Access Bank Steps Up Environment Impact Programme

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As a global financial institution Access Bank has stepped up its environment impact programme as it is consciously working on reducing the adverse environmental impact of its operations through consistent reductions in its environmental footprints.
The Bank’s resource conservation programmes, in water usage, energy consumption, and waste recycling, are helping to cut down CO2 emission.
“We recognize that a better and prosperous future is linked to the well-being and health of our planet, said Hebert Wigwe, MD/CEO Access Bank. Thus, the protection of the environment is germane to us. We strive to promote the efficient use of resources and address Sustainability issues when managing risk. We also develop products and services that aim to reduce the carbon footprints of our customers.”
The Bank has been taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. A number of other initiatives are also ongoing in the Bank to ensure that the businesses it lends to and finance does not have adverse environmental impacts, or at least have impacts that can be mitigated.
Amongst others, key instruments Access Bank uses to do this, have primarily included environmental impact assessments and due diligence audits of prospective projects, clients and suppliers. In furtherance of its continued commitment to environmental stewardship and responsibility, it became a pioneer member of the Environment workstream of the UNGC Local Network in Nigeria in 2016.
“The rapidly-increasing urgency and need for action toward alleviating global environmental challenges continues to increase the Bank’s awareness and concern to take significant steps towards helping to solve some of the emerging global biophysical megatrends. We strongly uphold the precautionary principle, which motivates us to want to get involved, for example, in mitigating climate change, even when the scientific evidence may seem inconclusive. As part of the global efforts to combat potentially dangerous climate change, a number of initiatives exist in the Bank to curtail our greenhouse gas emissions footprint through the reduction of diesel consumption at our business locations. The Bank also makes efforts to reduce water consumption, material resources such as paper, and business travel, where possible,” adds Wigwe.
In addition, the Bank is part of the NCF programmes. The NCF is dedicated to nature conservation and sustainable development in Nigeria. NCF leads in promoting sustainable development through environmental conservation and natural resource management in Nigeria. Access bank remained a member of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation in 2016. Access Banks continues to support biodiversity preservation through our contribution towards the foundation. In 2016, Access Bank was present at the Annual General Meeting, providing valuable leadership advice and guidance.
Access Bank’s Sustainability policy is predicated on this core principle: creating economic, environmental, and value. This sets the direction for a future-orientated business strategy that balances economic success with environmental and social responsibility.
“We are also committed to the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact, as we continuously social strive to improve our Sustainability performance. We have also embedded relevant targets of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in our operations and activities as a major player in the financial services industry,” explained Wigwe.
Also, Access Bank’s Dustbin Project Initiative which was targeted at the residents of Dustbin Estate in Ajegunle (Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA, Lagos), is part of its environment preservation intervention programmes. Dustbin Estate is a collection of shanties built on a heap of refuse. It is divided into two by a sewage canal full of stagnant water, which is responsible for the putrid smell that perpetually lingers across the area. The sewage canal poses innumerable health hazards and environmental issues in a community where most adult and children defecate in the open.
“The objective of this initiative, explained Wigwe, which was carried out by the General Resource Management Group of our bank, was to identify with the children living in the community and give them hope to make meaning out of their predicament.”
Access Bank provided food and clothing materials for about 150 children living in the community. The Group also built a block of five toilets and five bathrooms for the community to reduce the cases of open defecation and the risk factors associated with the practice.