Absa Bank Kenya has finally launched its sustainability commitment report with the promise of supporting Kenyans across all levels even as they strive to wade through the impact of Covid-19 sweeping across the world.
For years, Absa Bank Kenya has been striving to be a force for good by making a difference in its communities, which benefits both people and the planet.
“We are privileged to have over the 100-year track record of serving our people. Over the years we have endeavored how best to contribute to society through broad-based initiatives that uplift all our stakeholders,” says the bank.
The lender says that the sustainability journey that it has embarked on enables it to remain relevant in society and strengthens its ability to respond to an ever-increasing competitive landscape.
“Losing a job due to the pandemic is quite unfortunate. The MCR team supported 52 families with food items, putting a smile on the family’s faces and living to the mantra of being a Force for Good,” said Absa during the launch.
According to Absa Bank Kenya Chairman Mr. Charles Muchane, the bank’s board is cognizant of the large array of challenges facing Kenyans, including and not limited to access to quality education, healthcare, and social services, issues of corruption and poor governance, economic development and job creation within the Kenyan economy.
“Our commitment to being an active Force for Good in our communities has also grown over the years and our Citizenship agenda has evolved accordingly. More than ever, with our new Absa brand, and our renewed purpose to bring the possibility to life for all our stakeholders, we are deliberate about providing sustainable financial solutions and supporting enterprises and facilitating economic growth,” said Mr. Muchane.
According to Absa Bank Kenya Managing Director, Mr. Jeremy Awori, Absa Bank is passionate about Kenya’s sustainable economic development. He says the bank is tailoring its products and services to position itself as a force for good and for the betterment of humanity.
“In line with this, we are constantly reviewing our strategy to enable us to make a meaningful contribution to the country’s economic priorities. Last year reinforced this commitment by becoming a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking at a Group Level, as well as the United Nations Global Compact Kenya Chapter in September last year,” said Mr. Awori.
To make sure that the sustainability program succeeds, Absa Bank Kenya is banking on six strategies that it says will help to not only empower its business but Kenyans at large. The strategies are:
To embed a new culture underpinned by the Absa Kenya way of easier, faster, better to become among the top 10 best places to work.
To ensure that the bank remains well capitalized and gives shareholders return on investment while ranking well on sustainability indexes.
To contribute to the Kenyan economy while at the same time aligning to the national agenda to drive sustainable development.
To deliver exceptional customer experience and relevant propositions with a renewed focus on products with a social and environmental focus.
To support people in local communities where we operate while ensuring our business helps protect the environment through curbing climate change and reducing our environmental footprint.
To increase the supply chain awareness of corporate sustainability and responsible business practices.
“Our contribution to society in 2019 can be defined under key headings, namely our people, our social investment into youth, women, and communities, through our internal improvement initiatives introduced into our operations, support of our suppliers and by our contribution made to the countries tax base,” says Absa Bank Kenya.
Speaking during the launch, Caroline Ndungu, Marketing and Corporate Relations Director Absa Bank Kenya, said that Absa Bank Kenya is committed to ensuring that all Kenyans get to enjoy the services through charity activities and being the best business with the best customer service.
“As a business, we do recognize sustainability as the wind beneath the wings of any forward-looking organization and are therefore embracing it as a fundamental element of our business strategy. We continue to make significant steps on this journey and today’s launch authenticates all the efforts made so far,” she said.
“We now have 76 sustainability champions within the business who underwent intensive training and are our beacon lights in spreading the word on the significance of our sustainability agenda to other colleagues and to the world,” she added.
She says the bank has introduced a supplier training in partnership with the Strathmore Business School, empowering 50 of their suppliers on sustainability and setting them off on their own journeys of impact. “We aspire to have all our suppliers on the sustainable business path going forward.”
Mr. Jeremy Awori, the Managing Director of Absa Bank Kenya says that historically, companies have invested in corporate social responsibility programs which have mostly taken the form of philanthropic engagements.
And whilst there is nothing wrong with businesses giving back to the communities within which they operate, Mr. Awori says this approach is undergoing a fundamental transformation as businesses increasingly realize that these efforts could be more sustainable and impactful if they became part of the core business.
“Today, it has become more apparent that businesses can make money by resolving deep-rooted societal, economic, and environmental challenges,” he said.