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Nedbank wins Financial Times Sustainability Award

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 08 June 2010

For the third time the Nedbank Group has found itself on the winners’ podium at the annual Financial Times Sustainable Banking Awards. The ceremony took place on 3 June at a gala dinner at the Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel in London.

Nedbank's billboard woven from 2000 recycled plastic bags

South Africa’s ‘green’ bank once again took top honours in the category Financial Times Emerging Markets Sustainable Bank of the Year for Middle East and Africa for 2010 – an award it previously garnered in both 2007 and 2008.

The Financial Times Sustainable Banking Awards recognise financial services organisations across the globe that have shown leadership and innovation in their sustainability efforts. The chosen organisations also demonstrate a commitment to addressing environmental and social issues by integrating sustainability principles into their strategic business approach and operational processes.

According to Brigitte Burnett, Nedbank’s Head of Sustainability, Nedbank’s continued effectiveness in the sustainability space is the direct result of the bank’s integrated approach, which combines an equal commitment to the environmental, economic, social and cultural aspects of sustainability.

“Despite being a relatively low carbon emitter itself, Nedbank recognises that it has a responsibility to lead by example across all areas of sustainability,” Burnett emphasises, “and receiving this prestigious award for the third time in four years serves as proof that we are achieving significant success in this regard.”

“While Nedbank’s work in the area of environmental sustainability over the past two decades has undoubtedly contributed to the bank’s prominence in the ‘green’ arena, it is our understanding of the importance of embracing sustainability in all its facets that is taking our business forward as a South African sustainability leader,” she explains, “and while we still place utmost importance on being highly involved in the environment, we are equally committed to identifying opportunities that exist for us to positively impact on our country’s economic and social future. Proof of this is the fact that the bank is already a level 2 BEE contributor. ”

The effectiveness of this integrated approach to sustainability is also evident in the string of sustainability achievements by Nedbank that have preceded this latest award. Some of these include; the bank’s continued annual inclusion on the JSE Social Responsibility Index and the Dow Jones World Sustainability Index, its leading position in the low carbon emission category of the South African Carbon Disclosure Project,  winning the 2010 National Business Award for ‘Investing in People’ and its recognition as the most empowered large South African corporate in the recent Financial Mail ‘Most Empowered Companies’ survey.

Burnett also points out that the FT Sustainable Banking Award is a fitting precursor to Nedbank’s imminent achievement of its vision, announced in 2009, to become the first South African financial institution to go carbon neutral.

“Our concerted efforts towards achieving carbon neutrality, including a commitment to achieving our stringent energy and resource usage reduction targets, are delivering the desired results,” she says, “which means that Nedbank is well on its way to realising its carbon neutrality objective as another significant milestone on its sustainability journey – one that, combined with this award, will further validate our reputation as a leading contributor to, and motivator of, sustainability in South Africa.”

Source: Nedbank

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