Manama, Bahrain: The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) remains steadfast in its efforts to integrate sustainability into its operations, as it aims to obtain the ISO 14001 certification designed to help the organisation reduce its environmental impact. The bank seeks to become an environmentally-responsible entity via a rigorous and systematic approach towards integrating environmental, social and corporate governance practices into its core business, taking multiple steps towards achieving the goal.
Attaining the ISO 14001 certification falls in line with NBB’s three-year sustainability roadmap, which has seen the bank take active efforts to reduce waste and the use of natural resources to minimize its direct environmental footprint. And as a first step towards obtaining the certification, NBB has enlisted HA Consultancies to enhance their existing Environmental Management System (EMS) and align it with international standards, reflecting the bank’s commitment to ongoing ESG activities that fall under one of the seven key pillars of NBB’s sustainability framework; ‘Preserving Natural Resources’.
During the first half of the current year, NBB has successfully reduced its direct environmental footprint with an approximate 30% Year-on-year energy consumption reduction, a 20% Year-on-year water consumption reduction, and a 45% Year-on-year paper consumption reduction. These reductions, compounded with multiple ongoing initiatives undertaken by NBB, have resulted in the bank being awarded ‘The Middle East’s Best Bank for Corporate Responsibility’ by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2021, and more recently winning the International Business Magazine Awards 2021, with honours in three categories, including Best Sustainable Bank in Bahrain.
Commenting on the occasion, NBB Group Chief Human Resources and Sustainability Officer, Dana Buheji, said: “As a Sustainability Leader in the banking sector in Bahrain and as a responsible corporate citizen, we at NBB strive to implement the best international practices in all our activities. This initiative falls in line with our commitment towards large-scale sustainable development, aligning with the UN SDGs and our role to support the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030.
As the national bank of choice, we aim to live up to our brand promise of enriching the lives of generations by preserving natural resources for future denizens of the Kingdom, reduce our operational costs in a sustainable manner and support the Kingdom’s strategy to foster a thriving sustainable economy for years to come.”
Haitham Seyadi, Group Head of Property, Procurement & Administration at NBB, added: “Our goal is to significantly improve our environmental performance, including taking action to mitigate climate change and minimize our environmental impact. This initiative is part of our ongoing sustainability roadmap designed to enhance our current operational practices and apply the best practices using international standards.”
On his end, Munther Al-Arayedh, Senior Consultant – Partner at HA Consultancies, clarified: “ISO 14001 is the International Standard for Environmental Management Systems designed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) to help businesses and other organisations reduce their environmental impact.
This standard allows businesses to set up an EMS that will help them to reduce waste, improve resource efficiency and cut the cost of waste management. It gives us great pleasure to be able to contribute to NBB’s continuous endeavours to promote sustainability and lead by example as they shift their focus towards a more responsible method of operation.”
NBB has undertaken multiple initiatives to further integrate sustainability into its operations, some of which include installing solar panels on select bank branches and celebrating international days of environmental significance, such as Earth Hour, Earth Day, World Environment Day, and World Nature Conservation Day to raise awareness on sustainable living.