Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) has pledged to grow its lending to green projects to a quarter of its loan book and realise net zero carbon emissions status across its operations by 2030.

DTB has also committed to will grow 10 million trees in the next seven years through its #MuchMoreThanTrees initiative as part of its endeavors to help mitigate climate change.

The bank made the announcements during its inaugural economic and sustainability forum held at a Nairobi hotel on Wednesday themed “Embedding Sustainability in Businesses.”

DTB says the sustainability forum was informed by its pledge to meet its 2030 targets as outlined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and that it is currently taming its carbon emissions.

The forum sought to educate DTB’s customers, suppliers and partners on viable business practices that allow for carbon footprint measures to enable it achieve a net zero status.

DTB aims to source at least 50 per cent of its tendering needs from green vendors in its supply chain by 2030 and encourage its partners to measure and report their carbon status.

“At DTB, we are cognizant that we have a role in the climate change battle, as a responsible corporate citizen. Stakeholder engagement and awareness is crucial for us as we crystallize our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy,” said DTB Group Chairman Linus Gitahi.

He added, “The sustainability engagement forum is one of the primary efforts we have mapped out towards our carbon emissions measurements and accountability. We commit to walking the journey with our stakeholders to ensure we meet our net zero targets by 2030.”

DTB CEO Nasim Devji says the bank is establishing a strong Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) and updating its climate risk policy, procedures and processes integrated into its credit cycle.

“The ESG guidelines ensure business is conducted in an ethical manner and promotes the value of maintaining a balance between people, planet and profit to underwrite societal and business sustainability. We have embedded them in our business operations in order help combat climate change and the long-term prosperity of this country,” Devji said.

DTB has started installing solar panels at its Nairobi headquarters to cut consumption of power from the national grid by up to 20 per cent as it eyes to reduce its Scope 1 emissions.

DTB says these are part its Environment and Climate Change Committee’s bid to ensure carbon neutrality in Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) operations in 30 countries by 2030.

The forum in Nairobi attracted discussions from various sustainability experts on various measures and the opportunities, challenges and adaptability they avail for local businesses.