Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya has announced that it aims to raise ten percent of its revenue from sustainable sources. This will be pegged on the bank’s sustainable economic growth perspective which has two client business segments that is Corporate Commercial and Institutional Banking (CCIB) and Consumer, Private & Business Banking (CPBB).
This is according to the Sustainability Impact Report 2021 that details the bank avenues in leveraging on the social, commercial, and environmental impacts to support strategy, achieve purpose and impact on the future.
The report also states the moves the bank has made in driving operational efficiency. That is using substantially less energy and water and producing less waste and carbon emissions this year. A total reduction in energy use of 25.4% and water use of 54% was achieved, with waste production reducing by 24.3% and the carbon footprint by 45% when compared year on year. This was not only facilitated through the migration to remote work but also the usage of LED lighting, grid-tied solar panel installations, waste recycling and water recycling among others.
The bank also prioritized investments to job creating sectors such as manufacturing, energy, water, and ICT sectors which amounted to KShs 136 billion.
The digital channels and innovation were also key as the bank continued to innovate new products and made banking easier. More than 92% of clients used Straight2Bank to access channels for collections, payments, tax, payroll, mobile wallet, trade finance, custody, and foreign exchange (FX) services with convenience and safety. Over 85% of FX client activities now being originated on the digital platforms. This enabled the bank to increase efficiency and improve service levels for our clients.
The bank also created an inclusive culture, promoting ethical conduct and supporting colleagues’ well-being. Gender parity on the Board has improved from 23% in 2019 to 45% in 2021, with women at management level and across staff now set at 47% and 54% respectively. Although women owned businesses in the supply chain only constitute 17% of our vendor base and contribute 2% of vendor spend, targets set is to increase to 30% by 2024.
In cybersecurity, the bank has invested over KShs 200 million over the last few years to deploy first-in-class technology and training to fight financial crime and fraud.
The bank also continues to support communities through Futuremakers – The global initiative to tackle youth economic inclusion and enable the next generation to learn, earn and grow focusing on three pillars – Education, Entrepreneurship and Education. The bank has so far raised the total contribution to KShs 311 million since 2019 which has impacted over 24,000 beneficiaries to date.
The Women in Technology incubator has had a total of 40 beneficiaries supported. The Goal Programme, an education initiative for empowering young girls has also impacted a total 14,625 beneficiaries by 2021. Further focus on employability, saw 4,805 university students supported in 2021 under EmployABLE programme, 244 of which were students with disabilities.
By participating in accelerating to net zero in our communities, the bank also launched and signed a three-year strategic partnership with Nairobi Arboretum Conservancy Community Forest Association (NACCFA) to rehabilitate The Nairobi Arboretum Park and to promote urban green spaces through restoration of running paths, support education and creating awareness on conservation of the environment in the community.
The bank also launched the new format for the 18th edition of Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon due to the COVID-19 restrictions with at least 5,600 participants completing both formats of the marathon receiving a tree seedling to plant at their place of choice with over KShs 6.7 million being raised for Futuremakers.
As the country was recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank also launched The Bouncing Back Programme to reduce the rates of youth unemployment in Kenya by focusing on impacting 500 girls including those with disabilities. The project provided soft loans, seed grants and psychosocial support. This enhances development of income generating activities to young women who have been adversely affected by economic harsh realities brought forth by the Covid-19 pandemic. The company worked closely with Employment and Entrepreneurship participants who are financially struggling with their businesses in hopes of improving their levels of viability.
In sustainable finance, the below are the six notable aspirations which allowed the bank to respond to the needs in society. They are:
1. Clean water and sanitation
- KShs 23.1 million disbursed
- 889 clients supported
- KShs 92.4 million estimated economic return realised
- In affordable clean energy KShs 895 million was disbursed.
- A total of KShs 18.5 billion was disbursed.
- This involved energy – KShs 7.3 billion,
- Transportation – KShs 1.92 billion disbursed.
- KShs 5.4 billion estimated economic stimulus realised and
- an estimated indirect 1,128 jobs were supported
- ICT KShs 9.2 billion was disbursed
3. Entrepreneurs for growth programme supported
Women in Technology
– 40 women owned tech business supported
– 124 jobs created
– KShs 68.4 million in grant funding awarded
– KShs 3.7 billion disbursed
– 95% of services locally procured
– 17% from women owned businesses
- 85% of FX transactions undertaken digitally.
- New Bond Forward product launched
New products launched
- Straight2Bank Next Gen
- Enhanced mobile application
- Interactive chat bot “walkMe”
- Straight2Bank Pay as online payment gateway
- SC DigiSmart Current Account for the youth
- Named Best Digital Bank in Kenya and Africa by the Digital Banker in 2021.
6. Impact Finance
– Total value of KShs 7.8 billion disbursed as at end of 2021
– women constitute 28% of the customer base
– 36% of our female customers bank using digital channels
7. Wealth Generation
– Enhanced access to green bonds and equities
– Access provided to 22 ESG mutual funds with portfolio growing
The bank is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and a signatory of the United Nations Environmental Programmes Finance Initiative’s Principles for Responsible Banking. This ensures that the bank collaborates with peers who share a common commitment to the value of the principles and implement best practices and standards. The bank is also a member of the UN Global Compact Network in Kenya, whose four principles on human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption we are committed to embedding in our business strategy and operations.