Access Bank wins sustainability awards
On December 8, Access Bank emerged winner in four categories at the 2018 edition of the Central Bank of Nigeria's Sustainability Awards.
The shelves that hold Access Bank's trophies and plaques swelled substantially in 2018, thanks to the bank's award-winning sustainability agenda. Last year, Access Bank continued to implement a number of strategic initiatives to show its commitment to sustainability at both corporate and community levels. These initiatives did not escape the attention of the sustainable finance and development communities.
On December 8, Access Bank emerged winner in four categories at the 2018 edition of the Central Bank of Nigeria's Sustainability Awards. The four categories were: Most Sustainable Bank of the Year; Sustainable Transaction of the Year (Oil and Gas Sector); Sustainable Transaction of the Year (Power Sector); and Excellence in Women Economic Empowerment Awards. The awards were given to Access Bank in recognition of its commitment to the development and implementation of sustainable banking principles in Africa and beyond.
A few days before the CBN awards ceremony took place in Lagos, Access Bank also won five awards at the annual Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAS). At the SERAS awards, which held on December 1, Access Bank was declared Most Socially Responsible Company of the Year in Africa (Overall winner).
The other four categories of the SERAS Awards in which the bank won were: Best Corporate Communications Team; Best Company in Partnership for Development; Most Outstanding Sustainability Practitioner of the Year (awarded to Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head, Sustainability at Access Bank); and Sustainability Champion of the Year (bestowed on Herbert Wigwe (GMD/CEO).
The theme of last year's SERAS Awards, which was the 12th in the series, was “Poverty Eradication Through Sustainability: Turning Challenges into Opportunities.” In attendance were CEOs of various businesses, top government officials as well as the local and international media.
As an annual project with the goal to raise awareness regarding the responsibility of organisations towards their stakeholders and the social development of Africa, SERAS said the awards were given in recognition of Access Bank's successful implementation of economic, social and environmental considerations in its corporate strategy and business processes.
In other words, the objective of SERAS is to demonstrate that corporations that are socially-responsible stand to gain a lot. They do not only stand to benefit financially, but they also get to increase their social capital, competitive advantage, while also benefiting from the positive social and environmental change they have fostered.
As part of its sustainability initiatives, Access Bank partnered with HACEY Health Initiative, a development organization, to improve health outcomes of vulnerable and under-served communities where it operates. To commemorate the World Mosquito Day (WMD) 2018, Access Bank and HACEY organised some events to sensitise the general public on malaria. Part of the campaign involved creating awareness on prevention and management of the deadly disease. The two organisations also distributed Long-Lasting Insecticide-Treated Nets (LLINs) across some communities in western Nigeria.
Other sustainability initiatives embarked upon by the bank last year include a skill acquisition project for women, HIV prevention campaign, a tree planting programme in Lagos State, and community outreach to support children living and working on the streets in Ogun State.
These community initiatives and the bank's entire sustainability agenda are driven by the Employee Volunteering (EV) initiative, a scheme that helps to leverage the talents of the bank's workforce in addressing the social needs of host communities. Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan stated that these public recognitions would further boost the interests of the financial institution and its employees in sustainability in the years to come.
Speaking at the CBN Sustainability Awards ceremony, which held during the Bankers' Committee retreat, Access Bank's Group Managing Director/CEO, Herbert Wigwe, thanked the apex bank for the recognition and dedicated the awards to the bank's customers. “We dedicate these awards to our loyal customers and employees whose dedication and commitment to their duties has taken us this far on the journey to build a sustainable Nigeria and, by extension, Africa,” said Access Bank’s GMD/CEO.
Indeed, these awards show that the bank will not relent in playing its important role of championing sustainability causes across the Nigerian financial sector and delivering positive development impacts to society.
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