Sustainability

Sustainability

Standard Chartered is committed to building a sustainable business in Ghana

Sustainability and our business

In line with our brand promise ‘Here for good’, we are committed to promoting economic and social development in the markets we serve, doing so sustainably and equitably in line with our purpose to ‘drive commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity’ and three valued behaviours: ‘Never settle’, ‘Better together’ and ‘Do the right thing.

Our sustainability approach focuses on three aspirations:

  1. Contributing to sustainable economic growth – supporting our clients through our core business of banking;
  2. Being a responsible company – managing our business and operations to deliver long-term value for our shareholders and society; and
  3. Investing in communities – working with our local communities to promote social and economic development.

We focus on effective corporate governance, underpinned by strong processes and the right values and culture. By creating a great place to work for our people, selling our products and services responsibly, tackling financial crime and mitigating the environmental impact of our operations, we believe that we can make a positive contribution to the communities where we operate.

Contributing to Sustainable economic growth

We seek to maximise our contribution to sustainable development by driving sustainable outcomes across the business. This requires that we are:

  • Providing financing to businesses in key sectors that enable economic growth and job creation.
  • Sharing our expertise to support deepening financial markets and
  • Extending access to finance to individuals through our Retail Banking operations and to our microfinance institution clients who provide services to individuals who lack access to banking services.

Our lending is underpinned by an environmental and social risks management framework and 20 Position Statements. Our position statements help us apply international standards and best practice across our market. Our cross-sector requirements, along with our position statements on climate change and human rights, as well as our position statements for clients operating in sensitive business sectors e.g. extractives, power generation, agro-industry, chemical & manufacturing, infrastructure & transport, and more. We are committed to supporting clients through the low carbon transition in line with the Paris Agreement and supporting adaptation and resilience to tackle physical risk.

Being a responsible company

Our commitment to sustainability is not only about the business activity we finance but also about how we run our business. We strive to act in a responsible and sustainable way as a company by investing in our people, promoting the right values, behaviour and conduct, supporting the fight against financial crime and managing our environmental footprint. Our sustainability philosophy sets out how we integrate sustainability into our organisational decision-making.

Responsible selling and marketing

We place a premium on supporting the needs of our clients and delivering a high-quality client experience. This is achieved by treating clients fairly and working closely with them to deliver appropriate and suitable products. We have robust global policies and procedures in place to make sure that complaints are identified and resolved quickly.

Governance

Standard Chartered is committed to practising high standards of corporate governance. This is the foundation on which a company’s long-term success and ultimate sustainable shareholder value are built. Principles of sound governance are embedded in our strategy to ensure that the Bank is effectively managed and controlled, as required by key stakeholders. This shapes the Bank’s culture and values which in turn determines how we conduct business. To ensure that all staff appreciate and embrace good governance, all employees are required to re-commit to the Code of Conduct every year. This contract guides the way all employees engage with one another, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.

Tackling Financial Crime

Financial crime hinders economic progress and harms individuals and communities. We strive to have the most effective financial crime compliance programmes in order to protect our clients, employees and the places where we do business. It is therefore the bank’s responsibility to fight financial crime not just because it is the right thing to do but it is also an integral part of good conduct and our brand promise, Here for good. We are cognizant of the fact that our aspiration to be the best international bank can only be achieved by Standard Chartered leading the way in the fight against financial crime.

People and values

The Human Resource (HR) function contributes to business growth through enabling the Bank to attract, develop and retain an engaged team that delivers on our brand promise, ‘Here for good’. HR brings to life, the Bank’s Strategic Pillars of ‘PRIDE’ (People, Risk, Innovate, Digitise, and Execute) through developing a motivated and high-performing team of individuals.

Our focus is informed by a strong emphasis on employee productivity, through building their capability and providing them with attractive career paths for growth. We work closely with the business teams to ensure the People Agenda is aligned to the business strategy. This is achieved through incorporating an HR Business Partnering model into our HR structure.

Diversity and inclusion

We believe that diversity drives our business success. We have instituted a Diversity & Inclusion Council in Ghana to embed the following objectives into our business:

  • To attract, engage, develop, and retain diverse talent to maximise performance
  • To deliver banking products and services that meet the needs of our diverse client base
  • To support a diverse and responsible supply chain and investment in our communities

In Ghana, we are at 50/50 gender equity on our Management Team, and with 40% of women in leadership roles. We also have targeted female leaders programme to build female senior leadership capability. As we consider all aspects of diversity and inclusion, we realise there is opportunity to do more. Our partnership with the Ghana Federation of the Disability Organisations continues to be important in our quest to meaningfully contribute to our society, and we worked with them to deliver career workshops for students with disability. This is an initiative we have pursued for five consecutive years, and consequently, we have improved the employability of people with disability and given some of them opportunities to work with the Bank. This contribution has been recognised by the Federation through awarding the Bank the “Excellence in Employment Opportunity” for 2019.

Health, safety and wellness

We are committed to providing a safe, secure and healthy working environment for our employees and customers. We remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure the highest standards of health and safety wherever we operate. This includes established global ergonomic design standards to minimise any occupational injury or illness, online health and safety training, and an online safety and incident reporting portal.

Environment

Managing our environmental impact: Standard Chartered is committed to being a responsible company and addressing climate change and protecting the environment in which we live and operate in. We consider it to be sound business practice.

We measure our energy, water, paper and (non-hazardous) waste performance and have long-term targets in place to reduce our energy and water usage.

Through our employee volunteer programme, staff continue to engage in various activities to keep the environment safe. Through our continuous tree-planting project in Partnership with Friends of Ramsar, we have planted a total of 3,700 trees at the Sakumono Ramsar Site in Tema that has helped to protect the site and secure parts of Accra from perennial flooding over the years.

Suppliers

We are committed to conducting our dealings with suppliers to the highest standards of quality and integrity. We encourage all of our suppliers to uphold the standards in our Supplier Charter, which sets out the environmental and social standards and values we expect of our suppliers.

Investing in communities

Investing in communities is one of our three sustainability aspirations. As set out in our Strategic Intent, we seek to be a force for good promoting sustainable economic and social development in the communities where we operate. Community engagement is a key way in which we take forward this commitment. Investing in communities includes two components: Employee Volunteering and community programmes. In 2019, we rolled out a new community engagement programme Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, to tackle inequality and promote economic inclusion. The aim of Futuremakers is to empower the next generation to learn, earn and grow through programmes focused on education, employability and entrepreneurship.

We encourage our employees to share their skills to support the successful delivery of our programmes, and to contribute to their communities. Every employee is entitled to three days of paid volunteering leave annually. We believe that when our employees share time, skills, knowledge and experience on a cause that is close to their hearts, they help the Bank make a real and tangible difference in our local communities. This is the reason we place a premium on skills-based volunteering. Skills based volunteering enables us to leverage our skill sets to help our communities especially in financial education, mentorship and coaching.

Goal programme

Goal is the Bank’s community investment initiative which uses sport and life skills education to transform the lives of young girls and women. The programme:

  • empowers adolescent girls for personal, social and economic development by providing knowledge and offering a safe space to play.
  • provides employability and entrepreneurship capability building and opportunities for young women to build their lives and contribute to society.

Standard Chartered Bank partners with Right to Dream Academy to implement the programme in Ghana. The programme is in its third year of implementation.

‘Seeing is Believing’

‘Seeing is Believing’ (SiB) is Standard Chartered’s global initiative to tackle avoidable blindness and visual impairment. Launched in Ghana in 2007, SiB is collaboration between the Bank and International Association for Preventable Blindness and local partners.

Between 2007 and 2019 we have reached over 5million Ghanaians through SiB working with several local partners. We have achieved the following:

  • built 4 eye clinics
  • focused on the integration of eye health in primary health care system across 35 districts nationwide
  • training of primary eye care workers, frontline Ophthalmic personnel and reorientation of Ophthalmologists
  • Screening and distribution of spectacles

Seeing is Believing Phase 5 tranche 3 launched in 2017, in partnership with ORBIS with the aim of increasing the uptake of eye health services especially among children is being implemented in four districts in the Ashanti region – Afigya Kwabre, Ejisu Juaben, Atwima Kwanwoma and Bosomtwe Districts. In November 2019 Orbis International supported by SiB hosted a three-week Flying Eye Hospital program in Accra and Kumasi. The program aimed to strengthen the capacity of Ghanaian health professionals in delivery of high-quality services in pediatric and adult eye care.

Financial Education

Financial Education is a critical obligation for Standard Chartered. Our aim is to build financial capability among vulnerable populations such as youth, women and micro and small businesses that have limited knowledge and access to financial services. We seek to foster greater financial understanding and opportunity in the markets where we operate and to demonstrate our brand promise, ‘Here for good’. We recognise that the security, prosperity and stability of our financial systems, communities and economies depend on well educated, financial capable young people and entrepreneurs.

Under our financial education initiative, we have two programmes that are fully implemented by our employees: Financial Education for Youth (FE4Y) and Education for Entrepreneurs (E4E). FE4Y is a set of programmes aimed at building financial capability of the youth working in partnership with the Ghana Education Service, our Financial Education for Youth programme reached over 20,000 students with over 50% girls.

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