Access Bank wins Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards

20 Aug 2018, 12:00 am
Financial Nigeria


Barely twenty-four hours before receiving its Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance award for the third time, Access Bank was bestowed with the “Africa’s Best Bank for Corporate Social Responsibility” award at the Euromoney Award for Excellence 2018.

From left, Mayor of Karlsruhe, Frank Mentrup; Group Head, Corporate Communication, Access Bank Plc, Amaechi Okobi, displays the plaque for the Sustainability Leader of the Year 2018 Award won by Access Bank CEO, Herbert Wigwe at the Karlsruhe Global Sustainable Finance Awards 2018 last month in Karlsruhe, Germany; CEO of European Organisation for Sustainable Development, Arshad Rab, displays the certificate of award for Mr. Wigwe

Access Bank Plc, one of Nigeria's tier one banks, has been conferred with the "Outstanding Business Sustainability Achievement" award at the Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards 2018. The bank won the award for the third time in a row, having previously been recognised as the winner in 2016 and 2017.
Group Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, was declared the “Sustainable Leader of the Year for Africa,” at the awards ceremony, which held during the 8th Global Sustainable Finance Conference (GSFC) in Karlsruhe, Germany, on July 12-13. The GSFC is an annual forum organised by the European Organisation for Sustainable Development (EOSD) and its partners, including Financial Nigeria International Limited, to promote knowledge and help build networks for creating shared value, financing and investing for a sustainable future.

The "Outstanding Business Sustainability Achievement" is given to recognise financial institutions and organisations that have recorded outstanding success in incorporating economic, social and environmental aspects in their corporate strategy and business processes. Over the last 10 years, Access Bank has mainstreamed sustainability in the bank, embedding sustainability into its entire operations.

The "Sustainability Leader of the Year" category of the awards was introduced for the first time at the GSFC 2018. This award celebrates the individual achievements of the Presidents/CEOs who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in driving the business performance of their institutions through creating social and environmental value. Winners in this category will have challenged the status quo, ensured long-term corporate success and inspired stakeholders in driving the sustainability agenda of their institutions.

“Herbert Wigwe has demonstrated his leadership by pulling his management, staff and shareholders together for creating environmental and social value while ensuring business success of Access Bank. My warmest congratulations to him for receiving the Sustainability Leader of the Year 2018 award and I wish him continuous success in his sustainability journey,” said Arshad Rab, CEO, European Organisation for Sustainable Development.

Other categories of the awards are: Best Innovation in Sustainable Financial Products & Services; and Outstanding Sustainable Project Financing. The award ceremony, which held on July 12 at the City Hall of Karlsruhe, was attended by C-level executives, CEOs and senior executives of leading global financial institutions, top German government officials, policymakers, regulators and other key stakeholders in the field of sustainable banking and finance.  

“Access Bank continues to set standards across the Nigerian financial sector by pioneering sustainable initiatives such as waste recycling, enlightenment workshops to help finance professionals to understand ESG (environmental, social and governance) issues, among several other initiatives,” according to a statement by the bank. "Being a winner for the third year running in this category demonstrates Access Bank’s unwavering commitment to sustainability.”  

Through the leadership of Dr. Wigwe – who took over from the immediate past CEO of Access Bank, Mr. Aig Imoukhuede – the bank has become one of the largest banks in Africa, with total assets in excess of N4.1 trillion as at December 31, 2017, compared to N2.6 trillion two years earlier.

From Nigeria to DR Congo and several African countries where the Bank has operations, the bank has continued to address social issues. Some of highlights of the bank's sustainability track record are the Malaria-To-Zero Initiative, which has as its long-term goal a malaria-free Nigeria by 2040. Officially launched in April, 2016, the initiative has received support from over 20 private sector organizations, as well as the Nigerian government. It is an initiative of Access Bank’s that seeks to pool private sector resources and capabilities to prevent one million malaria deaths by 2020.

Access Bank has also partnered with the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN) to establish the Nigeria Health Innovation Marketplace, a platform that brings together innovators, investors, healthcare advocates, and healthcare workers. Access Bank’s GMD/CEO chairs the NHIM Steering Committee. He has provided $1 million fund to reward innovations in maternal and child health care.  

Other sustainability initiatives of Access Bank’s include a skill acquisition project for women empowerment, HIV prevention campaign and a tree planting programme in Lagos State.

Barely twenty-four hours before receiving its Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance award for the third time, Access Bank was bestowed with the “Africa’s Best Bank for Corporate Social Responsibility” award at the Euromoney Award for Excellence 2018. The award was presented to Dr. Wigwe at a ceremony in London, United Kingdom.

“The bank is honoured to be recognsed as Africa’s Best Bank for Corporate Responsibility,” Access Bank’s GMD/CEO said. “This serves as a testament to the bank’s resolute efforts in financing sustainable economies, environment and societies in which we operate. And we remain committed to advancing the development of a resilient and vibrant economy across Africa.”

Access Bank said the global recognitions and awards the bank continues to garner are an indication of the commitment of its Board of Directors in providing the highest level of governance oversight for sustainability management through an established CSR/Sustainability Committee.

The Committee is responsible for overseeing delivery of the bank’s sustainable business strategy and to ensure its sustainability ambitions and strategic priorities are achieved. Access Bank's vision is to become the Most Sustainable and Respected Bank in Africa.


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