Message from our CEO

Arrie Rautenbach

Group Chief Executive Officer

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In the face of unprecedented global challenges, Absa remains committed to being an active force for good in everything we do, driving positive change and making a meaningful impact on the world. Our renewed purpose statement, “Empowering Africa’s tomorrow, together … one story at a time”, signifies our commitment to the continent and recognises the power we possess as a financial institution to propel the future forward in an ecosystemic context.

Our Board and Management team have worked diligently this year to solidify our foundation for a sustainable future. Our efforts – led by the Group Strategy and Sustainability Office with oversight from the Social, Sustainability and Ethics Committee – have strengthened processes, introduced metrics for improved accountability and integrated sustainability initiatives into the Group strategy.

In 2023, we published Absa’s Net Zero Statement, outlining a pathway to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 across operational and financed Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. Our goal has been fully supported by our Board and Management team, who have taken on this pledge with the seriousness it deserves.

We believe that a just energy transition is critical for South Africa and the continent. Therefore, we advocate for an equitable transition that balances social inclusion and decent employment with the imperatives to protect the environment.

Our Social, Sustainability and Ethics Committee played an important role in overseeing our climate objectives and in approving our strategy and goals. It reviewed key climate-related standards and scenario approaches, such as the International Energy Agency Announced Pledges Scenario, to ensure our Scope 3 financed emission reduction pathways are aligned with best practice and sound methodology.

Through this process, we finalised our first two financed emissions reduction targets from 2022 to 2030, focusing on our most intensive carbon emissions sectors. We have set targets to cut coal-financed emissions by 25% and reduce oil- and gas-financed emissions by 9%. Our sustainability metrics within organisational health in our incentive scorecards have been refined to include these elements.

Our efforts have been recognised by industry awards and global sustainability rankings. These include being recognised by the 2024 Sustainable Finance Awards as Best Bank for Sustainability Transparency and for Sustainable Bonds in the Africa region category. Also included are our 93rd percentile S&P Global Sustainability rating and our Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) rating of B.