21 September 2023
A note from Punki Modise, Group Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer, to all Absa employees
Today marks Zero Emissions Day, a global celebration dedicated to raising awareness about the impact of carbon emissions on our planet. I invite you to join me, along with fellow environmentally conscious people all over the world, in taking a closer look at how we can change our daily energy habits to reduce harmful emissions, give the Earth a chance to breathe again, and help to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
Zero Emissions Day draws attention to the challenges created by global carbon emissions and encourages us all to assess and minimise our individual contributions. With each of us playing our part, we can help to accelerate the global journey to decarbonisation.
As individuals, we can take action by walking or cycling more, taking public transport, or carpooling if these opportunities are open to us, or perhaps choosing a vegetarian meal. But we can also make a contribution as a team, which Absa is doing.
At a company level, we are proud of the significant sustainability strides the Absa Group has taken. Our long-term ambition is to reach Net Zero by 2050 for scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. We prioritise business activities that have the most positive environmental, social, and economic impact while reducing negative impacts.
Absa’s target is to reduce operational emissions by 51% from 2018 levels by 2030. We have achieved an overall reduction of 21.3% to date. As a bank, we also have an important role to play in financing sustainability. We’re planning to mobilise a cumulative R100-billion of sustainable finance by the end of 2025. Our Relationship Banking unit in South Africa aims to finance R2.5 billion of embedded renewable power by 2025. We expect our renewable energy lending to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 26% by 2025, doubling the lending commitment over the period.
While we recognise Africa’s particular vulnerability to climate change, our approach to Net Zero also takes cognisance of the development needs of Africa’s people. Our Net Zero declaration underpins our belief in and support for a Just Transition. The transition to a resilient and sustainable economy must be inclusive and equitable for communities, investors, and industries and, most importantly, leave no one behind.
We are committed to entrenching environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles throughout our business as we believe that ESG is vital for delivering real long-term value and our purpose of empowering Africa’s tomorrow, together… one story at a time.