9 September 2009 – Nedbank, traditionally referred to as the ‘Green Bank’, has taken energy conservancy and environmental responsibility to the next level. CEO Tom Boardman announced earlier this week that the institution has taken a decision to become carbon neutral.
Nedbank has implemented a number of initiatives in recent years aimed at lowering its carbon footprint, but realized that it would never be able to operate without emitting at least some greenhouse gases. In order to offset emissions, Nedbank has now undertaken a project in which certified emission reduction (CER) certificates on the carbon market will be purchased with discretion. In this way the bank will aim to ensure that its CER certificates are purchased from emission reduction projects in Africa.
In the 2007/8 financial year, Nedbank implemented energy efficiency campaigns across its offices and branches nation wide, and consequently achieved a total electricity savings of six-million kWh during the year. About 71 500 kilolitres of water was saved, and the company used 40 t less paper in the year.
Nedbank further aimed to reduce electricity consumption by 3,7-million kWh in the current financial year, which in turn implicates financial benefits for the company since less spending will have to be allocated towards utility costs.
Although the cost of becoming carbon neutral will likely be between ZAR10 million and ZAR20 million, the added benefits to the bank will be numerous, Tom Boardman concludes, as such an environmentally friendly approach has begun to attract not only customers but also skills and human resources as individuals gravitate towards more environmentally friendly business endeavors.