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FBN Holdings drives growth, creates value using sustainability practices
FBN Holdings has consistently used sustainability practices to create values and drive growth, especially with its three-pronged CR&S approach, which is: citizenship, stakeholder management and impact management.
“Citizenship and stakeholder management involves putting into consideration the needs of stakeholders in making decisions, while impact management is basically about minimising negative impact and increasing positive impacts in society,” said UK Eke, group managing director, FBN Holdings plc, who made this known in a report made available to BusinessDay.
The sustainability approach, according to the FBN Group, is designed to deliver value in a structured way along four key areas – driving sustainable finance and investments; empowering people; supporting our communities and contributing to environmental sustainability.
“Corporate responsibility and sustainability involves our ability to meet the needs of our stakeholders now and in the future. It goes beyond financing economic activity in a responsible way to ensuring an inclusive, positive impact on our communities,” Eke explained.
“It is about creating long-term stakeholder value by adopting the opportunities and managing the associated environmental, social and governance risks. CR&S is not bolted on to our corporate strategy. It is embedded into our business strategy and our daily operations,” he added.
Meanwhile, according to the report, the CR&S approach is contained in the Group’s corporate responsibility policy, which clearly outlines its commitments and approach to corporate responsibility as well as the Group’s CR&S governance framework.
“The scope of the policy and respective guidelines applies throughout the Group’s operations and activities, including its subsidiaries in all locations; stakeholders and associated partners representing the Group,” said the report.
However, the Group also said its involvement with its various stakeholders and host communities inclusive was not just about profit generation, but rather the realisation that often, “our most effective currency is the skills and opportunities we can share with them.
“This, we have aptly expressed and weaved around our mantra of people, passion and partnership and our brand promise – ‘You First,’ signalling our resolve to constantly build broader, deeper and more enduring symbiotic relationships to deliver long-term value for our shareholders through putting our stakeholder’s needs first.”
This commitment to host communities forms a greater core of the Group’s corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts, which is structured along four key priorities: Education, Health and Welfare, Economic Empowerment and the Environment to deliver long lasting impact.
These are further subdivided into the following programmes: FutureFirst Programme, Educational Endowment Scheme, Youth Leadership Programme, Infrastructure Development Programme, Hope Rising Initiative, and Employee Engagement and Volunteering Programme.
One programme of note is the FirstBank Conservation Initiative, one of the bank’s key programmes and part of its long-term approach to promoting sustainability, which involves minimising direct and indirect impacts on the environment. The initiative involves the planting of trees and formation of students’ conservation clubs as vehicles to drive environmental protection and conservation.
“We partnered with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) to implement the programme. With its huge expertise in environmental issues, the NCF was the perfect partner to help us implement this programme successfully,” the group managing director said.
He said the NCF used its experience and influence to engage the various stakeholders to support the programme, and also utilising its conservation clubs, which provided educational sessions for the students on the importance and benefits of conservation and supporting biodiversity.
“The subsequent enthusiastic participation of the students, and the encouragement they received from the Ministry of Education and school authorities, enabled the programme’s objectives to be achieved,” he said.
Meanwhile, the programme is currently ongoing, with 240 trees have been planted at the Lagos State Civil Service Model College Igbogbo in Ikorodu, and Evboesi Mixed Secondary School, Benin City, and more than 1,000 environmental sustainability champions have been appointed in these locations.
These champions are young people who look after the trees and ensure that they are adequately cared for to help FBN achieve its afforestation goals. “The planting of trees is just part of our efforts to contribute to Nigeria’s green economy and combating deforestation/desertification, while recognising the key role of children and young people in the sustainability agenda,” he disclosed.
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