Powering shared progress in the communities we operate in is only accelerated and consolidated when we tackle the greatest challenges that affect our planet and millions around the world. For us, one of these challenges is global climate change, which has left an indelible impact on national economies, communities, and millions of lives.
As a sustainable bank, we continue to monitor our carbon footprint by tracking our electricity, fuel, water, solid waste, and paper usage. We consciously manage the impact of our business operations on the environment by curtailing our business travels, ensuring our generators are well-serviced and in cabins, to prevent noise and fumes. We also ensure proper disposal of our wastes and efficient use of water.
We are not stopping there. We are raising awareness about climate change beyond our four walls by organizing education programs about environmental sustainability across secondary schools in the country. Through our education program, hundreds of secondary school students have learned the invaluable importance of curbing waste, whether it is airborne or plastic, and will carry this knowledge and culture of environmental sustainability into adulthood. We are also providing independent environmentalist groups with all they need as they race to achieve cleaner and safer communities. Our support for these groups extends from donations to hands-on volunteering by staff members who are as passionate about strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change.
Understanding the key role of waste recycling in environmental sustainability, we worked with people and organizations who share our passion for the environment to turn waste into resources for communities. We supported an Ibadan-based group of environmentalists called PP40 on a Waste-To-Play project. Through this project, public primary schools in Lagos without playgrounds were equipped with accessible playgrounds made from waste materials picked from their environment. The programme equipped over 500 young students with hands-on art skills which will be beneficial to them in the future.
We partnered with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation—the leading organisation dedicated to nature conservation and sustainable development in Nigeria—on some key projects to protect nature. With our support, the foundation was able to build on the momentum and complete the following projects across the country:
As part of the Simple Change Big Impact project, we funded the Sandcastle Project for the people of Folu Village in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos. The project, which focuses on recycling plastic tops to build a sandcastle now serves as a play area for more than 200 underprivileged children in the community.
At the center of many of our initiatives is the need to meet members of our host community at their pain points. To achieve this, we organised an environmental workshop for students to learn how to construct and re-utilize waste items such as PET bottles for their benefit. We also distributed paper waste collection boxes called the Green Boxes to 20 public schools within Ipaja and environs, Lagos. Through these activities, younger Nigerians not only learned to become more committed to a cleaner environment but are now instilled with a lifelong habit devoted to ensuring a sustainable habitat for all.
The crisis in the North-Eastern part of the country has rendered thousands homeless. Stuck at camps spread across the country, these citizens who have lost everything need a lifeline to start a new life for themselves. We also empowered the women of Kuch- ingoro IDP Camp Abuja by training them on the art of making accessories from waste. Done in partnership with the W2S Initiative, we funded the machinery and materials used to educate the women. Through this initiative, the displaced women can now generate alternative means of livelihood for themselves and family.
This is how we work with communities and organizations that share our values to impact lives, empower people and uplift those on the margins of our society.
The communities where we work are the reasons why we exist; Our role is to make them stronger.
We believe that quality education increases opportunities to access a better life.
We see in the Arts, the opportunity to inspire and empower members of our communities and to also foster cultural exchanges that break down societal barriers and build global relationships.