(MENAFN- Gulf Times)
QNB Group has executed a number of initiatives across its footprint to support the transition towards a carbon neutral economy. Sustainable environmental and social practices are being integrated across the bank's business and operating model.
QNB is recognised as a regional leader in ESG and in 2021, was the first bank in the region to receive an AA rating for ESG from MSCI.
During 2022, the bank has recently won several sustainability related awards from Global Finance, including awards for“Outstanding Leadership in Sustainable Finance” in the region, and“Sustainable Finance leadership” in Qatar, amongst others.
QNB was the first financial intuition in Qatar to develop a Green, Social and Sustainability Bond (GSSB) framework aligned with international best practice and standards.
In 2020, the bank issued the first conventional green bond in Qatar, and at $600mn it remains the largest conventional green bond from a bank in the region. The bank also issued the first green placement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Turkey, participated in the first green repurchase agreement in Qatar, and pioneered green vehicle and green mortgage loans for its retail customers.
The bank's sustainability framework and approach supports and aligns with the leading international and domestic Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), United Nations Global Compact (UNGC, of which the bank is a signatory), Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030 and Qatar National Environment and Climate Change Strategy (QNE), amongst others.
The sustainability framework consists of three pillars: sustainable finance, and sustainable operations and beyond banking. All three pillars support QNB's goal of sustainable financial performance by reducing risks, opening up new business opportunities, and strengthening our brand.
In its own operations, the bank has launched several green initiatives across its footprint to raise awareness among its employees and customers of environmental and climate challenges, and to promote sustainable actions to reduce their impact.
In Qatar, the bank has put in place measures to enhance energy consumption efficiency in all its offices and branches. This includes reducing cooling consumption and installing latest state-of-the-art new automated lighting control system across all its properties, branches and facilities.
Furthermore, the recently-opened QNB Place Vendome branch obtained a GSAS (Global Sustainability Assessment system) certification for its interior design and environmentally-friendly building.
While in Turkey, the bank has switched to renewable energy sources, and in Egypt, it has installed solar energy stations in its buildings. Such initiatives aim to encourage employees and customers to lead a more sustainable future and support the Group's environmental efforts.
Last month, QNB ALAHLI, the Group's subsidiary, became a member of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) ahead of the Conference of the Parties (COP27), which will be held later this year in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
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