SUSTAINABILITY: OUR SOCIAL PURPOSE
Our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity. By focusing on three sustainability pillars – contributing to sustainable economic growth, being a responsible company and investing in communities – we believe we can achieve our purpose, in line with our valued behaviours, and deliver on our promise to be Here for good.
Sustainability is embedded in our brand promise and affects every single thing we do: the way we make decisions, the contribution we make to local economies and the impact that we have when we bank the people and companies driving investment, trade and the creation of wealth across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Contributing to Sustainable Economic Growth
We seek to ensure that the financial services we provide to individuals, businesses and global institutions improve livelihoods and provide new economic opportunities for people in our markets.
Our diverse, local network means we are a trusted partner for trade and development across our markets. We are committed to support key sectors of the economy that are driving sustainable growth. Hence to promote sustainable development in our markets, we use our core business of banking including extending finance to sectors ranging from infrastructure to microfinance. In this process, we have also been complying with Central Bank’s directives issued from time to time to extend financing to sectors defined as Priority Sector and Deprived Sector. Besides, we also support Government’s campaign to provide financing at concessional interest rate to specific sectors of economy where the government subsidizes the interest cost of borrowers.
We draw on our relationship with all stakeholders, including our colleagues, to create prosperous communities through our community engagement programmes around health and education. This is only possible if we remain committed to operating responsibly, encouraging good conduct and ethical behaviour across our organisation.
Being a Responsible Company
We manage our company responsibly by promoting good conduct, supporting the fight against financial crime, integrating our valued behaviours and managing our environmental impact.
We recognise that sound governance practices are a central element of responsible banking. We continued to encourage good conduct as a priority of employees recommitting to the Group Code of Conduct.
Our diversity is a unique strength that helps us to deliver a positive impact on society. We work hard to create a culture of inclusion where talent and individuality are valued and respected. Our Fair Pay Charter sets out the principles which guide all our reward and performance decision-making. This includes continuing to reward colleagues in a way that is free from discrimination based on diversity, including gender.
We are committed to building and maintaining robust defences to combat money-laundering, terrorist financing, sanctions compliance breaches, bribery, and other forms of corruption. Financial crime hinders economic progress and harms communities.
Our financial crime risk management activities, which include adherence to anti-money laundering and sanctions policies and the application of core controls such as client due-diligence screening and monitoring, are led by a dedicated Financial Crime Compliance (FCC) team. Our anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) policies aim to prevent colleagues, or third parties working on our behalf, from participating in active or passive bribery or corruption, or from making facilitation payments.
We are committed to playing our part in the fight against financial crime. The financial crime landscape continues to evolve, and we recognise the ned to be vigilant against new and transforming threats as well as adapting to changes in relevant regulation and sanctions regimes.
Our collaborative approach enables us to continue providing services which are vital to our local and world economy in a safe and sound way.
Investing in Communities
We seek to promote sustainable economic and social development in our communities.
We support our communities to address local social and economic needs. We work closely with local partners and our employee volunteers to deliver programmes focused on health and education.
Globally, 2018 was a milestone year as we surpassed our $100 million fundraising target for Seeing is Believing (SiB), our global initiative to tackle avoidable blindness and visual impairment. We raised $103.6 million worldwide between 2003 and 2018 including Bank-matching and reached 176 million people through SiB projects globally.
As we approached our SiB target, we engaged with stakeholders to understand the challenges facing our communities and where we could make the greatest impact. Our response is Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, our new global initiative to tackle inequality and promote greater economic inclusion in our markets. We aim to raise $50 million between 2019 and 2023 to empower the next generation to learn, earn and grow.
Bank will also leverage its experience with Seeing is Believing by delivering programmes to support visually impaired young people. In Nepal, we are continuing our support to Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology (TIO) to fund a major expansion project of TIO. A total grant USD 1 Mio (approx. NPR 110 million) to fund the TIO’s project is still under execution in its last phase under which Bhaktapur District Community Eye Centre (DCEC) is being upgraded into Secondary Level Eye Centre (SLEC)
Futuremakers by Standard Chartered- Nepal
Under Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, we have supported a Non-Governmental Organisation, Maiti Nepal to establish Low-Cost Sanitary Pad-Making Project. The major objective of this project is to provide entrepreneurship opportunities to human trafficking survivors of Maiti Nepal and help them attain financial independence by getting trained in making sanitary pads. The tertiary objective is also to build awareness around menstrual hygiene by providing low cost sanitary pads to girls and women in marginalized areas of Nepal. The project thus aims to empower the high-risk girls/women through production of low-cost Sanitary Napkins that ensures the sustainable business and promotes safe menstrual hygiene of the women.
Under this project, Standard Chartered Bank donated 2 units of sanitary pad making machines has also provided seed fund to establish the project. The bank also facilitated training for the human trafficking survivors (women) by specialists from India to set up and operate the machines.
The Bank runs Financial Literacy programs for the communities targeting schools and other community partners. The objective is to create awareness around by imparting knowledge related to basics of banking and finance. The Bank pioneered Financial Literacy program in year 2014 and has given continuity in subsequent years by mobilizing the staff members. To this effect, Financial Literacy programs are run through different locations, primarily targeting the government run schools and communities across our footprints. Our staff members in the Head Office and Branches actively volunteer in spreading the financial education in schools and the communities.
The Bank supports its local communities by encouraging its staff for volunteering their time and skills and seeking to maximise Bank’s impact by encouraging skills-based volunteering. All the Bank’s employees are entitled to three days of paid volunteering leave annually.