In line with our brand promise ‘Here for good’, we seek to ensure that the financing we provide supports sustainable economic and social development in the communities where we operate. Sustainability is integrated into how we do business. It guides everything we do, from the services we provide to our clients, to the way we run our Bank and support the local communities in which we live and work.
Our approach focuses on three areas:
- Contributing to sustainable economic growth – supporting our clients through our core business of banking;
- Being a responsible company - managing our business and operations to deliver long-term value for our shareholders and society; and
- 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
We seek to maximise our contribution to sustainable development by:
- Providing financing to businesses in key sectors that enable economic growth and job creation (such as infrastructure, agribusiness, trade);
- 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.
Our lending is underpinned by our sustainable finance policies and 20 Position Statements which set out the environment and social standards that we expect of ourselves and encourage from our clients.
Our commitment to sustainability is not only about the business activity we finance but also about how we run our business. We are focused on building a business consistent with our values. We have comprehensive policies that guide our internal and external engagement on issues pertaining to governance, financial crime prevention, people and values, environmental footprint and suppliers.
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.
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.
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.
At Standard Chartered, we view diversity and inclusion (D&I) as a critical lever for business success in the long term. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment that is free from bias and where everyone can realise their full potential, and in so doing, make a positive contribution to our organisation. Comprising 130 different nationalities, Standard Chartered’s global workforce and footprint extends across almost 70 markets, primarily in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
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.
As part of our overall environmental policy, we seek to minimise the environmental impact of our operations and have targets in place to reduce the rate of our energy and water usage. We have environmental standards that touch on; energy efficiency, guidance on environmentally preferred products, waste management, environmental data assurance and environmental targets.
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 is one of our three sustainability priorities. 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’ (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 achieved tremendous success through funding of nine projects in Kenya:
- Reached more than six million people;
- Performed 166,000 surgical interventions;
- Screened 175,000 people;
- Trained 1,500 health workers;
- Upgraded 10 health facilities.
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 10,000 children benefitting from corrective surgery.
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.
Goal is the Bank’s community investment initiative which uses sport and life skills education to transform the lives of young women. The programme empowers adolescent girls for personal, social and economic development by providing knowledge and offering a safe space to play.
Standard Chartered Bank partners with Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP) to implement the programme in Nairobi county.VAP is a charitable organisation based in Nairobi that integrates social and economic values through soccer by creating a pro-active health environment.