NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 18 – Corporate Organisations have been urged to enact policies that support and promote sustainable business practices, including the protection of the environment.
Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Foundation Chairperson Susan Omanga said on Thursday that was the obligation of all trades people to pay attention to issues that have a social, economic and environmental impact in their lives and businesses.
"Sustainability is a top global agenda and demands that organisations address critical issues that ensure that business and the earth can co-exist," she said.
Mrs Omanga spoke during the launch of the first KCB Group Sustainability Report 2007 which outlines the numerous programs and initiatives that the bank has undertaken towards this end.
"KCB is committed to gradually change the way we run our business to make it sustainable and protect the environment for the sake of future generations. We stand to be counted as an organisation that supports sustainable management practices," she said.
During the function, the bank\’s chairman Peter Muthoka highlighted some of the measures including the planting of one million tree seedlings in the next five years, which would be undertaken to steer the institution towards becoming a \’green organisation.\’
He said they would also create a framework where the bank\’s suppliers, customers and staff would make the commitment to remain productive without adversely affecting the environment.
Mr Muthoka disclosed that they would revamp their recycling capability to ensure that paper, plastic and electronic waste was properly disposed or salvaged to continue to add value to the business.
"Our planet is in danger of total destruction as a result of all the small things we do wrong in our daily corporate and private lives and we must take action now," he pointed out and added that they would also review the bank\’s procurement procedures to ensure that all services delivered are \’friendly to the environment.\’
The chairman pledged that the report would be used to benchmark KCB sustainability performance and would be published every two years.
Although it\’s not mandatory, sustainability reporting is becoming increasingly popular among top companies as a way of enhancing transparency and accountability.
According to a recent survey, 80 percent of the World\’s Global Fortune 250 companies issue corporate responsibility reports that are separate from their financial reports.
In Africa, South Africa accounts for the lion\’s share of companies that hand over such reports with 86 percent of its 100 companies publishing the documents in 2008.
With the launch of the report, KCB becomes the first bank in the region to show leadership in the sustainability management and reporting in the banking sector.