NBK publishes its annual sustainability report 2022

Report offers an overview of banks’ new ESG strategy framework

KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has recently released its “2022 Annual Sustainability Report”, marking a significant milestone in its sustainability endeavors. This year’s report adopts a new methodology that provides valuable insights and showcases a range of key initiatives, underscoring the bank’s unwavering dedication to securing a sustainable future. The Seventh Annual Sustainability Report 2022 marks a significant shift from NBK’s prior reports by offering a comprehensive insight into the Group’s innovative ESG Strategy Framework and its strategic approach to sustainability.

This approach seeks to positively influence the communities it serves, promote sustainable growth, and uphold the highest global reporting and disclosure standards. The report also presents a holistic perspective on NBK’s fundamental ESG issues, risks, and performance data. It goes beyond that by encompassing the Group’s ESG-related policies, strategies, and commitments throughout 2022. The newly approved ESG strategy is centered around four pillars, which take center stage in the Sustainability Report 2022.

Additionally, this report adheres to various sustainability reporting standards and frameworks, along with national and global environmental, social, and governance standards, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Moreover, NBK externally verified its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions data for the year ended 31 December 2022 and the reports alignment with the GRI standards. The GHG audit certificate in the bank’s sustainability report verified that NBK’s reported GHG emissions are inline with GHG protocol. It also highlighted the evaluation process which rigorously assessed the accuracy and credibility of NBK’s environmental impact data.

Moreover, the bank obtained an independent audit to ensure alignment with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards. NBK’s exceptional accomplishment establishes its unique position as the pioneer and sole organization in Kuwait to undergo an external assessment of its sustainability report. This achievement significantly bolsters the bank’s credibility and is a testament to its unwavering dedication to adhering to international standards and frameworks. Moreover, the report emphasizes NBK’s significant accomplishments in the field of ESG. Notably, the bank received a score of ‘C’ from CDP, a global non-profit that runs the world’s leading environmental disclosure platform, for its Climate Change and Forests 2022 Categories.

Isam Al-Sager

The bank has also made notable strides in responsible banking services, as exemplified by the introduction of its Sustainable Financing Framework. NBK has also set interim goals to reduce its total operational emissions by 25% by 2025, relative to the base year levels of 2021. These achievements reflect NBK’s commitment to environmental sustainability and responsible practices. The report further showcased the NBK’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, mainly through its emphasis on talent development. Additionally, the report highlighted the bank’s substantial community investment, reaching a total of KD23 million.

These initiatives exemplify the bank’s dedication to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, nurturing talent, and making significant contributions to the community. Commenting on releasing this year’s issue of the Sustainability Report, Isam J Al-Sager, NBK Group Vice Chairman and CEO, said, “This year’s Sustainability Report is a testament to our unwavering dedication to sustainable practices. It brings a renewed approach and perspective, shedding light on NBK’s new sustainability strategy and its dedication to fostering positive change. This commitment extends beyond the bank itself, aiming to positively impact our societies.

Our commitment is further affirmed by our announcement to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 and joining the United Nations Global Compact initiative.” “The report places emphasis on the ongoing progress made by the bank in its ESG priorities. These efforts are aimed at fostering a sustainable and inclusive future, demonstrating NBK’s commitment to responsible practices across these key areas,” Al-Sager added. Al-Sager also highlighted the bank’s support of clear and transparent ESG disclosures, emphasizing the importance of utilizing frameworks that enable comparability across different sectors and adhere to globally recognized standards.

NBK also conducts external audits to facilitate the broader adoption of sustainable banking standards in Kuwait and the region. “This commitment underscores our dedication to promoting accountability and driving sustainable practices in the banking industry,” Al-Sager confirmed. “At NBK, we firmly believe that sustainability is integral to our long-term success. We are truly committed to positively impacting the environment and society, recognizing that these efforts will ultimately benefit our shareholders and clients.

By prioritizing sustainability, NBK aims to create value beyond financial returns, embracing a broader responsibility to contribute to a more sustainable and prosperous future,” Al-Sager concluded. The four pillars of NBK’s ESG strategy framework are: 1.    Governance for resilience; 2.    Responsible banking; 3.    Capitalizing on our capabilities; and 4.    Investing in our communities.

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