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Change The Story – NCBA Bank’s Initiative For A Sustainable Kenya

by Femme Staff

In an era where environmental conservation is more critical than ever, NCBA Bank is taking the lead with its transformative “Change the Story” initiative. This campaign underscores NCBA’s commitment to environmental conservation, recognizing the crucial role it plays in the economy and the livelihoods of Kenyans.

NCBA Bank launched their Change the Story initiative as a movement to propel action against climate change. One of the most pressing environmental issues in Kenya is deforestation and the bank seeks to address this by aiming to plant 10 million trees in the country by 2030. This has been further supported by the Kenyan government, as it aims to recover tree cover from the current 12.13% to at least 30% by 2032. Dr. William S. Ruto scaled up the nation’s initial target of restoring 5.1 million hectares to 10.6 million hectares through the National Landscape and Ecosystem Restoration Strategy, by growing at least 15 billion trees.

In alignment with this, NCBA Bank launched sustainability commitments, structured around five key pillars, each encompassing specific, actionable commitments. The first pillar, which is to minimize their direct impact on climate through their tree planting programs, focuses on tree planting and waste management. The bank has made strategic partnerships with various conservancy foundations including Ushiriki Wema Foundation, Ahadi Trust Kenya, The Kenya Forest Service, and Boreka Group. Through the partnerships, the bank has so far planted 7 million trees in different parts of the country.

One of the standout events from last year was NCBA’s World Environment Day activities in Bungoma County, where over 20,000 trees were planted. Key figures like Tessie Musalia, Founder, Ushirika Wema Foundation played crucial roles in this initiative. At Kibabii University, 4,000 trees were planted with the participation of H.E. Tessie Musalia and Bungoma Governor H.E. Kenneth Lusaka.

Additionally, NCBA is committed to eliminating single-use plastics and recycling 100% of its waste by 2030, with over 34% of waste already being recycled at headquarters and pilot branches. They are also greening their supply chain and ensuring that all corporate gifting is sustainable.

Their second pillar, igniting customers to transition to low carbon emission operating models, involves mobilizing green financing and developing supporting infrastructure that supports adoption of Electric Vehicles (Evs) to the Kenyan market. NCBA Bank mobilized Ksh.30 billion for green and sustainable financing, promoting a shift towards a low-carbon economy. This includes investing in EV charging stations across the region to support clean transportation. The bank has so far launched free EV charging stations at their headquarters in Upperhill in collaboration with Evchaja, and regionally in their NCBA Rwanda branch.

Under their third pillar, the bank aims to reduce direct emissions by over 50% by 2030 and align financed emissions with the 2015 Paris Agreement. They are also integrating climate-related risk assessments into their lending, investment, and financing activities to ensure long-term sustainability. NCBA is continuously conducting comprehensive carbon audits and setting ambitious targets to reduce emissions.

On their fourth pillar, NCBA Bank is committed to impact the community through sports and education sponsorships. The Bank will allocate Ksh.100 million annually to support local communities and championing inclusive communities through regional sports development. Through various partnerships, the bank aims to support needy and talented children to achieve their goals. This year, through the Palmhouse Foundation, the bank donated Ksh.12 million funding for over 100 students. This will be distributed through various partners, incliding Dr. Choksey Albinism Foundation, M-PESA Foundation, Edumed Trust and SOS Children’s Villages.

Finally, the fifth pillar is about optimizing corporate governance by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. NCBA is steering at least 30% of general services procurement to women and youth, promoting diversity and inclusion across all operational levels, and providing targeted mentorship and skills development for women and youth. Currently, 51% of members of staff in NCBA Group are women, cementing their commitment to equality.

These pillars collectively represent NCBA’s comprehensive approach to sustainability, encompassing environmental, social, and governance aspects to drive impactful change and create a sustainable future for Kenya. By focusing on tree planting, waste reduction, green financing, and community engagement, NCBA is paving the way for a greener, more sustainable future for Kenya. The progress achieved so far is commendable, and as the initiative continues to gain momentum, it promises to make a lasting impact on Kenya’s environmental landscape.

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