Our environment plays a significant role in shaping our business practices. Ensuring environmental quality is key for us at Wema bank. It is our way of preserving the future and making the environment a suitable place to operate, not just for us but for stakeholders, employees, their children and generations to come. Our business thrives on these ecological resources, hence, as a strategy, we have continued to implement eﬃcient measures to reduce the negative impact of our environmental and social footprint at our business locations.
The Bank partnered with an environmentally conscious organization to clean ‘’Kid's Beach Garden’’ in Lekki. The objective of the initiative was to clean the beach of the debris (bottles, plastic bowls and bags, bottle covers, tyres, ropes, discarded clothing) left by previous visitors and recycle them into useful items. Members of staﬀ volunteered to clean and the items gathered were recycled into nice keepsakes for some of our branches and the Head Oﬃce.
We recognize that decreasing the use of paper helps to protect valuable natural resources, reduction in carbon footprint and a form of cost- savings. We have reduced paper usage by 90% whilst also reducing our carbon footprint and improving operational efficiency. During the year, the bank embarked on a campaign to further reduce the use of paper in our daily operations. This campaign was tagged “Paperlympics” and aided by Purpleworks, our electronic correspondence and document management system.
As a Bank, we have recognized the importance of responsible disposal and management of waste and we aim to reduce the volume of plastics and other recyclables that go into the landfill from the Bank.
In partnership with recycling companies and non-governmental organizations, we embarked on a recycling initiative with ‘’African Clean Up Initiative’’. We ensure that members of staff and vendors are sensitized on the importance of recycling and the impact of improper disposal of waste. We embarked on a waste recycling process for proper disposal and management of recyclables (paper, plastic, glass and can).
The proceeds of the processed recyclables are used for social causes such as school fees payment for children in disadvantaged communities using RecyclesPay. This contributes to the economic growth of the recycling industry whilst also encouraging a responsible waste disposal system. Overall, we collected over 1000kg of plastics across 12 branches in Lagos State.
Water scarcity has been identified as one of the global risks that require urgent solutions across the world. The Bank has implemented an innovative water management system across our branches to reduce water consumption, using the dual toilet ﬂushing system. In addition, we have an effluent water management system where wastewater is recycled for other uses. We also continually advocate the importance of water conservation to our employees and customers. With this, we are using less water and making it available for other uses.
In reiteration of our environmental sustainability commitment, we are reducing our reliance on diesel generators and carbon footprint by profiling our branches for alternate sources of energy. In 2019, 18 of our branches were migrated to solar power energy, leading to reduction of 160,744kg carbon emission for the year and we intend to increase these numbers. In addition, all our ATMs use hybrid power supply (solar, grid and inverter) to meet the needs of our customers within and outside our business locations.
Also, our facilities are powered by LED energy-saving bulbs. Our generator-shutdown policy ensures that most of our branches shut down their generators by 6pm daily. These measures have not only helped us reduce energy waste but also reduced our carbon footprint.
Carpooling is one of the initiatives we have adopted to reduce carbon emission and improve air quality. We encourage carpooling amongst our staff to reduce vehicle congestion on the road, travel costs per person and most importantly, carbon emission. Vehicle owners pick up colleagues that live around their locations and commute to work together and back to their homes. Other energy efficient strategies include video conferencing for meetings with staff in different locations to aid reduction in travel time, fuel consumption and carbon emission.