Access Bank emerges as Best Brand in Sustainability in Nigeria
Access Bank Group Managing Director and CEO, Herbert Wigwe, was bestowed the award of CEO of the Year (Financial Services).
Access Bank continues to garner accolades and recognitions for its leadership in sustainability. Despite the enormous disruption to business in 2020 caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the bank received several awards and a sustainability certification. At the second edition of the Brandcom Awards, which took place in Lagos on November 27, Access Bank was declared Best Brand in Sustainability, once again affirming the bank as the leading institution in driving long-term value for stakeholders in a manner that combines environmental and social responsibility.
Organised by Brand Communicator, a Nigeria-based brands and marketing publication, the Brandcom Awards recognises and celebrates select Nigerian brands and individuals, including marketing communications professionals, for their outstanding performance in different areas. Access Bank was recognised for its sustainability leadership.
For its support to several small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the bank was bestowed the SME Friendly Bank of the Year award. Crowning the triumphant evening for the bank was the award of CEO of the Year (Financial Services) to Group Managing Director and CEO, Herbert Wigwe.
Speaking on the awards, Head of Sustainability at Access Bank, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, highlighted the bank’s commitment to promoting inclusive and sustainable growth in line with Goal 8 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to the United Nations, sustained and inclusive economic growth can lead to new and better employment opportunities and provide greater economic security for all.
“At Access Bank, we recognise the importance of SMEs to the development of the national economy and more extensively, the success of the global sustainability agenda. We are privileged to receive recognitions like this, and we will continue to play our part in improving lives,” Ms. Victor-Laniyan said.
One of the several initiatives and programmes for supporting SMEs at Access Bank is the Green Social Entrepreneurship Programme, developed in partnership with SMEFUNDS, an international social enterprise. The programme, launched in 2018, empowers entrepreneurs to provide households with clean cookstoves, which converts waste-based biomass into biofuel.
The bank’s partnership with SMEFUNDS aims to promote the use of cleaner and modern cookstoves and fuels to help reduce people's exposure to the harmful effects of using inefficient fuels. To mitigate the effects of COVID-19 lockdowns on some of the most economically vulnerable families in 2020, Access Bank launched the Family Clean Cooking Support Programme, under which it distributed more than 5,000 litres of biofuels to over 2,500 families and small business owners.
Apart from safeguarding the health and wellness of the people, the programme – deployed in partnership with SMEFUNDS – also contributed in the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs).
According to the Convener of Brandcom Awards and Publisher of Brand Communicator, Joshua Ajayi, Wigwe’s recognition was based on his admirable leadership. As CEO of the bank, Ajayi said Access Bank has made considerable strides in providing innovative and sustainable market solutions, while also contributing to the prominence of the Nigerian banking industry on the global stage.
Earlier in November, Brand Communicator conferred Access Bank with the Outstanding Female Friendly Bank of the Year award at the 2020 Women in Marketing and Communications Conference/Awards (WIMCA). The bank won the award for the third time in a row after winning the 2018 and 2019 editions. Also during the WIMCA, Victor-Laniyan emerged as the winner of Outstanding Female Sustainability Professional of the Year award.
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