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Equity Group Unveils 2022 Sustainability Report

Equity Group has launched its annual Sustainability Report for the year 2022, themed Growing Together in Trust.

The report strictly adheres to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Taskforce for Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) guidelines, showcasing Equity’s unwavering commitment to transparent sustainability and impact reporting and best-in-class global practises.

Equity Group Managing Director and CEO, Dr. James Mwangi, speaking on Monday during the launch, said that the future beckons to strive beyond business as usual and embrace sustainable transformation, insisting that technology adoption will be the cornerstone of Africa’s development in line with the fourth industrial revolution.

“We must break free from the shackles of the old socio-economic order. Equity’s Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan emphasises the pivotal importance of Africa’s people, environment, natural resources, and economic opportunities,” Mwangi emphasised.

Mwangi recognised that a sustainable future demands conscious consideration of impact on both people and the planet.

“This has been the guiding principle since we were established nearly 40 years ago,” Mwangi added.

Equity Group’s climate, energy and environment-related initiatives have been remarkably impactful. By planting 21.8 million trees in alignment with Kenya’s forest cover initiative, implementing climate-smart agricultural practises, and providing support to farmers, the Bank actively contributes to sustainable practises in the region.

“I am pleased to share that Equity Group’s dedication to diversity, equality, and inclusion is unwavering. Empowering and capacitating women is deeply ingrained in our organisational DNA,” said Mwangi while noting that 33% of the Board of Directors are female, aligned with gender parity benchmarks set by developed economies.

He further underscored that Equity takes immense pride in the notable 48% female representation across all Group and subsidiary board committees, underscoring Equity’s commitment to fostering equitable opportunities at every echelon of the organisation.

Chairman of Equity Group Holdings, Prof. Isaac Macharia, emphasised the significance of the report in the wake of the post-pandemic recovery and the escalating global concerns surrounding climate crisis, social equity, poverty, food insecurity and the emerging debt crisis.

“This report signifies our relentless vision to be a driving force behind sustainable socio-economic prosperity in Africa. In the face of pandemic repercussions and global climate challenges, it falls upon the private sector, in collaboration with governments, development and like-minded partners, to lead the charge in addressing societal concerns,” said Macharia.

He added that at Equity, our twin-engine business model drives us to seamlessly integrate sustainability into our core business strategy, propelling Africa towards an equitable and prosperous future.

Commenting on the report, Equity Group Board Sustainability Committee Chairperson, Dr. Helen Gichohi, said, “As the world confronts sustainability challenges, there’s pressure for organisations such as Equity to articulate and demonstrate the role we are playing to address these challenges and to become and prioritise sustainability.”

The Report further showcases Equity Group’s steadfast commitment to education and Leadership Development.

According to the report, in 2022, a total of 47,009 scholarships were granted, boasting a commendable 97% secondary school completion rate, with 82% achieving university entry grades.

The Equity Leadership Programme (ELP) and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) initiatives empowered 17,820 university scholars and 761 global scholars, while facilitating 7,482 paid internships aimed at nurturing the next generation of leaders.

Equity’s formidable impact in the agriculture sector is evident, as a total of 3.9 million farmers experienced the positive effects of Equity’s initiatives, while 215,512 SMEs received invaluable support and training. With a resolute focus on financial inclusion, 3.98 million small-scale and peasant farmers accessed agricultural finance, resulting in Ksh 73.3 billion in loans disbursed to farmers and value chain players in 2022. The Young Africa Works Programme disbursed a substantial Ksh 223.1 billion to MSMEs, bolstering entrepreneurship and driving economic growth.

Equity Group’s commitment to healthcare is exemplified through the operation of Equity Afia’s 77 clinics in Kenya, which will serve 597,943 patients in 2022. In 2023, plans are underway to open 30 clinics in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and an additional 150 new clinics in Kenya. The cumulative patient visits to Equity Afia clinics reached an astounding 1,299,523, ensuring access to quality healthcare for communities.

Empowerment remains a key priority for Equity Group. In 2022, the Group trained an impressive 2,411,105 women and youth in financial education, equipping them with essential financial skills. An additional 406,421 SMEs received training in entrepreneurship, fostering a thriving business ecosystem. Under the Young Africa Works Programme, Equity disbursed a substantial Sh223.1 billion to MSMEs, thus uplifting and empowering entrepreneurs.

Equity Group’s efforts in promoting clean energy and environmental conservation are evident in the distribution of 375,683 clean energy products and the planting of 21.8 million trees in alignment with Kenya’s forest cover initiative. The Group’s commitment to sustainable practises stands as a beacon of environmental stewardship.

Equity Group’s social protection initiatives have reached an astounding 4.5 million individuals, with Sh117 billion disbursed via cash transfers in 2022 alone. These programmes foster financial inclusion, support vulnerable communities, and promote socio-economic integration.

Climate Change and Forestry Principal Secretary (PS) Festus Ng’eno, who was represented by the Secretary Administration in the same Ministry, John Elungata, said, “With the launch of this report, Equity is demonstrating that Sustainability is not just another corporate buzzword. It demonstrates your commitment to ensuring that you are creating meaningful change for the benefit of the planet and future generations.”

Dr. Cyrille-Lazarre Siewe, Coordinator/Head at UN Environment Programme Kenya, said, “The launch of this report is a bold step by Equity and a demonstration that Kenya’s private sector is continuing to set the tone for sustainability conversations on the continent.”

The comprehensive report encompasses the entirety of Equity Group, comprising Equity Group Holdings Plc, alongside its banking subsidiaries in Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Tanzania. Additionally, it includes the Commercial Representative Office in Ethiopia, the Equity Group Foundation (EGF) and the Groups’ subsidiaries: Equity Investment Bank, Equity Bancassurance Intermediary Limited, Finserve Africa Limited, Finserve Africa Trustees Limited, Equity Life Assurance (Kenya) Limited, and Equity Group Insurance Holdings Limited.

Source: Kenya News



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