In its commitment to driving the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals come 2030, Access Bank has announced a partnership with the Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa); the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ghana; and several other leading financial institutions across Africa to form the African Natural Capital Alliance (ANCA). The alliance will serve as a platform that harnesses the financial sector’s responses to nature-related risks and opportunities across the continent.
ANCA will address the dip in natural capital in Africa— a continent where countries’ individual and combined GDP are largely dependent on the state of the different facets of nature.
“We believe that every organisation, financial or non-financial, owes a duty of care to the communities they operate in, ensuring the environment does not degrade as a result of operations,” said Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director, Access Bank.
“The African Natural Capital Alliance is in tandem with our sustainability principles as a bank as it seeks to influence global standards for nature-related risk management. Furthermore, it will help facilitate peer learning to help financial institutions better reflect the connection between their portfolios and nature whilst supporting approaches to policy, regulation and investment that maximise opportunities for sustainable growth from Africa’s natural capital. These are functions we already perform in our capacity as the Chair of the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBP) Steering Committee and through the many sustainability initiatives we spearheaded and launched over the years,” Ogbonna said.
Access Bank’s involvement and proactiveness with the alliance reiterates its stance on protecting the environment. In 2019, Access Bank issued Africa’s first-ever green bond targeted at financing and refinancing environmentally beneficial projects that span across flood defence, agriculture irrigation and renewable energy. The Bank has also launched initiatives like the Green Social Entrepreneurship Programme, Family Cooking Support Programme, the Paper-To-Pencil Initiative and the Tyre Upcycyling Initiative that have sustainably impacted Africa across social, economic and environmental spheres.
The alliance is backed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). It is also working with the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) to provide an African voice in the development of TNFD’s reporting framework for nature-related risk and opportunities.