In a resolute move towards a greener and more sustainable future, the NCBA Group, deeply rooted in Kenya’s financial landscape, has set forth an audacious commitment to mobilize a staggering Sh30 billion for green and sustainable financing by the year 2030. This strategic pledge comes as a pivotal part of the institution’s dedication to environmental stewardship and its resolute focus on combatting the pressing challenge of climate change.

As the curtain rises on the Africa Climate Week (ACW) 2023, slated for September 4-8 in Nairobi, NCBA’s announcement resonates with purpose and echoes a forward-thinking approach. The commitment not only reflects the institution’s recognition of the urgency of addressing climate change but also positions it as a trailblazer in the financial sector’s quest for a planet-friendly future.

A cornerstone of this commitment is NCBA’s unwavering dedication to sustainability. With a resolute focus on nurturing partnerships with both private actors and government entities, the institution has set its sights on a remarkable goal: the cultivation of 10 million trees. This arboreal endeavor exemplifies NCBA’s intention to take tangible steps in the direction of reforestation and carbon sequestration.

In addition to this ambitious afforestation initiative, NCBA’s commitment to sustainability takes on a multi-faceted character. A highlight among these facets is the institution’s pledge to eradicate single-use plastics from its operations—a move that aligns harmoniously with the global imperative to curb plastic pollution. Complementing this is the institution’s unflinching commitment to achieve 100 per cent waste recycling. These measures not only underline the institution’s resolve to lead by example but also set new benchmarks for sustainable corporate practices.

Diving deeper into NCBA’s sustainability manifesto reveals its intention to green its supply chain. By embarking on this path, the institution aims to ensure that the entire lifecycle of its operations, from sourcing to delivery, adheres to ecologically sound principles. Furthermore, a noteworthy stride in this direction is NCBA’s significant investment in electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the region. This move heralds a paradigm shift in the realm of transportation, as it lays the foundation for a region-wide network of EV infrastructure that is pivotal for reducing carbon emissions.

John Gachora, the managing director of NCBA Group, encapsulated the spirit of this transformative commitment during its unveiling. He articulated that this bold move would catalyze the institution’s endeavor towards a future that is defined by sustainability and environmental consciousness. He emphasized that the urgency to take action is palpable, especially when one considers the economic repercussions of phenomena like drought, which have exerted considerable strain on Kenya’s economy.

The commitment to a greener future extends beyond rhetoric, as NCBA is setting an example through measurable and accountable actions. The institution has set an ambitious target of a 50 per cent reduction in its direct emissions by 2030—a target that serves as a lighthouse for its future endeavors. Moreover, NCBA’s commitment extends to aligning its financed emissions with the principles laid out in the 2015 Paris Agreement—a testament to its alignment with global climate action.

A distinctive facet of NCBA’s approach to sustainable transformation lies in its commitment to empowering the public and its customers. Recognizing that change begins with knowledge and action, the institution is investing in the development of a digital platform named “Change the Story.” This platform will serve as a repository of knowledge and insights, aimed at equipping the community with actionable information to address climate challenges. Additionally, NCBA’s human resources, comprising over 3,000 dedicated staff, will play a pivotal role in driving this initiative within their respective communities—a testament to the institution’s commitment to grassroots engagement.

While NCBA’s commitment to environmental sustainability takes center stage, it’s worth noting that diversity and inclusion are also integral parts of its agenda. The institution has committed to directing at least 30 per cent of its general services procurement spend towards women and youth. This move reflects NCBA’s dedication to promoting diversity across all layers of its operations—a stance that resonates with the broader ideals of social equity and inclusivity.

To underscore its commitment to accountability and transparency, NCBA has officially joined the UN Global Compact, reaffirming its resolve to be at the forefront of sustainable business practices. The institution has undertaken to provide annual progress reports, laying bare its strides towards the commitments it has undertaken. This commitment to public scrutiny is not just a gesture but a resounding statement of integrity and purpose.

As the pages of time turn, NCBA’s commitment to green and sustainable financing by 2030 will stand as a testament to its vision, ambition, and unyielding dedication to a world that thrives in harmony with nature. The institution’s bold steps serve as a clarion call to other financial institutions, beckoning them to join the ranks of transformative change-makers. Ultimately, NCBA’s journey towards a sustainable future encapsulates the essence of responsibility, leadership, and the unshakeable belief that a better world is not merely a distant dream but a tangible reality waiting to be shaped by collective action.

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