• Introduction
  • SEE impact areas
    • 1.
    • 2.
    • 3.
    • 4.
    • 5.
    • 6.
  • ESG
  • Transformation
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Our direct environmental performance

The carbon footprint of our direct operations is not as material as the carbon footprint associated with what we finance. Nonetheless, as a responsible corporate citizen, climate change adaptation and mitigation continue to remain key objectives of our journey to managing our own carbon footprint. This drive is based on the continuous improvement of our performance, which has seen some improvement through the introduction of innovative technologies, processes and management systems.

Electricity consumption in South Africa makes up close to 90% of our carbon footprint and remains a primary focus area for continuous improvement. A target of 15% (45 MWh) consumption reduction by 2020 against a 2014 base year was set to guide our efforts. Key significant energy uses in our portfolio are headquarters, data centres and branches. Within these facilities energy is consumed by air-conditioning, lighting and IT systems.

Operational changes, right-sizing and equipment upgrades while still maintaining indoor comfort levels and meeting statutory requirements yielded positive results with good returns on investments. An additional pressure was the move away from water-cooled systems to air-cooled systems to alleviate pressure on the water grid of South Africa. We understand that South Africa is a water scarce country and although water-cooled air-conditioning systems have benefits in energy conservation, we have fast-tracked the replacement of air-conditioning systems in areas of water risk.

Our major head offices in Johannesburg have been retrofitted with LED technology lighting systems. The lighting layout was in many cases also redesigned to adapt to new furniture layouts and change in office space utilisation. Many of the systems have been equipped with technologies that enable individual and zone remote control according to a user specified requirement. Our strategy is to equip our strategic facilities with networks and equipment, thereby ensuring we are ready to meet the changing needs of business units by best utilisation of new technologies within our built environment.

Energy efficiency plays an important role during the design stages of our branch rollout and revamp programme. This results in branches that have optimised lighting systems, air-conditioning systems and automated control of non-essential equipment outside of banking hours.

Our solar photovoltaic (PV) installation drive saw the implementation of close to 2 MW rooftop solar PV plants to date. This is sufficient to power over 4 000 houses for a year. These plants are monitored daily through our energy monitoring system to ensure that the renewable energy generated is sustained and the expected financial results achieved. In many of our Gauteng facilities, to promote the use of electric vehicles amongst our people, we have equipped some parking bays with electric vehicle charging facilities.

Energy efficiency targets
The combination of energy efficiency, behaviour changes and electricity generated from renewable sources saw our electricity consumption reduce by 24%, from 307 GWh in 2014 to 232 GWh in 2018. This is significant progress towards our intended target of a 15% reduction and a demonstration of our commitment towards effectively managing our use of energy.

We are continuously improving our transition to a low-carbon economy, migrating from an energy intensity-based target calculation methodology to one that is carbon-based. In 2018 we decided to pursue a science-based target (SBT) on our direct emissions that is aimed at preventing global temperature rises by 1.5°C.

Strategic energy management in South Africa
In 2018, SBSA investigated the various methods available through science based targets that take into consideration the unique energy context as well as the future growth of developing countries within which we operate. We piloted the Equity Method proposed by South African based Promethium Carbon with the intent to guide other African-based organisations in managing their direct carbon footprint, should the pilot be successful. The target would initially focus on our South African operations and would be expanded to all our African operations as part of our improvement journey.

The method defined a clear target for Standard Bank operations in South Africa to reduce direct emissions by 79% by 2040 when compared to the 2014 base year. The model used was aligned to limit global temperature rises to below 1.5°C, which means that the organisation is required to do more. In 2019 we intend to set the example and this will require us to break the norms of conventional building designs and aim to develop facilities that are able to sustain operations in the absence of resources and target the development of net zero facilities, green buildings and adopting low carbon energy sources.

Carbon emissions (SBG) tCO2e

carborn-emision 2016 279 953 2017 259 435 2018 243 469
        2018     2017     2016  
Scope 1 tCO2e     10 215     10 806     11 836  
Scope 2 tCO2e     30 684     231 214     244 943  
Scope 3 tCO2e     202 586     28 211     35 009  
Total tCO2e     243 469tick     259 435     279 953  
Renewable energy use MWh     3 101tick     2 704     1 470  


leaf-diagram 2 704 2017 2016 3 101 1 470 2018

Strategic water management in South Africa
South Africa is classified as a water stressed country as human and ecological demand for fresh water outstrips supply. The country has already started to feel the impacts of climate change which is evident through the occurrence of extreme weather systems such as prolonged droughts and heat waves.

The success of our strategic approach to energy management required a similar strategy to be developed for water, which are inherently linked to each other. Since our facilities require both energy and water resources to be used efficiently to maintain business continuity, our facilities need to be sustainable in the usage of these resources to both mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Building on the successes of the energy strategy, its key principles were used as the foundation to develop a water management strategy to drive water performance improvement.

Our water strategy has been developed to ensure that strategic facilities are water efficient, have a reliable source of water when there is an interruption to supply from the municipality and ensuring that these facilities are environmentally sustainable by eliminating wastage. A fundamental step in the development of the water strategy was to base it on accurate data. In the past three years, water meters have been installed to develop this understanding of water usage. This was the foundation to benchmark each facility’s water efficiency against each other and against industry benchmarks. Benchmarking allows us to identify those facilities with a high intensity, develop a target to reduce and prioritise water reduction efforts to eliminate water wastage based on areas of water risk.

An absolute target to reduce water usage by 110 000 kL (16%) at metered sites by 2021 against the 2017 base year was developed in 2018. Sites displaying high intensities are prioritised and operations in areas of significant water risk is also a factor that is integral in determining water efficiency and water security efforts.

The development of this strategy however did not halt our water saving efforts as we continued our water saving journey through initiatives such as the retrofit of water-cooled equipment with air coolers, the installation of low flush toilets, showers and bathroom taps, the use of rain water harvesting systems and borehole water for irrigation in addition to innovative mechanisms for identifying and reducing water leaks. We will continue to focus our efforts on reducing our water consumption and improve on our 2018 performance.

Water (SBG) (kL)

          2018     2017     2016  
Water consumption (municipal)   kL     680 559     666 806     718 960  
Water consumption (grey)   kL     0     0     0  
Total water consumption   kL     680 559     666 806     718 960  
Reduction/Increase   %     2     (8)     (16)  
Target for water consumption reduction   %     6     na     na  


angola-flagnamibia-flagEnergy and water management in our head office facilities
We are currently developing new head office buildings in Angola and Namibia, designed for energy and water efficiency. Both buildings include LED lighting and zero-water air-conditioning systems. The Angola head office building is equipped with both grey and black water treatment facilities to reduce strain on the municipal sewerage system. We aim to have our Namibia head office certified by the Green Building Council as a four-star green building.


MalawiNigeriaOur major facilities in Malawi are metered for accurate energy benchmarking and baseline development. Our strategy focuses on energy security to ensure facilities remain operational during power outages, energy efficiency to reduce operational costs and environmental sustainability to reduce our reliance on natural non-renewable energy sources. To improve the energy security at our head office, all generators are monitored through a web-based monitoring system. We are now introducing this successful energy management system in some of our other countries of operation, including Nigeria, which is one of the major energy consumers in our property portfolio.


GhanaStanbic Bank Ghana
The Government of Ghana has set a target to increase the proportion of renewable energy sources in the country’s energy mix from 1% in 2017 to 10% by 2030, to meet the requirements of the Paris Accord 2015 and SDGs. In line with this, Principle 6 of Ghana’s sustainable banking guidelines calls for the promotion of resource efficiency, and sustainable consumption and production.

Stanbic Ghana started its renewable energy journey in 2015. Our Bank on Solar project aims to contribute toward the SDGs and set the benchmark in sustainable banking in Ghana.

In 2015, we fitted 22 ATMs with 5 kWp off-grid solar systems. In 2016, we partnered with Northlite Solar Ltd and Ecoligo GmbH to implement a pilot project to connect three Stanbic branches to solar electricity, as part of a global Renewable Energy Solutions Programme run by the German Energy Agency (dena). The Kasoa branch and Tema branch systems have a capacity of 10 kWp each, while the Dansoman branch in Accra has a capacity of 20 kWp – bringing our total installed solar capacity (branches and ATMs) to 150 kW. The three facilities will provide 30% of the electricity used by the branches and are expected to save 27 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year, and to generate significant cost savings for the bank.

The Stanbic facilities team monitors performance of the systems in real time, using a remote access performance management tool installed at the branches. Our target is to have 50% of the bank’s branches on solar energy within the next five years. We have also changed most of our office lighting systems to energy efficient LED bulbs. Together, these initiatives save 665.92 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

Stanbic Ghana aims to encourage Ghanaians to adopt solar energy solutions and is making finance solutions available to our customers to help them to do so. The bank has also urged government to make renewable energy policy more flexible and to encourage the shift toward renewable energy.

Reducing waste
We effectively manage our waste and what is sent to landfill sites, by reducing, reusing and recycling. Our waste comprises paper (which is mostly recycled) and hazardous and wet waste from our canteens and restaurants. These sources of waste are mostly sent to landfill sites where it reduces the available airspace on the landfill sites and contribute to climate change by emitting methane gases. In our efforts to reduce our waste to landfill, we have installed a composter at one of our facilities that takes our wet waste and turns it into compost. The compost is used in our gardens, which further reduces operational cost as it does not need to be bought in. The trial facility has reduced the waste generated at the facility by more than 2 400 kg per month. Due to this successful demonstration and the positive impact on the environment, we are expanding the technology to our other facilities with high wet waste quantities.

Waste production (SBG) (tonnes)

Waste production (SBG)
          2018     2017     2016  
Waste generated   tonnes     1 365     1179     na  
Waste recycled   tonnes     170     639     na  
Paper recycled   tonnes     408     371     351