President Akufo-Addo planting a tree on a Green Ghana Day
President Akufo-Addo planting a tree on a Green Ghana Day

Greening Ghana for life "The GCB@70 Collaboration"

With the advent of sustainable finance, banks, in particular, take into account environmental, social and governance considerations when making decisions for financing projects.

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In addition to this, it has become commonplace for banks to make commitments to principles, which govern their financing activities by being signatories to the likes of the Equator Principles and the UN Global Compact. 

All these give banks a relatively new sense of responsibility and positive public perception well beyond what any early watcher of banking would have envisaged. For me, this is a seismic shift but banks still need to do more and I say this considering that the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require a lot more effort to be attained.

Banks by the very role they play have much more influence and as such can be a greater force for good.

This is why the issue of fighting climate change and securing more sustainable economic activities must be championed by banks and backed with actions, which would directly improve the same environment, which they seek to protect by adhering to; for example, the Equator Principles.

The Equator Principles are risk management frameworks adopted by financial institutions for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in project finance. It is primarily intended to provide a minimum standard for due diligence to support responsible risk decision-making.

Climate change

Climate change is a global issue, which has gained the attention of all governments, including ours. Here in Ghana, the government and its agencies, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Forestry Commission, have introduced the Green Ghana Project, which should see significant contributions to Ghana’s vegetative cover.

For 70 years, GCB has contributed in significant ways to support Ghana’s economic development.

In addition to financing projects, our corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives have been strategically aimed at responding to and intervening in critical social development needs.

In our 70th year, GCB is once again contributing towards a solution to a national problem.

On the occasion of the bank’s 70th anniversary celebrations, we are happy to implement one of our 70th anniversary heritage initiatives dubbed “GCB Greens Ghana for life” or “3G-4-Life” which would see GCB contribute 7,000 trees to support Ghana’s tree population thereby significantly improving our chances in the fight against climate change and to secure a sustainable environment.

The idea to grow trees as part of our 70th anniversary is also borne out of the links that GCB sees between the bank and trees.

Trees represent life and communicate resilience and resourcefulness.

The idea of growing them to improve our vegetative cover signifies regeneration.

These are themes which resonate with GCB at its 70th milestone.

Over the course of the bank’s 70 years, the GCB brand, strategy and business offering have all been continuously refreshed to align with developments in its markets. GCB has become the personification of resilience and resourcefulness, having survived several difficult times on all fronts.

To make all these possible, we shall be rolling out the “GCB Greens Ghana for Life” in the coming weeks with schools, communities, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Forestry Commission and our staff over three phases in a six-week period which would sandwich the Green Ghana Day on 9 June 2023.

We are doing this because we also reckon that it is our ultimate responsibility to hand over this dear country of ours, Ghana, in a better shape to the next generation of Ghanaians. GCB is, therefore enjoined by its brand promise to commit to this.

As a brand, we promise to be “Your Bank for Life” and what better way to partner with you in your life than to ensure a more sustainable environment for you to live in?

GCB funding

GCB is reputed for its funding and implementation of strategic CSR activities and commitment to the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) over the years.

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GCB through its CSR agenda has over the years provided classical and practical interventions in the areas of health, education and the environment with remarkable success.

In very recent times, the bank has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, providing support by way of personal protective equipment (PPE) and meals to health personnel in addition to essential items for the protection of persons in the communities like quantities of Veronica buckets, sanitiser and liquid handwashing soap.

The bank has also funded the renovation of the Usher Polyclinic and the provision of a Renal Dialysis Unit for the 37 Military Hospital.

In the area of education, Fawoman Basic School, the Bomaa Junior High School, Sawuah (Donkorkrom) JHS, Ho Technical University in the Ashanti, Ahafo, Eastern and Volta regions, the University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Allied Sciences and the University of Energy & Natural Resources are all beneficiaries of GCB’s support for infrastructure and technological development.

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These are but a few of what has become part of our DNA over our 70-year existence.

As a financial institution, GCB sees itself as a partner in the drive for more corporate responsibility with a strong commitment to help achieve the UN’s SDGs and also deliver on our sustainable finance agenda.

We, however, reckon that we can do more and that through GCB’s leadership and partnership with other institutions, we can make a real difference in the lives of Ghanaians.
 
The writer is a Board Member, GCB Bank PLC

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