As a Continuation of its Pioneering Role in Social Responsibility, Arab Bank issues its Sustainability Report covering its progress and initiatives during 2011
09 May, 2012
Arab Bank has recently issued its annual sustainability report for the second consecutive year which is a summary of the Bank's performance in the social, environmental and economic fields. Issuing this annual sustainability report reflects
Arab Bank’s responsibility toward the communities it operates in by tracking the Bank’s performance, not only financially, but in terms of its impact on society in the environmental, social and economic fields. Issuing the report also reflects the Bank’s transparency in disclosing its performance in these areas as part of its strategy to integrate the principles of sustainability in all its daily operations.
Commenting on the launch of the report, Mr. Abdel Hamid Shoman, Chairman of Arab Bank said, “Implementing sustainability practices and producing a comprehensive report as per international guidelines enables responsible practices and enhances transparent reporting to a company’s stakeholders. Arab Bank places special priority on the development of a strategic sustainability approach through the implementation of initiatives based on the Bank’s values. In line with this strategy, the Bank issued its first sustainability report covering 2010, becoming the first bank in Jordan to issue such a report.”
Ms. Dina Shoman, Executive Vice President of Branding at Arab Bank said, “Sustainability is not a new concept to Arab Bank, since its establishment, the Bank began working within the framework of effective community development and economic growth.”She added, "Our second report for the year 2011 is more comprehensive than its predecessor, covering 49% more indicators than last year’s. The report also highlights the Bank’s internal programs and community contributions, which go beyond financial support and extends to the deployment of banking products and services that enable customers to support the community as well. Another dimension to the report is employee involvement in voluntary activities and contribution to the capacity building for a number of non-profit organizations to ensure the continuity of their operations.”
Sustainability reports are annual non-financial reports issued by responsible institutions to disclose their impact on the environmental, economic, social and ethical fields. The report is a means of measuring performance and highlighting the role of the institution in the field of sustainability to strengthen its commitment to its stakeholders (such as employees, shareholders, local community, environment, government and customers) in order to achieve sustainable development.
The indicators covered in the recently published report show that Arab Bank, in 2011, has been able to make significant progress and achieve much in terms of sustainability. In the environmental field, Arab Bank has implemented a number of internal programs to improve operating processes and reduce the environmental impact of the Bank. In 2011 the Bank witnessed reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by 5.39%, electricity consumption by 3% and heating fuel by 43%. The Bank also continued to focus on the adoption of environmental and social criteria when considering financing projects to reduce their impact on natural resources. The Bank also supported a number of environmental protection initiatives at the local community level.
In terms of economic impact, as part of Arab Bank's commitment to support poverty pockets in the Kingdom, the Bank has allocated one million Jordanian Dinars to development projects designed to fight unemployment and raise the standard of living for citizens. As part of this commitment, cooperation with the Jordan River Foundation to facilitate revolving loans and create jobs in the governorates of Maan and Zarqa was established in 2011. The total number of beneficiaries of these projects is 113 people (43% women and 42% youth). Also on the economic front, the Bank participated in important banking and investment conferences to promote economic development in the Kingdom, including the Euromoney Conference and the World Economic Forum.
On the social front, Arab Bank has increased its community investment in 2011 to reach approximately 9.3 million JOD. The total donations for the Together program’s participating non-profit organizations increased by 121% through the Banks’ channels, total number of employees engaged in community initiatives rose by 34% and the number of beneficiaries reached to 17,990 in 2011.
Ms. Shoman concluded, "Reporting our impact is vital to set a benchmark for the coming years and it also helps us set realistic goals and targets which we can achieve in the future. Sustainability is a journey and requires a continuous commitment on many different levels; by issuing this report we are affirming our commitment and transparently reporting our progress. We hope to inspire the Jordanian business community to take this initiative as well and start integrating sustainability within their business strategy.”
The report, which is a comprehensive account of the Bank’s sustainability framework, management approaches is certified at a level ‘B’ by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). GRI is a network-based organization that pioneered the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting framework. The report, available on the Bank’s website in English and Arabic, is a standalone account of Arab Bank’s operations in the different fields relating to sustainability.
The report can be found on http://www.arabbank.com/en/sustainability.aspx