Organisations have been urged to migrate to cleaner energy sources for their operations because of the capacity to reduce the impact of emissions on the environment.
This assertion was made by Basil Omiyi, Chairman, Stanbic IBTC PLC, recently. Acknowledging that the economy and society are wholly owned subsidiaries of the environment, he stated that the use of green energy will help keep the environment stable to support economic and social activities.
He noted that for development in Nigeria to be sustainable, there must be a balance that guarantees that the environment and society are not negatively affected by economic activities now and in the future.
“Green energy is devoid of carbon emissions (unlike fossil fuel energy sources which harm the environment) and is one of the major contributors to climate change. Corporates can shift to cleaner energy sources for their operations. Financial institutions can help advance this shift by facilitating funding (in line with their risk appetites) which will be necessary to achieve growth in the green energy space”, he said.
The Stanbic IBTC Chairman also revealed that his organisation was committed to creating a greener environment across its operational locations.
He said: “At Stanbic IBTC, building environmental resilience is one of our four sustainability pillars. This pillar demonstrates our focus on environmental footprint management.”
In this regard, the Stanbic IBTC has continued to implement and expand on programmes to reduce its carbon emissions. Some of the ways include reduction of energy consumption in office locations using energy-efficient fittings; adoption of cleaner energy sources across the office locations, as well as the Go-Green programmes across some branch locations to reduce energy and paper consumption and improve water efficiency.
The organisation has also adopted tree planting programmes to help with carbon sequestration. Already, over 300 trees have been planted across the country and the number will grow significantly in the near future.
He added that most developing economies do not possess the capacity to implement green energy due to the technical and financial requirements while, conversely, the developed world is responsible for the bulk of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.
Basil stated further: “As you saw at COP26 (Conference of Parties 26), the world is attempting to obtain the commitment of Nation States to the Net-zero emission world. The developed world, which is disproportionally responsible, on both gross and per capita basis for the bulk of carbon emission into the atmosphere, is unwilling to drastically cut their energy consumption, as they wish to maintain the standard of living of their people. Therefore, there is a need for a just energy transition strategy that is fair to all and affordable to all.”
“Knowing the urgency in halting climate change, Stanbic IBTC is working with vendors and customers to provide solutions that can help address climate change issues. This is reflected in one of our seven focus SEE Impact Areas – Climate Change and Sustainable Finance – where the Group seeks to provide financial solutions to support climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. We also continue to advance awareness around climate change amongst the general public; leveraging our social media platforms and webinars, for instance, the recently concluded Net Zero Webinar. Similarly, our parent company, the Standard Bank Group hosted a Climate Summit in partnership with University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. We continue to take awareness communication initiatives by sharing practical tips that people can adopt to help address climate change,” he said.
Basil was appointed as the Chairman of the Stanbic IBTC Holdings Board with effect from 15 May 2017. He spent most of his career at Royal Dutch Shell in various roles both in Nigeria and Europe, including Head of Production Technology, Chief Petroleum Engineer, Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd, and ultimately country Chairman of Shell Nigeria.
He is currently an Independent Non-Executive Director on the Board of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc. He has also held a number of Board memberships and senior advisory positions including; Chairman of Greenacres Energy Limited, Chairman of the Nigerian Upstream Industry Group, Board member of the Nigerian Business Group of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and Nigerian Extractive Industry.