Manama, Bahrain: The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) released its first Annual Financial and Sustainability Report for the year 2020, in a step to fulfil stakeholder need for a coherent and consolidated performance information report linking sustainability concerns with traditional core business activities, as the bank continues on its journey towards adopting a more sustainable approach in accordance with international standards and best practices.
This Annual Financial and Sustainability Report highlights the bank’s goal to embed sustainability at the core of its business and considers fundamental reporting principles including accuracy, completeness, and balance. It covers some of the more apparent sustainability activities and performance data. The ESG reporting goal is to provide an overview of organisational performance, structured around the bank’s sustainability framework and the most relevant material issues for its stakeholders, which have been determined through a formal materiality assessment in order to shape the content of the report.
Mr. Farouk Almoayyed, Chairman of NBB, said: “2020 was an unprecedented year with the coronavirus pandemic challenging all stakeholders to stand together for our common good. It forcefully reminded us that the health and well-being of individuals, society and our environment are essential for a vibrant economy and the financial success of the Bank and the Group as a whole.” He added: “For these reasons, we have renewed our commitment to corporate sustainability, embedding and systematically managing environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities in all aspects of the Group’s business. We are proud to reflect this in this Annual Financial and Sustainability Report, as another important step in our ongoing transformation.”
NBB’s CEO, Jean-Christophe Durand, added: “Our commitment to be a leader in sustainable banking is one of our continuous aspirations. We believe that we have made leading progress already - taking a rigorous and systematic approach towards integrating environmental, social and governance issues into our core business, underpinned by practical action. Our sustainability roadmap, now being embedded in the business, sets out a clear direction for the practical steps we will take over the next three years, and provides a foundation for further development thereafter.”
NBB’s sustainability framework contains seven pillars: economic growth, responsible banking; serving customers; nurturing the workforce; community investment; preserving natural resources; and governance and ethical behavior. The bank has highlighted the objectives for each of these pillars.
The bank focused on strengthening every department to maintain business sustainability and are well-positioned as a market benchmark in terms of compliance with regulations, corporate governance and risk management, by placing a foundation for the involved committees to further drive its future ESG plans, such as establishing several sub-committees which provide effective support to the full Board in carrying out its responsibilities under specific stipulations mentioned in the report.
Since 2019, the bank has reported important non-financial information about its operations, promoting transparency and providing comprehensive coverage of significant sustainability topics. As part of its commitment to transparency and international best reporting practices, NBB developed the report as per the Central Bank of Bahrain’s guidelines and in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards.
ESG score referencing has become an important contributor to decisions made by investors pursuing a holistically-conscious organisation, as well as companies seeking to align their business models with sustainable forms of corporate governance. NBB has recently ranked first in the Banking Sector, and second on all sectors within Bahrain, for Environment, Sustainability & Governance (ESG) ratings list by ESG Invest, and is the only constituent representing the Kingdom of Bahrain on the Refinitiv Arab Federation of Exchanges (“AFE”) Low Carbon Select Index.
© Press Release 2021