KCB Group Plc has joined the African Business Leaders’ Coalition (ABLC) to strengthen efforts to address the climate change crisis.
The coalition, convened under the UN Global Compact, brings together businesses from across Africa to help drive more initiatives addressing pressing sustainability issues on the continent, such as human rights, labor, the environment, and anti-corruption, ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in Egypt next month.
The ABLC is a member-driven, action-oriented coalition that will work with all relevant parties while remaining politically and ideologically independent.
Among the commitments are key actions to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, such as supporting Africa’s just transition to a 1.5°C future in order to build a thriving continent based on a resilient, green, and competitive economy that provides opportunities for youth and future generations.
The push also includes creating an enabling environment that allows for greater access to finance and ensures that African businesses can leverage global markets to accelerate the transition to a future-ready economy.
“Even critics have given up on denying the reality of climate change.” Storms, droughts, and rising sea levels are all warning signs of what is to come. Climate change has rendered several parts of the world uninhabitable. That is why, individually and collectively, we must all act to push for a greener economy,” said KCB Group CEO Paul Russo while signing the commitment at the launch of Safaricom’s 2022 Sustainability Report. Safaricom is a member of the Coalition.
“KCB is taking the lead in the region to streamline sustainable finance for climate mitigation and adaptation.” This is an excellent time to reflect on what we have accomplished in order to build on the past and pave the way for future ambition to effectively combat climate change. As a result, KCB is taking deliberate steps toward climate action,” he added.
In addition, the Coalition would like 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 recognize that, despite Africa’s contribution to the climate crisis, its people, ecosystems, economies, and cultural heritage are among the most vulnerable and least prepared to adapt, owing largely to inadequate support from international partners.” “Climate action is critical to addressing key issues confronting Africa, such as food insecurity, forced displacement, water scarcity, and new diseases, all of which are exacerbated by climate impacts,” the Coalition stated in a joint commitment.
The UNEP FI 6 Principles of Responsible Banking, Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), UN Global Compact, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and Women Empowerment Principles are among the global initiatives to which KCB has signed on (WEPs).
“As the region’s largest bank, KCB is committed to aligning its interests with partner institutions to promote economic development for the benefit of all,” Mr. Russo said.
The KCB Group adheres to the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles, to which it is a signatory, which are aligned with the SDGs (SDGs). The Group has committed to forming strategic alliances to address current climate change challenges.
KCB adopted sustainability as a business imperative and concern in 2008, with four main pillars: financial, economic, social, and environmental stability. KCB has remained steadfast in its commitment to integrating sustainability practices and Environmental & Social Governance (ESG) principles across its markets, policies, procedures, and culture over the years. They publish an annual sustainability report that evaluates sustainability commitments such as green lending and energy consumption.
As part of KCB’s sustainable finance initiatives, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) accredited KCB in the medium to large category band in 2020 to advance climate finance and strengthen climate action. Once all modalities are worked out, KCB will be able to fund projects ranging from $50 million to $250 million under the GCF.
The bank is also reorganizing its loan portfolio to align with sustainable development, with the goal of dedicating 25% of its loan portfolio to green projects, up from 8.4% currently.
KCB released its latest Sustainability Report last week, revealing that in the last two years, the bank screened loans worth KShs. 336 billion for social and environmental risks while increasing its green portfolio, bolstering its push for sustainable finance.
The bank has also reduced its carbon footprint by 11.25% in its facilities across the six countries in which it operates, as part of a concerted effort to reduce carbon emissions from its operations. KCB’s resource consumption was reduced by 17% as a result of a conscious reduction in the use of fuel, water, electricity, and paper. The Group monitors the above-mentioned resources on a daily basis.