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 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 (such as infrastructure, trade and commerce);

Sharing our expertise to support countries in deepening financial markets (such as supporting governments as a sovereign ratings adviser); 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. For example, we have partnered with Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest), Strathmore Business Schools (SBS) and Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) to build alliances that support our business banking clients growth opportunities in Kenya and internationally.

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, and our position statements for clients operating in sensitive business sectors e.g. extractives, power generation, agro-industry, chemical & manufacturing, infrastructure & transport, and more.

Standard Chartered Bank supports more than Kshs 150 billion in value-added impact in Kenya. This equates to 1.9% of Gross Domestic Product, and supports 330,000 jobs (1.6% of the labour force. Additionally, directly and indirectly we support:

  • 3.4 per cent of manufacturing sector’s total contribution to GDP
  • 3.3 per cent of the utilities sector’s share of GDP
  • 3.5 per cent of trade sector’s GDP
  • 2.5 per cent of the transport sector’s GDP
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.


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 Kenya 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 Kenya, we are almost at 50/50 gender equity, and with more than 45% of women in leadership roles. We also have targeted female future leaders programme in partnership with Federation of Kenya Employers to build female senior leadership capability. As we consider all aspects of diversity and inclusion, we realise there is more to be done.

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.


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.

Between 2008 and 2017, we reduced energy consumption by 34 per cent and water consumption by 36 per cent. In Kenya, we are committed to 31% Reduction on Annual Energy Use Intensity (EUI) across the Kenya Portfolio by end 2019. And over 72% reduction in Water Use Intensity (WUI) by end 2019.


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. Our community programmes focus on two themes: health and education, with youth as a target demographic focusing on: ‘Seeing is Believing’; ‘Goal’ and Financial Education.

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.

‘Seeing is Believing’

‘Seeing is Believing’ (SiB) is Standard Chartered’s global initiative to tackle avoidable blindness and visual impairment. Launched in 2003, SiB is collaboration between the Bank and International Association for Preventable Blindness. We support SiB in Kenya through proceeds from Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon registration, donations from staff and funding from the Group ‘Seeing is Believing’ initiative.

Since 2003, SiB has made significant strides through local partnerships with eye health partners:

  • Reached 19.5 million Kenyans
  • Screened 13.5 million
  • Performed over 180,000 sight restoring surgeries and +470,000 other medical treatments
  • Screen more than 160,000 school children using PEEK Acuity
  • Trained over 6,600 eye health workers
  • Upgraded more than 10 health facilities

SiB has provided screening machines at Kikuyu Eye Hospital and Mbagathi Hospital to allow them, for the first time to screen for Diabetic Retinopathy

In conjunction with the Fred Hollows Foundation Kenya we launched a project that aims to develop an integrated and comprehensive model of care for people at risk of vision loss due to diabetes mellitus within the urban-poor population in Nairobi County and its environs.

In partnership with Kirinyaga County government we are also upgrading the Kerugoya County Hospital Eye Unit

In partnership with Kirinyaga County government we are also upgrading the Kerugoya County Hospital Eye Unit

SiB also supported Peek Acuity designed to help screen and identify people who need further examination using smartphone technology. Engineered by eye experts it allows anyone to check visual acuity using only an Android smartphone. With this technology, all public primary schools in Trans Nzoia county - over 350 schools, +170,000 children. 80% of these children who had eye problems have been treated. The programme is ongoing.

Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon

The Bank invests about KShs 90 million annually towards sponsorship of the event whilst another KShs 60 million worth of sponsorship is raised through partners. Funds raised from registration and donations are channelled to the SiB initiative, the Bank’s flagship community initiative that focuses on addressing avoidable blindness among children below 15 years. Since the marathon was launched in 2003, more than KShs 150 million has been raised with over 170,000 corrective eye sight surgeries undertaken.

2018, marks the 15th Anniversary of Seeing is Believing, and the year we achieve our global fundraising target of USD 100 Million ahead of target. Watch the SiB 15th Anniversary video here: 100 seconds to USD 100 Million

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 world’s youth while E4E is aimed at building financial capability of non-client micro and small businesses with a focus on women owned or led enterprises.

Women in Technology

The Women in Technology Incubator Kenya programme seeks to help women-led entrepreneurial teams leverage business acumen and technology to grow their businesses. The programme was a collaborative partnership with @iBizAfrica Strathmore University and Standard Chartered Bank. The programme’ s objective is to help women-led entrepreneurial teams who want to leverage technology to grow their businesses but lack the necessary support to do so. Following rigorous process, 11 finalists were selected from over 140 applicants. The finalist went through a 12-week incubation programme. A final 5 winning teams were selected and each received a USD 10,000 monetary award as seed money to support their respective businesses. Following the initial success of the first cohort of Women in Technology Kenya programme, the programme will continue with a 2nd cohort launching September 2018. Find out more: Women in Technology Standard Chartered Bank & iBizAfrica Strathmore University.

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 Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP) to implement the programme in Nairobi county. VAP is a charitable organisation that is based and operates in Nairobi.