Manama, Bahrain: The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) Group celebrated Earth Day by launching its newest initiative, ‘Think Future’, under the Economic, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) umbrella to further elevate its position as a responsible organisation operating in line with global ESG standards.
This initiative is yet another step forward toward becoming a more responsible banking group and reflects NBB Group’s long-term commitment towards high performance beyond financial results. The campaign promotes the Group’s holistic adoption of ESG into their internal and external operations, and includes seven primary pillars; Governance and Ethical Behaviour, Responsible Banking, Nurturing their Workforce, Preserving Natural Resources, Economic Growth, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Serving its Customers.
A three-year sustainability roadmap has been set by the Group to integrate sustainability into its operations to ensure alignment with the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030 and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, to ultimately add tangible value to the ecosystem the Group operates in.
Commenting on sustainability in NBB’s Annual Financial and Sustainability Report 2020, released last month, NBB Group Chairman, Mr. Farouk Almoayyed, highlighted the growing importance of adopting a sustainable framework in order for organisations to thrive; saying: “ESG score referencing has become an important contributor to decisions made by investors pursuing a holistically-conscious organisation, as well as companies seeking to align their business models with sustainable forms of corporate governance. For these reasons, we remain committed to corporate sustainability, embedding and systematically managing environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities in all aspects of the Group’s business.”
In the same report, NBB CEO, Mr. Jean-Christophe Durand, stated: “Our commitment to be a leader in sustainable banking is one of our continuous aspirations. We believe that we have made leading progress already – taking a rigorous and systematic approach towards integrating environmental, social and governance issues into our core business, underpinned by practical action. Our sustainability roadmap, now being embedded in the business, sets out a clear direction for the practical steps we will take over the next three years, and provides a foundation for further development thereafter.”
Group Chief Human Resources & Sustainability Officer at NBB, Ms. Dana Buheji, added: “As part of our ongoing commitment to sustainable banking, the ‘Think Future’ campaign is one part of a dedicated action plan towards adopting ESG into our Group operations. We strive to adopt sustainability as a way of life by embedding it into all aspects, from our mindset to our behavior, as we aim to instill this ideology, both internally and externally, to create a Kingdom-wide culture that is constantly thinking and planning for a sustainable future.”
The Group has recently undertaken many initiatives on its Social Media Channels to promote sustainable banking by encouraging its clients on the occasion of Earth Day, falling annually on April 22nd, to sign up for e-statements instead of paper, and by developing and promoting their new digital application to minimise the use of paper, recycling unused and unnecessary paperwork, and joining global initiatives, such as Earth Hour, to help conserve energy. The Group has also begun reducing its energy and water consumption in an attempt to conserve natural resources and preserve the environment.
The most recent in a line of ESG-awareness activities saw NBB Group host an informative session on ESG and Sustainability Issues facing bankers and investment entities in the financial sector, focusing on how an organisation can be both socially responsible and engage in impactful investing, and was attended by 370 individuals from across the NBB Group.
Since 2019, the National Bank of Bahrain has reported important non-financial information about its operations, promoting transparency and providing comprehensive coverage of significant sustainability topics. As part of its commitment to transparency and international best reporting practices, NBB developed the first Annual Financial and Sustainability Report 2020 as per the Central Bank of Bahrain and Bahrain Bourse guidelines and in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards.
The bank has also recently ranked first in the Banking Sector, and second on all sectors within Bahrain, for Environment, Sustainability & Governance (ESG) ratings list by ESG Invest, and is the only constituent representing the Kingdom of Bahrain on the Refinitiv Arab Federation of Exchanges (“AFE”) Low Carbon Select Index.