Arab Bank Issues its Third Sustainability Report Evaluated at a Level ‘A’ by the Global Reporting Initiative
13 May, 2013
Arab Bank recently issued its annual sustainability report for the third consecutive year. The report is a summary of the Bank’s performance and achievements on the social, economic and environmental levels for the year 2012. Providing a detailed record of the Bank’s operations in various sustainability areas, the report comes in line with the transparency policy followed by the Bank since its inception, and is based on its commitment to maintain effective communication with all its stakeholders. The report was evaluated at a level ‘A’ by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which is the highest evaluation level they grant, exceeding the Bank’s previous reports. This report comes as an embodiment of the Bank’s strategy which aims to effectively integrate the sustainability concept in all its operations, activities and daily practices.
Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh, Arab Bank's CEO said, “The Bank’s regular issuance of such sustainability reports at international standards comes as part of its commitment to implement sustainability through a structured plan that corresponds with the Bank’s strategic direction; this reflects the responsible role the Bank plays in delivering the values, initiatives and programs it adopts.” Mr. Sabbagh added, “When developing our sustainability strategy we adopted a multidimensional approach that includes both banking operations and core activities, in order to ensure an effective response to the needs and requirements of the Bank’s stakeholders, through a framework that aims at creating a long-term positive impact within the communities where we operate.” Mr. Sabbagh concluded, “Today, more than ever, we are in great need to initiate a proactive approach that enables us to deal with the challenges our communities are facing. Such an approach must contribute to finding long-term solutions for these challenges and obstacles faced by our communities while maintaining our focus on the importance of the collaboration between the private and public sectors and join efforts in finding sustainable solutions.”
Mr. Tareq Haj Hasan - Senior Vice President- Head of Branding at Arab Bank said, “Arab Bank is the first Jordan based bank to issue a sustainability report at international standards, it is also one of a very few of the regions’ banks to issue such reports.” Mr. Haj Hasan emphasized that this third sustainability report comprehensively reviews achievements in 2012, and covers a wider range of the requested sustainability indicators that meet international standards compared to the reports in the previous years. Mr. Haj Hasan concluded, “This is how the sustainability report came to reach a level ‘A’ evaluation, as it focuses in detail on the internal programs adopted by the Bank, such as the integration of certain environmental and social criteria in the project financing process, in addition to the implementation of a number of initiatives that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also increase internal awareness levels of the sustainability concept. Also covered in the report are the Bank’s social contributions which exceed financial support to include services that allow customers to donate to a number of non-profit organizations, in addition to the participation of the Bank’s employees in volunteering activities and capacity building programs for non-profit organizations to help them maintain their operations.”
Indicators in the Arab Bank 2012 Sustainability Report show that the Bank has achieved several milestones throughout the year, as evident in the increase of its community investments by 21.5%, which amounts to over 11 million Jordanian dinars. As for donations made by the Bank’s customers to non-profit organizations who are participants in the ‘Together’ program, there has been a 21% increase this year compared to the previous year; such growth comes from the improvements made to the Bank’s direct channels. Furthermore, Arab Bank launched the ‘Sustainability Champions’ program in order to help achieve its sustainability goals, integrating the concept further into the Bank’s operations. The Bank also launched a capacity building program for non-profit organizations, through which 107.5 training hours had been delivered by Arab Bank’s employees who are certified and capable of providing such courses to local organizations’ employees in order to further develop their skills and capacities.
As for volunteering initiatives, the Bank has conducted 32 volunteering activities through a combined total time of 166 hours, during which the Bank was able to reach 13,342 beneficiaries. Another accomplishment is the total number of volunteering employees out of the total number of employees which increased to 13% in 2012, compared to 11% of total employees in 2011.
It is worth noting that the sustainability report, available on Arab Bank’s website in both Arabic and English, is issued annually to highlight the impact of the activities, initiatives and programs implemented by the Bank. The report stands as a method of measuring performance and revealing the institution’s role in sustainability, stemming from its responsibility to reinforce its commitment to the expectations of all stakeholders involved, such as its employees, shareholders, local community, environment, government and customers in order to achieve sustainable growth.