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News 3 Apr 2024

Standard Bank’s acceleration to sustainable operations

Standard Bank Group has accelerated its transition to environmentally sustainable operations, achieving a 4.6% reduction in carbon emissions from facilities across its Africa operations in 2023. This places the Group four years ahead of its 2040 target of having all its buildings net zero.

Standard Bank South Africa has significantly reduced its carbon footprint in its owned buildings by 52% in the last decade. This carbon reduction equates to almost 15 500 homes in South Africa being off the grid per year.

Standard Bank’s journey in building sustainable operations and business resilience has seen substantial investments in various initiatives. In 2024, the Group plans to further expand its group-wide solar PV capacity by 25%, while its operation in Zambia will also launch its first net zero branch. Furthermore, its in-country headquarters in Zimbabwe will become its first net zero commercial facility in Q1 2026.

Margaret Nienaber, Standard Bank Group Chief Operating Officer, said “the Group’s success is attributed to the prioritisation of energy efficiency projects in its corporate offices, data centres, and branches. Protecting our planet's finite resources is both a moral obligation and a business imperative for Standard Bank. Through our focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy adoption, water conservation and sustainable design principles, we are minimising the environmental impact of our operations while realising significant cost savings.”

This year marks a decade of net-positive carbon status for Standard Bank’s 1 Simmonds Street building in the Johannesburg CBD, meaning the building produces more renewable energy than the total energy consumed. The Group has 19 Green Star-rated facilities, including corporate head offices and branches in Namibia, Nigeria, and South Africa.

“The investment in clean, renewable energy not only supports Standard Bank's environmental sustainability commitments but also aids in the global transition towards a low-carbon economy. As we forge ahead on our path to net zero carbon emissions, Standard Bank remains resolute in our dedication to driving positive change and nurturing a sustainable future for all,” said Nienaber.