NCBA’s ‘Change the Story’ campaign – Boosting Kenya’s environmental conservation efforts since 2018

As a responsible corporate entity and in order to boost efforts to expand the country’s tree cover, NCBA Group in 2018 unveiled ‘Change the Story’ campaign with the overall goal to plant 10 million trees by 2030.

The campaign is part of the bank’s Sustainability Strategy though which the group seeks to inspire greatness within the communities where it operates and catalyze action towards a greener and more sustainable future.

(TOP: A signpost erected at Kimathi Primary School in Nairobi County where the NCBA team partnered with the Baboob Project to plant 10,000 trees to mark this year’s World Environment Day).  

The strategy is anchored on three main pillars, namely Environmental, Social, and Governance pillars.

Let’s briefly highlight the key elements of the Environmental pillar as captured in NCBA’s Sustainability Strategy, unveiled in August 2023.

On the Environment, the group has pledged to minimize its direct impact on the climate and amplify its tree planting program. To achieve this, NCBA has committed to will grow 10 million trees by 2030 by partnering with other private sector entities as well as government agencies and stakeholders. The group has also made a commitment to fully eliminate single-use plastic and recycle 100% of its waste by 2030. The banking group has further pledged to green its supply chain and transform all its corporate gifting practices to ensure that they’re sustainable.

And NCBA’s customers have not been left out, as the group has committed to involve them and induce their transition to a low carbon operating model. Here, the bank will mobilize Kshs 30 billion for green and sustainable financing to accelerate the transition. This will be further complemented by the deployment of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the region.

To mitigate the impact of climate related risks to its long term performance, NCBA completed a group-wide carbon audit in 2023 and set a reduction target of more than 50% in direct emissions by 2030. The company will additionally align its operations and processes with the 2015 Paris Agreement (the international treaty on climate change adopted in 2015 which covers climate change mitigation, adaptation, and finance) and reduce financed emissions by 2030. Finally, the group has also embedded comprehensive assessments of climate-related risks in its lending, investment, and financing activities.

The ‘Change the Story’ campaign targets and commitments may have sounded too ambitious to some at the time of launch almost six years ago. However, looking at the ground covered (in terms of the number of trees and seedlings planted), NCBA seems to be fully focused on building the requisite partnerships which are crucial in ensuring that the targets are attained and objectives met.

NCBA has directly planted over 350,000 trees in various locations in the country. These include Kibiko Forest, Michuki Park in Nairobi, Kieni, and various schools and golf clubs. Cumulatively, this translates to about 90 hectares of restored forestland.

While working with Kibabii University, Kenya Forest Service, Ministry of Environment, KEFRI, NEMA and other partners, NCBA continues to impact communities by enhancing collaboration and ensuring shared responsibility in caring for the environment.

Already, over 7 million trees have been planted so far (against a target of 10 million by 2030, which is 6 years away, while over 34% of waste has been recycled at the group’s head offices and pilot branches. As regards the phasing out of single-use plastics, the group has reduced their use in gifting by over 76.3%.

NCBA has also mobilised Kshs 2 billion for the EV financing kitty, Kshs 500 million for solar solutions financing, and Kshs 30 billion for financing sustainable projects and initiatives. For the benefit of EV owners, four charging stations installed, with three in Nairobi and one in Kigali.


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