Unlike manufacturers which have a clear, direct and highly negative environmental impact, banks have minimal direct, yet more indirect, environmental impact. AAIB pursues environmental and social responsibility through two key approaches.
A) Internal Cost Reduction
Establishing a mission, policy and strategy, as well as formulating a waste management model reflecting key environmental initiatives to reduce our current environmental impact. Based on our carbon footprint report published in 2013, our environmental waste is mainly the product of electricity and paper consumption followed by employees commuting. For this, AAIB established a five-year waste management plan to reduce its carbon footprint within its premises through adopting various initiatives including:
To reduce the consumption of paper, AAIB has adopted a step-by-step conversion approach from a paper-based to a paperless internal business environment including electronic signature and online applications. We also seek to promote double-side printing of internal memos, documents and reports.
Most of our waste is paper, plastic and electronic; hence, we are seeking to collaborate with recycling facilities to manage our waste in an environmentally friendly manner.
The sustainability team tries to create awareness about carpooling among the employees through tips and internal staff campaigns to educate our staff about their carbon footprints.
EE (ELECTRICITY EFFICIENCY)
Reducing our electricity consumption by using LED lights in our offices is a priority for the Engineering Department’s electricity efficiency agenda.
In tandem, AAIB has introduced internal awareness campaigns to instill the idea of individual environmental responsibility (IER) through simple acts such as shutting down PCs at the end of the day, switching lights off in the office after working hours. These are simple reminders to engage our employees in in creating positive change.
B) External Profit Generation
Many confuse the notion of sustainability expenses being a cost burden, while it could be a tool for generating profit. AAIB designs innovative banking products, services and solutions that serve sectors focused on renewable energy and corporate clients with direct environmental impact. Examples of this include the integration of environmental criteria into lending and investment strategies and new products that provide environmental businesses with easier access to capital. AAIB is the first bank in Egypt and the MENA region to adopt The Equator Principles in 2009 and apply ESRA (environmental and social risk assessment) in project lending.