BY KAYODE TOKEDE, Lagos
Zenith Bank has been named best company in Sustainability Reporting in Africa at the 2017 Sustainability Enterprise Responsibility Awards (SERAS).
With the new award held at the weekend, Zenith Bank has blazed the trail as the winner of the award for the second consecutive year.
The bank had won the 2016 Sustainability Report titled “Creating Wealth Sustainably” being the first sustainability report in Nigeria and Africa financial services sector.
The Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) instituted the award in October 2016.
Zenith bank noted that it had raised the bar in sustainability reporting within and outside the financial services sector, while setting the pace in the adoption of global best standards in reporting.
It said that the award had been widely acknowledged in the global sustainability arena with the GRI featuring it on the homepage of its official website: https://www.globalreporting.org.
It continued: “The bank has not only supported the global climate action and has prioritized investment in green and sustainable business projects, but has fully integrated environmental and social considerations into its business and credit administration processes.
“As part of its green earth policy, Zenith Bank is the first bank in Nigeria to have carried out an external audit on its greenhouse gas footprints, using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standards, a globally certified GHG audit procedure”.
The bank said that new standards were designed to replace the older GRI G4 reporting guidelines which was the reporting standard it adopted in its 2015 Sustainability Report.
It added: “Though the timeframe set by the GSSB for institutions to comply with the new Standards is July 2018, Zenith Bank, however, emerged as one of the first institutions in the world to have mastered and adopted the new Standards one year ahead of schedule.
“As shown in the reporting database of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), over 100 companies have so far adopted the new GRI Standards worldwide including major brands such as Accenture, Bank Audi, Citi Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, European Investment Bank and Ford Motor Company, among others. Zenith Bank is one of these global early birds”.
Sustainability reporting provides a tool for measuring progress in the adoption of sustainable business principles.
These principles require organizations to adopt responsible environmental and social policies and practices in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles, the IFC Performance Standards and the UNGC Sustainability Principles, among others.
The bank further said, “As a responsible corporate citizen, Zenith Bank takes seriously its environmental and social responsibilities in all the communities where it operates. Reporting progress in the adoption of these best practices to stakeholders is also a major corporate responsibility.
“Sustainability reporting compels transparency, accountability and good corporate governance. It is also a major self-assessment tool that enables reporting institutions to see the gaps in their sustainability implementation with a view to closing them.
“This is why reporting has become a key performance indicator, especially among leading global brands”.
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