Top 25 Corporations Demonstrating Best Practices in ESG 2024

NCBA stands as a trailblazer in the impactful ESG practices space, showcasing unparalleled dedication to environmental, social, and governance initiatives.

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NCBA BANK

NCBA Bank operates as a full-service banking entity, delivering a diverse range of financial products and services to its corporate, institutional, small and medium enterprise (SME), and individual banking clientele. With a presence in five countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Côte d’Ivoire, the bank boasts a network comprising over 100 branches. Serving a vast customer base exceeding 60 million, NCBA Bank proudly holds the esteemed position of Africa’s largest banking group in terms of customer numbers. Within this robust framework, NCBA Bank Kenya PLC stands out as one of the top banks in the region by assets. The bank continues to contribute significantly to Africa’s economic pursuits, particularly excelling in Corporate Banking, Asset Finance, and Digital Banking services.

In pursuit of its purpose to ‘inspire greatness’, NCBA recognises the significant impact of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors on its business performance. Understanding the far-reaching implications of these issues, the bank actively engages in meaningful dialogue with its stakeholders. This approach aims to harmonise NCBA’s business objectives and societal impact, aligning them seamlessly with the expectations of both shareholders and stakeholders at large.

NCBA concentrates on five pivotal impact clusters derived from a comprehensive materiality assessment. These encompass minimising its climate impact, supporting customers’ transition to low-carbon models, mitigating climate-related risks, enhancing community engagement, and optimising corporate governance.

L-R,Simon Chelugui CS Ministry of Co-operatives and MSMEs Development, John Gachora. Group MD NCBA Bank, and
Patrick Kilemi PS, State Department of Co-operatives during the NCBA inaugural SACCO banking forum on June 30, 2021.

In its commitment to environmental sustainability, NCBA is proactively addressing its climate impact and supporting its customers’ transition to low-carbon models. The bank recognises its significant influence and uses its scale to drive positive change. By enhancing operational efficiency, adopting new technologies, and influencing clients and the supply chain, NCBA reduces its environmental footprint. The bank is meticulously defining actions to green its operations, curbing emissions from various activities such as facility management, procurement, and employee travel.

Moreover, NCBA is empowering its customers to embrace sustainable practices by offering comprehensive financial solutions. This includes lending, capital raising, advisory, and investment services tailored to facilitate a shift towards a low-carbon economy. Collaborating with Development Financial Institutions (DFIs), the bank mobilises necessary capital and invests in educating relationship managers to guide clients through this transformative journey.

NCBA Group Managing Director John Gachora pens down his signature on a car during the official opening of the three-day NCBA– KMI Motorshow 2023 held on 15th September 2023 at Sarit Centre, Nairobi.

Additionally, NCBA is fortifying its community engagement initiatives, aligning them with stakeholders’ concerns and measuring their impact more effectively. Embracing a holistic approach, NCBA embeds climate risk considerations across its risk framework, ensuring a balance between climate ambitions and strategic objectives.

NCBA demonstrates its commitment to impactful ESG practices through its extensive community engagement initiatives, reflecting its dedication to ‘Shaping a Brighter Future’. Under the Citizenship pillar, in 2022, the bank focused on Youth Education and Enterprise, achieving an impressive 99 percent secondary school completion rate for its education sponsorship beneficiaries. Notably, NCBA celebrated a decade-long partnership with SOS Children’s Villages Kenya, ensuring comprehensive support, including education, healthcare, and youth empowerment for sponsored students. The bank actively championed diversity and inclusive education by partnering with the Dr Choksey Albinism Foundation, offering internships, and employment opportunities to sponsored students, fostering valuable skills and preparation for the job market.

Under the Financial Innovation Pillar, NCBA has invested KES 21 million since 2016 in the Social Innovation Relay (SIR) program, empowering over 13,000 students to present innovative ideas addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). As an example, the Aquatech company, a winning team from Limuru Girls High School, developed a solution called ‘Fishpond’ to combat world hunger, earning them honours and recognition.

Under the Environment and Natural Resources Pillar, NCBA focused on climate resilience and sustainability. The bank planted 20,800 trees in 2022, emphasising natural resource conservation and management, renewable energy projects, and afforestation efforts. NCBA invested KES 23 million in the ‘Change the Story’ initiative, establishing a 1 million indigenous seedling nursery to counter deforestation. The bank actively participated in the 2022 KUSI Ideas Festival, promoting sustainable practices and partnerships to combat climate change.

Under the Preventative Health and Wellness Pillar, NCBA prioritises community health. During the 2022 Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the bank provided free screenings and educational resources, raising awareness about the importance of early detection. NCBA continues its partnership with Faraja Cancer Trust, supporting cancer patients and advocating for increased access to treatment.

Lastly, NCBA’s commitment to community engagement is highlighted through its Golf Sponsorship initiatives. Launched in 2021, the NCBA Golf Series has connected with over 3,800 golfers, fostering a sense of community and reinforcing NCBA’s dedication to investing in the region’s future. More recently, NCBA took on the sponsorship of the Kenya Motor Industry (KMI) Motorshow, thereby breathing fresh life into the motor industry, the most important cog in the road transport sector.

NCBA Group Managing Director John Gachora with his team, in collaboration with Tree Biotechnology Programme,
participate in a tree planting exercise at Mekaela Academies -Diani. Environmental sustainability is at the heart of NCBA.

Through robust Human Resources (HR) and Culture initiatives, NCBA showcases its commitment to good corporate governance. Underpinning the bank’s governance framework, in 2022, NCBA prioritised employee experience and wellness, conducting webinars on financial, mental, and physical wellbeing, and facilitating annual medical check-ups and sports activities. The bank fostered a learning culture, achieving 110,365 learning hours, a remarkable 300 percent growth from 2021. Leadership Development remains central, with 460 leaders trained so far. Moreover, the launch of the Senior Leadership Development Programme for the top 100 leaders remains on course, emphasising talent management and succession planning. The ‘Customer Experience the NCBA Way’ training equipped 3,000 staff with skills to deliver exceptional customer experiences, aligning with the bank’s governance principles. NCBA invested in continuous skill development, occupational health and safety training, and transition assistance programs, ensuring employee wellbeing, thereby upholding the highest standards of corporate governance.

Further, NCBA demonstrates unwavering devotion to exemplary corporate governance through its meticulously established governance structures. Committed to adherence, the Board of Directors ensures strict compliance with the Constitution of Kenya, relevant laws, international standards, and internal policies. It maintains a sharp focus on the structure and accountability of both the Board and Management, emphasising the importance of composition, independence, competencies, diversity, and collaboration. Transparent communication is key, with a commitment to timely and clear disclosures that offer stakeholders a deep understanding of the bank’s operations.

Rigorous attention is given to audit and controls, emphasising independence, internationally recognised auditing principles, well-scoped internal and external audits, and a robust audit committee. Aligning roles, deliverables, and remuneration with long-term shareholder interests, NCBA optimises shareholder returns through strategic foresight. Business sustainability remains at the core, driving frequent strategy reviews and the adoption of plans promoting long-term prosperity. Upholding the highest integrity, NCBA ensures a strong ethical culture through a clearly defined Code of Conduct and Ethics.

NCBA stands as a trailblazer in the impactful ESG practices space, showcasing unparalleled dedication to environmental, social, and governance initiatives.

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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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