Standard Bank Group
Sign in

Environmental, social and governance framework

We are committed to ensuring that our business strategy is consistent with our mission of driving sustainable growth in Africa and contributes to society’s needs and priorities as expressed by the UN sustainable development goals (SDG), the Paris Agreement, the AU’s Agenda 2063 and sustainable banking frameworks in our countries of operation.

We do this by managing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks, formalising ESG compliance and sustainability and embedding a culture of responsible banking across the group.

Our approach to ESG
Entrenched values
  • ESG considerations integrated into group culture, client engagement and business unit strategies, as well as non-financial risk and enterprise risk management frameworks
  • ESG forms part of performance management metrics and upskilling initiatives at all levels, including board level
Inclusive frameworks
  • Our robust governance frameworks and controls are informed by regulatory requirements in our countries of operation
  • Approach also considers voluntary frameworks such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and global standards governing environmental and social risk management
Strategic outputs
  • We recognise effective ESG policies and risk management as a competitive and strategic differentiator
  • ESG approach guides us to maximise the positive social, economic and environmental (SEE) impacts of our business activities and minimise negative impacts arising from our operations

Our ESG scores


 

 
Environmental, social and governance report 2021
Our ESG report includes an overview of our ESG governance framework, material issues and information about how we embed a strong ethical culture and conduct across the group.
A culture of responsible banking
As part of our ESG approach to entrenched values, Standard Bank is a founding signatory of the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) and co-chair of the Banking Board responsible for overseeing effective implementation of these principles. These principles set the global benchmark for what it means to be a responsible bank
Alignment

Align our business with individuals’ needs and society’s goals. Measure progress against positive SEE impact value drivers.

Impact and target setting

Continuously increase positive impacts and reduce negative impacts. Measure our progress in 7 SEE impact areas.

Clients and customers

Work with clients and customers to encourage sustainable practices and activities. Client risk committees assess ethics and E&S risks.

Stakeholders

Proactively and responsibly consult, engage and partner with relevant stakeholders. Engage regularly with investors on SEE impacts.

Governance and culture

Implement effective governance and a culture of responsible banking. SEE metrics and ESG performance are integrated into the group’s performance metrics.

Transparency and accountability

Regularly review ESG implementation, accountability and transparency. Report publicly on SEE impacts and ESG risk management.

Risk management

Our environmental and social (E&S) risk governance standard sets out the group’s E&S risk management framework, which provides for the governance, identification, measurement, management and reporting of E&S risks. The standard and policy are supported by the group human rights statement, our exceptions list, the group climate policy and related policies.

 
Managing environmental and social risks
Managing environmental and social risks

  • E&S risk management is integrated into lending and investment processes.
  • Credit management policies and processes include assessment of E&S risks and associated mitigation measures and opportunities.
  • High-risk industries, sectors, jurisdictions and transactions (as identified by the group) require additional due diligence.
  • Development of new products and services incorporates E&S risk assessment. Opportunities to create positive E&S outcomes are actively identified and pursued.
  • Investment governance includes E&S risk assessment and monitoring. This includes assessment of the quality of the investee company’s monitoring and reporting regarding long-term sustainability of strategy and operations.
  • We proactively partner with our clients to assist them to manage and mitigate their E&S risks and impacts.
  • We encourage our clients to apply the Precautionary Principle to their operations and activities where applicable.

Managing climate risks and opportunities

  • Our climate policy supports our purpose, ‘Africa is our home, we drive her growth’.
  • We aim to actively support Africa’s transition to a lower carbon economy, mitigate the impact of climate change and improve access to reliable and sustainable energy sources, a critical factor in Africa’s economic growth and poverty alleviation.
  • We take into account opportunities to partner with clients and stakeholders to support their climate transitions, and the national climate commitments of the countries in which we do business.
  • Our climate policy commits the group to achieving net zero carbon emissions from its portfolio of financed emissions by 2050. We are also working toward net zero across our operations by 2040 for existing operations and 2030 for newly built facilities.

Read more about our climate strategy

Managing climate risks and opportunities
Corporate social investment

The Standard Bank Group’s corporate social investment (CSI) strategy aligns to the group’s sustainability strategy, with a focus on 3 of our sustainability impact areas: education, health, and enterprise growth and job creation. Our CSI framework also incorporates and encourages employee contributions, including donations and volunteering for community outreach projects and disaster/humanitarian relief efforts.

Education

We support access to quality education and opportunities for lifelong education and training for Africa’s people, enabling them to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in an increasingly digitised world.

Our projects include bursaries and funding for students and classroom and educational infrastructure development.

3_ESG-14formats
Health and wellbeing

We support better health outcomes for Africa’s people by investing in our employees’ health, financing healthcare providers and health-related infrastructure, and investing in health-focused CSI programmes.

Our initiatives include support to governments and NGOs to improve access to COVID-19 vaccinations, provision of disaster relief and provision of medical equipment and oxygen to hospitals.

SB_Test_Family_Landscape
Enterprise growth and job creation

We work with SMMEs to understand their challenges, priorities and aspirations, and design solutions to support growth and sustainability.

This includes improving access to financial services, capacity building and business development support, supporting access to value chains and markets and training for young people through accredited programmes, including small-scale farming.

3_ESG-BannerHeroBlueV2
Employee contributions

Projects supported by our employees included environmental initiatives involving the planting of fruit trees in several countries, women’s empowerment and education projects through the sponsoring of tablets for STEM students in Botswana and the donation of 78 houses in Namibia and Zambia through the Buy-a-Brick project.

  • Education
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Enterprise growth and job creation
  • Employee contributions

We support access to quality education and opportunities for lifelong education and training for Africa’s people, enabling them to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in an increasingly digitised world.

Our projects include bursaries and funding for students and classroom and educational infrastructure development.

3_ESG-14formats

We support better health outcomes for Africa’s people by investing in our employees’ health, financing healthcare providers and health-related infrastructure, and investing in health-focused CSI programmes.

Our initiatives include support to governments and NGOs to improve access to COVID-19 vaccinations, provision of disaster relief and provision of medical equipment and oxygen to hospitals.

SB_Test_Family_Landscape

We work with SMMEs to understand their challenges, priorities and aspirations, and design solutions to support growth and sustainability.

This includes improving access to financial services, capacity building and business development support, supporting access to value chains and markets and training for young people through accredited programmes, including small-scale farming.

3_ESG-BannerHeroBlueV2

Projects supported by our employees included environmental initiatives involving the planting of fruit trees in several countries, women’s empowerment and education projects through the sponsoring of tablets for STEM students in Botswana and the donation of 78 houses in Namibia and Zambia through the Buy-a-Brick project.

Our CSI success stories

Our CSI budget is calculated by each country of operation as 0.6% of net profit after tax (NPAT) of the previous year. In 2021, our CSI spend totalled R215.7 million throughout Africa.

 

Buy-a-Brick Zambia

The Buy-a-Brick project is committed to constructing low-cost houses for vulnerable families in Zambia’s urban areas. Through the project, we were able to donate 30 houses in 2021. 

 
Leina Gabaraane
Stanbic Bank Zambia Chief Executive

We have transformed Stanbic Bank from a mere financial service provider to an institution that helps individuals and families, especially from low-income households, overcome barriers to wealth attainment and growth. Because Zambia is our home, we drive her growth.

The Bugiri Women’s Aquaculture Project

This partnership between Standard Bank and UN Women empowers women farmers by enhancing agricultural productivity and income through climate-smart farming methods and commodities that are resilient to climate change. 

 
Everline Auma
Fish farmer and project participant

Financially I had never thought I would be able to afford being a fish farmer. But now I am overjoyed that this project came to the Bugiri district in Wakawaka. It has provided me with a lot of joy, and it has empowered me financially.

How we measure our ESG impact
Environmental, social and governance indicators
You may also be interested in
2_ESG-BannerHeroBlueV2
Our climate strategy

We are committed to driving Africa’s growth in an inclusive and sustainable manner, supporting a just energy transition.

Bank3-BannerHeroBlueV2
Corporate governance

We see corporate governance as an enabler that promotes strategic decision-making to create sustainable value.