KCB Group Plc has signed up to the African Business Leaders’ Coalition (ABLC), to bolster actions in addressing the climate change crisis.
The coalition, convened under the UN Global Compact brings together companies across Africa to help drive more initiatives on addressing pressing sustainability issues like human rights, labour, environment, and anti-Corruption on the Continent, ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) gathering in Egypt next month.
The ABLC is a member-driven, action-oriented coalition, which will collaborate with all relevant parties while remaining strictly independent from any political affiliation or agenda.
“We are now at a point where even critics have given up denying the reality about climate change. Storms, droughts, and rising sea levels are bleak signs of what we are facing. Today, several parts of world have become uninhabitable because of climate change. That’s why we must all act by individually and collectively pushing for a greener economy,” said KCB Group CEO Paul Russo while signing the commitment during the launch of Safaricom’s 2022 Sustainability Report. Safaricom is part of the Coalition.
Part of the commitments includes taking key actions to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, supporting Africa’s just transition towards a 1.5°C future to build a thriving continent rooted in a resilient, green, and competitive economy with opportunities for the youth and future generations.
The push also includes creating an enabling environment that facilitates increased access to finance and ensures that African businesses can leverage global markets to accelerate the transition to a future fit economy.
“KCB is taking the lead role to streamline sustainable finance for climate mitigation and adaptation in the region of operation. This a good time to take stock of what we have done, with a view to building on the past and paving the way for future ambition to effectively tackle climate change. To this result, KCB is making deliberate steps in the area of climate action,” he added.
The Coalition also wants the private sector to set and report on credible emission reduction targets in support of the global Race to Zero.
“We hear the alarming warnings of the scientific community and understand that although Africa has contributed the least to creating the climate crisis, its people, its ecosystems, its economies, and its cultural heritage are among the most vulnerable and least prepared to adapt – largely due to insufficient support from international partners. Climate action is integral to addressing key issues facing Africa, such as food insecurity, forced displacement, water scarcity, and new diseases, all being exacerbated by climate impacts,” said the Coalition in the joint commitment.
This is the latest in a series of global initiatives which KCB is a signatory to among them the UNEP FI 6 Principles of Responsible Banking, Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), UN Global Compact, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs).
“As the region’s largest Bank, KCB is committed to aligning its interests with partner institutions to bolster economic development for the greater good for all,” said Mr. Russo.
In 2008, KCB embraced sustainability as a business imperative and concern, and this was anchored under four main pillars: financial, economic, social, and environmental stability. Over the years, KCB remains firmly committed to integrating sustainability practices and Environmental & Social Governance (ESG) principles across its markets, policies, procedures, and culture. Annually, they publish a sustainability report that evaluates sustainability commitments, including monitoring green lending and energy consumption.
As part of KCB sustainable finance initiatives, in 2020, KCB was accredited by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) within the medium to large category band to advance climate finance to strengthen climate action. KCB will be able to fund projects between US$50 Million and US$250 Million under GCF, once all modalities are complete.
The Bank is also rejigging its loan portfolio to align with sustainable development, with an ambition to have 25 percent of the loan portfolio dedicated to green projects, a build-up from the current 8.4 percent.
Last week, KCB unveiled its latest Sustainability Report which showed that the Bank screened loans worth Ksh336 billion for social and environmental risks while increasing its green portfolio in the past two years, bolstering its push for sustainable finance.
The Bank has also significantly cut its carbon footprint by 11.25 percent in its premises across the six countries it operates in, on a deliberate push to reduce carbon emissions from its operations. KCB resource consumption was down by 17 percent, on the back of a deliberate cut in the use of fuel, water, electricity, and paper. The Group monitors usage of the above resources on daily basis.