Absa Bank Kenya has announced its intention to double its allocation for sustainable finance to a whopping Sh120 billion within two years as part of its renewed sustainability pledge.

The Kenyan bank made the revelations during the launch of its Sustainability Report for the financial year ending December 31, 2022.

Absa Bank Kenya MD and CEO Abdi Mohamed says the bank advanced close to Sh60 billion in sustainable finance, encompassing aspects of green and inclusive finance in 2023 alone.

Mohamed says the lender intends to continue growing its investment in the sustainability space while scaling up its support to sustainable development across all economic sectors.

“You can therefore expect to see us playing an even bigger and bolder role, specifically in renewable energy, energy efficiency, green building, and climate-smart agriculture sectors in the days ahead,” Mohamed indicated.

Absa Bank Kenya’s new Sustainability Report outlines its strategic interventions across 13 pledges that it made while unveiling its Sustainability Commitments in November 2020.

They cover a variety of themes including Net Zero Commitments, Social and Environment Impact, Women and Youth Empowerment, and Value Creation for Businesses and Partners.

Absa Bank Kenya Board Chairman Charles Muchene noted that in the past three years the bank was applying its sustainability strategy with the 13 commitments as its core drivers.

“In acknowledgment of the importance of climate change and the urgent need for global action to avert a climate disaster, we have accelerated our efforts towards improving our green credentials and climate approach, including reducing our carbon footprint and pursuing green funding opportunities,” noted Muchene.

Environment, Climate Change & Forestry PS, Eng Festus Ngeno, called for collaboration between actors in the financial sector, environmental stewardship, and climate change.

“We laud the private sector’s enthusiastic response to our call to support in preserving Kenya’s environment, promoting sustainable resource management, and driving climate action,” said Eng Ngeno, in a statement read on his behalf by Secretary for Administration John Elungata.

He added: “This partnership is invaluable in securing a healthy and sustainable future for all and I extend an invitation to more private sector players to join us in addressing this critical agenda.”

The bank also realized increased internal efficiency by reducing energy footprint by 13 per cent and carbon footprint by 26.3 per cent by retrofitting to eco-friendly facilities.

As part of its commitment to become a net zero carbon footprint company by 2040, in 2020, Absa became the first bank to join the Kenya Green Building Society as a champion for initiatives that promote the green economy by reducing pollution and improving people’s lives while fostering economic growth.

Absa Bank Kenya Sustainability Report key highlights

• Advanced about Sh60 billion in sustainable finance.

• Already trained 247,000 youth in the ReadytoWork programme

• Reduced energy footprint by 13 per cent and carbon footprint by 26.3 per cent.

• Certified top employer for two years in a row.

• Made a pledge to realise net zero carbon footprint by 2040.

• Has realized 50:50 gender parity; 46:54 in senior management.

• Has realized pay parity – Equal pay for work of equal value.