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First Bank partners Proparco on mechanism for emissions reduction

First Bank partners Proparco on mechanism for emissions reduction
May 27
14:16 2024

First Bank of Nigeria PLC says it has partnered with Proparco on the development of a mechanism for emissions reduction.

Proparco is a development finance institution, according to a statement on Monday, signed by Folake Ani-Mumuney, First Bank’s group head of marketing and corporate communications.

The partnership, First Bank said, is aimed at achieving a holistic integration of climate action on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction through an articulated strategic pathway to position the financial firm as an African climate bank.

First Bank said it is currently implementing a mechanism to calculate its operational emissions across all its branches and offices.

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This, according to the statement, includes calculating data on electricity use, diesel use, water consumption, waste management approach, fuel consumption, and business travels, to determine the bank’s emission baseline and innovative opportunities for operational emissions reduction.

“In a two-day partnership strategy workshop sessions with IPC and Valoris, consultants from Austria engaged by Proparco in the climate mainstreaming project, FirstBank’s climate journey across all areas of implementation was reviewed to determine progress and empower strategic departments across the Bank’s operations, including: the Credit Risk teams; Human Capital Management & Development (HCMD); FirstAcademy, the Bank’s learning institute; Corporate Banking; Personal Banking; SME Banking; Procurement; Branch Operations and General Services teams to deepen the understanding of climate risks in their processes,” the statement reads.

First Bank said the six workstreams for implementation include the identification of financed and avoided emissions to support reporting; and aiding the measurement and analysis of operational emissions.

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Other areas are integrating physical climate risk assessment, opportunity analysis, climate strategy and policy development, and capacity building amongst staff to support strategy implementation.

In his remarks, Patrick Akhidenor, First Bank’s acting chief risk officer, reiterated the bank’s commitment to mainstreaming climate initiatives.

“FirstBank is intentional about redefining its climate footprint. We are identifying opportunities in climate finance to improve our portfolio and reduce the carbon emissions associated with our processes and operations,” Akhidenor said.

“The bank is executing a financed emissions calculation mechanism as well as creating climate finance opportunities, such as renewable energy and energy efficiency products for our customers.”

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Also commenting on the partnership, Martin Steindl, managing director of Valoris, Austria, expressed her admiration for the progress achieved collectively.

“Amongst our various engagements with financial institutions on climate mainstreaming, FirstBank is the only organization that has been able to provide data both on the assets’ location of their portfolio and head offices of their clients,” Steindl said.

“I am impressed with the progress we have collectively achieved.”

In the statement, First Bank said Nigeria has committed to reducing its GHG emissions to 20 percent by 2030 and net zero by 2060.

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The financial institution said while this is ambitious, it sets the tone for businesses in Nigeria to “at least support their GHG emissions reduction strategy with national plans and targets”, stressing its commitment to achieving the goals.

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