macroeconomic challenges presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic. We have made deliberate efforts to pursue and enact sustainable business practices while simultaneously fostering the success of our people and our country,” added Mr. Awori.
The sustainability report details the bank’s strategic approach and sustainability pillars executed through partnerships and collaborations, aligned to key performance indicators for success and global goals.
It enumerates achievements from its initiatives such as; the green/circular economy, empowerment of women in business, Small and Medium Enterprise development, sponsorships, and the Covid 19 response.