STANDARD CHARTERED BANK
Standard Chartered Bank Kenya (SCB) was established in 1911 with the first branch opened in Mombasa, Treasury Square. Today, 112 years later, SCB is one of the leading banks in Kenya, with an excellent franchise and highly trained employees.
The bank serves Corporate, Commercial, Institutional and Retail clients, offering Financial Markets, Transaction Banking, Wealth Creation and Corporate Finance products.
SCB is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). The public shareholding is slightly under 25 percent (remainder held by Standard Chartered PLC) and comprises over 30,000 shareholders. The bank boasts 22 branches and over 1,067 employees across the country.
Sustainability is one of the bank’s four strategic pillars. SCB implements its sustainability agenda through three key focus areas: sustainable economic growth, being a responsible company and investing in its communities.
In 2021, the bank defined three stands, which are embedded in its strategy. These include:
- Achieving Net Zero by 2050: by reducing carbon emissions, without slowing development.
- Lifting Participation: Improving the lives of communities by unleashing the full potential of women and micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs).
- Resetting Globalisation: by giving everyone the chance to participate in the world economy, so growth becomes fairer and more balanced.
The bank has rolled out these stands by working with clients, colleagues and communities. Some of the highlights of its work include:
SCB incorporates sustainability within the two client business segments: Corporate Commercial and Institutional Banking (CCIB), and Consumer, Private and Business Banking (CPBB). This is with the aim of having more than 6 percent of its revenue being generated from sustainable sources by 2024. The bank works closely with its clients to help them transition to net-zero through launching sustainable finance products and providing expertise, advice and capital. For example, in 2021, the bank disbursed over Ksh 18.5 billion towards funding sustainable and resilient infrastructure as well as enhancing access to basic services.
The bank recognises the role that digital banking solutions play in reducing carbon emissions and in broadening financial inclusion. One such product is the SC Shilingi Funds platform launched in February 2022. This is the first “100 percent digital only” platform offering money market funds in Kenya and across the SCB franchise. The solution offers convenience as it is available 24/7 on the SCB Mobile app. It allows clients to invest from as low as Ksh 500 to earn competitive returns (higher than what they would ordinarily get in a Savings account).
Clients want to have a positive impact on environment, social and governance (ESG) protocols, but often lack the time or tools to do so. SCB is helping them bridge this gap by offering them avenues to invest in ESG Offshore mutual funds. The bank currently has a total of 13 sustainable funds on their mutual funds’ platform in Kenya. SCB pursues a sustainable investing approach by investing in environment, water and energy funds, for example, Allianz Global Sustainability Fund, Ninety-One Global Environment fund, among others. In addition to this, SCB plants a tree on behalf of every client who invests in an ESG fund, occasionally inviting its clients to join the tree planting activities. To date, the bank has planted 1,200 trees at the Ngong Forest Sanctuary for its clients.
Futuremakers is the SCB’s flagship global initiative which focuses on three pillars: Education, Employability and Entrepreneurship. This helps the youth learn, earn and grow through Goal, Futuremakers Inclusive Employability Programme and Women in Tech. The bank is working with disadvantaged young people, especially girls and persons with disabilities (PwD), to gain new skills and expertise to improve their chances of getting a job or starting their own business. Futuremakers empowers the next generation by focusing on education, employability and entrepreneurship.
Goal is the Futuremakers flagship education programme that equips adolescent girls with life skills using sports training. All these programmes impacted 7,582 beneficiaries in 2022 bringing the total number of young people impacted since launch in 2019 to 27,388 and total investment to Ksh 143 million.
In 2022, SCB launched a Ksh 97 million Futuremakers Inclusive Employability Programme which aims at supporting young people, particularly girls and PwD to find jobs through work readiness and vocational training. These employability programmes help young people become job-ready by building employment-related knowledge and skills, increasing their confidence, self-esteem and aspirations including training, careers mentoring and job placements. The bank works with various institutions including five universities: Kenyatta University (KU), United States International University-Africa (USIU-A), Multimedia University (MMU), Zetech University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT). To date, this programme has reached 5,157 beneficiaries, 281 of whom are students with disabilities.
The bank has taken leadership in positioning the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon as the only sustainable marathon and the largest single day sporting event in Kenya. In 2022, the marathon made a great comeback after the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to becoming a signature fundraising event, all the marathon’s proceeds go towards the bank’s Futuremakers initiatives.
The marathon has also become an avenue for addressing the devastating impact of climate change. In 2022, through the slogan of ‘A Tree Per Runner’, 21,860 tree seedlings were distributed to all participants in the marathon. 100 percent of the waste generated from the marathon day was recycled. This translated to a total of 2,713 kg of greenhouse gas emissions saved. The SCB marathon has adopted a 3.1 km stretch within Kisumu City to plant and nurture trees. This is in support of Kisumu’s County Initiative which aims to plant 3 million trees in the next 3 years.
SCB also published its first Marathon Sustainability Report in 2022, to measure the environmental, social and economic impact of the event.
Being a responsible company means making the right decisions to minimise the impact of operations. SCB has taken a bold stand towards Accelerating Net Zero, setting two commitments: to achieve net zero emissions from its operations using renewable energy sources by 2025; and to achieve net zero in its financed emissions by 2050. The bank has put measures in place, such as rainwater harvesting for cleaning and watering of plants, and recycling of wastewater. This has resulted in a reduction of 82 percent in water use intensity over the last four years. All of SCB’s branches are certified as single-use plastic free zones.
SCB has a robust waste recycling program for its Chiromo Head Office, Kenyatta Avenue Branch, with plans underway to expand this to all its branches in Kenya. The bank’s leadership measures and tracks key operations indices, such as carbon emissions from direct business activities including diesel usage & waste disposal, and from indirect business activities such as electricity usage.
The bank has entered into a 3-year partnership (2021 -2024) with the Nairobi Arboretum Park to promote urban green spaces through the rehabilitation and beautification of running paths, as well as supporting community education awareness programmes on environmental conservation. SCB targets to restore no less than 6 km of running paths, upgrade 50 signages, label 100 trees and support a Ksh 1 million seedlings nursery.
SCB is supporting the development of a digital application which will be used as an education tool to create awareness on conservation and climate change. The bank’s partnership with Kenya Forest Service (KFS) is helping create awareness on the importance of green spaces within cities. This is in addition to hosting pre-marathon events at the Nairobi Arboretum, Karura Forest and Ngong Forest Sanctuary.
In June 2022, SCB launched its inaugural Sustainability Impact Report, a clear demonstration of the bank’s commitment to transparency and accountability regarding its sustainability aspirations.
SCB has received several recognitions for its efforts towards sustainability. These include: Best Case Study in Bank Operations from the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) in 2022 and Overall category winner of Economic Empowerment of Young Girls in the 10th Gender Mainstreaming Awards. In 2023, SCB’s CEO, Kariuki Ngari, was ranked first on a list of the Top 25 Most Influential CEOs Impacting Business, by the Business Monthly EA magazine.
As a corporate citizen, SCB’s sustainability work is inspired by the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.” SCB continues to leverage partnerships with various stakeholders to go further and ensure it leaves behind a better planet for future generations.