Last month, Nedbank Group, one of South Africa’s largest banks, released the 2018 edition of its Sustainable Development Review, which details their sustainable development efforts, commitments, achievements and contribution to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Nedbank has put progress towards the SDGs at the heart of its growth strategy, making this a cornerstone of its goal to become the most admired financial services provider in Africa by its staff, clients, shareholders, regulators and society.
According to Mike Brown, Nedbank’s Chief Executive, the SDGs “offer a powerful lens through which to identify opportunities for business innovation and growth, and an objective mechanism through which Nedbank can assess and report delivery on our purpose.”
Nedbank worked with Earth Security Group to create a Sustainable Development Framework that focuses the bank’s attention and resources on material SDGs and targets to inform its growth strategy in Africa. The bank has prioritised nine goals where it can develop innovative banking products and services to deliver value by addressing unmet client needs.
Throughout 2018, these goals have been allocated to nine group executives, who own and drive Nedbank’s group-wide response to their respective SDG. By doing so, Nedbank has elevated the profile of sustainable development to a strategic level in the organisation, with a focus on developing winning positions in new markets highlighted by the SDGs. This follows findings by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, which estimated that achieving the SDGs could unlock over US$12 trillion in new revenue streams and cost savings by 2030.
Priya Naidoo, Nedbank’s Group Executive for Group Strategy has said:
“Nedbank’s purpose is to use our financial expertise to do good for individuals, families, businesses and society. The UN SDGs provide an objective definition of that ‘good’, by setting out the most important socio-economic challenges to be addressed by 2030. In this way, the SDGs provide a hugely valuable platform for building trust and alignment among would-be partners and collaborators, by presenting a shared vision of a successful future in which we all stand to benefit. They also represent a catalogue of unmet client needs, which call for innovative business solutions that will offer sustainable growth opportunities for Nedbank.
“Nedbank contacted Earth Security Group in mid-2017 as we grappled with the challenge of how to prioritise among 17 goals and 169 targets. By applying ESG’s rigorous methodology, we created our Sustainable Development Framework that helps us to direct management attention, resources and innovation to solve the most material challenges for a bank in Africa. Finance is our most powerful lever of change; therefore we focus on relevant targets among the nine goals in which we have the greatest opportunity for impact through our core business. Over time, we aim to grow our sustainable development finance while mitigating any negative impacts of our business.”
For more information about sustainability at Nedbank, please visit their website.