NAIROBI, Kenya, May 26 – Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) will continue to look for more partnership opportunities with organisations, schools and other institutions in its quest to help raise Kenya’s vegetation cover to desired levels, Chief Executive Martin Oduor-Otieno has said.
Speaking after leading the bank’s staff in planting over 5,000 trees at Karura Forest to mark KCB Community Day, the Chief Executive said that the level of environmental degeneration had reached alarming levels and that tackling such problems required joint efforts by the Government, the private sector, and communities.
“With a dismal vegetation cover at just less than 2 percent, Kenya should to be grateful to God that she has not experienced any devastating climatic catastrophe. All we ever experience is prolonged drought but somehow we pull through,” said Mr Oduor-Otieno.
Through a partnership with stakeholders in the region, KCB has pushed through its green agenda working with both private organisation and through communities in which the bank operates. The bank has been at the fore front working with the Kenya Forest Service to plant trees across the country. Since 2005, the bank has planted over 250,000 seedlings in an effort to increase the country’s forest resources.
Recently, the bank, in partnership with the Nairobi City Council (NCC) launched an environmental stewardship initiative dubbed ‘The Green Wave’ aimed at planting and maintaining trees in schools managed by the City Council. The bank has so far invested Sh1.6 million in the Green Wave Programme that will initially involve 10 primary schools in Nairobi under direct management by the NCC.
The bank is also financing awareness campaigns in these schools to share critical knowledge with the schools as a way of ensuring the success of the programme.
“We have a target to plant one million trees in the region. As part of that effort we are encouraging and creating partnerships that will engage and involve the grass-root populations to plant more trees. During our next community day we intend to invite schools, communities around where we do business, and even our customers to join us in this noble cause,” said Mr Oduor-Otieno.
During this year’s community day, the bank spent close to Sh10 million to plant over 200,000 seedlings in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Sudan.
Mr Oduor-Otieno said that following the adoption of sustainability reporting, KCB was committed to a sustainable business management framework that ensures its operations do not lead to further destruction of the environment, and that the bank would ensure sustained environmental involvement through its environmental charter.
“The KCB Green Agenda is not only about embracing business practices that are eco-friendly but also carrying out initiatives that will reduce the negative impacts of our business to the ecosystem. In a nutshell, we want to play our part in protecting the environment which will in turn save us money and make our business more profitable and sustainable,” he concluded.