KCB Group took four awards during the Sustainable Finance Catalyst Awards 2017 this morning, highlighting the Bank’s leadership role in driving the sustainability agenda in the East African region.
The Bank emerged the Best Bank for Best Practice in Sustainable Finance (Tier 1 Banks) and was Second Overall Winner in the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) awards. This is in recognition of the Bank’s progress in balancing financial returns with its response to economic, social and environmental issues.
KBA also named KCB second in the Client case study- Financing Commercial Clients— category. KCB emerged second in the Case Study- Bank Operations and Policy category, a fete it received for implementing the green agenda, especially with the KCB Towers in Upperhill.
The Bank’s recognition as the industry outlier in driving the Sustainability agenda following 10 years of deliberate investments in sustainable finance. “KCB is focused on building a business for future generations, in the realization that business is no longer about just making profits but transforming the lives of communities across markets,” said Joshua Oigara, the KCB Group CEO and MD.
“Over the past decade, we have made considerable progress in redefining ourselves as more than just a lender. We will continue driving the sustainability agenda and laying more emphasis on operational excellence in line with the bank’s mandate. It is our belief that these efforts, combined with continuous improvement towards our goals, will raise our sustainability performance and help all of our stakeholders understand our intense desire for continued progress.” he said.
KCB plans to partner with other industry players to raise Green Bonds—loans issued to banks to fund projects that have positive environmental benefits especially in green investments such as renewable energy, water infrastructure, and sustainable agriculture.
The Bank is also looking at raising funds from the Global Climate Fund to support some of the green financing projects such as Mifugo in Mali, agribusiness and Inua Jamii.
KCB said it is keen on maintaining operational efficiencies in all aspects and all the way to the branch level in ensuring that it becomes a carbon neutral bank.
Among the raft of measures that the Bank has adopted and is pushing is introduction of video-conferencing and e-boards for board meetings; adoption of the KCB Green Agenda initiative across the Group; investing in low carbon emitting vehicles and leasing as opposed to buying and outsourcing transport and use of electronic document management system and adoption of paperless transactions (mobile and Internet banking).
KCB’s Sustainability Agenda is anchored on further helping drive the Sustainable Development Goals which are meant to eradicate an array of issues that included reducing poverty, hunger, disease, gender inequality, and access to water and sanitation.
The awards-themed: “Recognizing Catalytic Finance that Impacts Industry, Economy, and Society”, were launched in 2016, and in 2017, they sought to honor institutions that have embedded the industry’s Sustainable Finance Guiding Principles in their core operations and lending practices. The Principles, designed to articulate the industry’s aspirations of creating long-term value for the economy, the environment and society, aim to highlight the sector’s leadership and innovation while reinforcing the role that banks, mobile money providers, FinTechs and other financial sector participants play towards sustainable development.