Heritage Bank Plc says it is promoting the implementation of the Central Bank of Nigeria initiative on Nigeria Sustainable Banking Principle to deliver positive development effects to society and business.
In a statement, it said it would also continue to protect the customers, communities and environs where it operated.
The bank said it partnered the promoter of the Redball initiative with the theme, “Going Green,” to canvass for tree planting in order to contain environmental pollution and promote the sustainable development of the nation.
While speaking at the event in Port Harcourt, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Ifie Sekibo, said that the bank was at the forefront of implementing the NSBP, and was carrying out banking operational and business activities, with conscious consideration for the environmental and social impacts of those activities.
Sekibo, who was represented by the Directorate Head, South South and South East, Osepiribo Ben-Willie, said trees played a key role in neighbourhood landscapes, a belief that had been widely held for millennia in areas beyond sub-Saharan Africa.
He warned against cutting of trees or plants and burning of vegetation.
Sekibo said people consistently cut down trees to make boats, plywood and all kind of things for comfort and did not think about replenishing them.
He remarked that they were actually exhaustive, they were not inelastic and there was need to take deliberate steps to replenish them.
The Heritage Bank boss said, “We seemed to forget that our lives as Nigerians/Africans started with the land. If we don’t take care of the land, the land will take care of us, the land does not need us, and we need the land to take care of us. Afforestation is one of the ways to take care of the land and we need to talk about carbon credit because we need to find a way to make money.”
Sekibo disclosed that Heritage Bank had been championing the implementation of sustainable banking both in its internal daily operations (in terms of how it managed its physical branches/locations, human capital, costs, opportunities, risks exposures) and its activities relating to external interactions with its clients and the types of projects they fund.
The Convener of Redball and Editor-in-Chief/Chief Operating Officer of Eve-Afrique magazine, Mrs Ivy Davies Etokakpan, commended Heritage Bank for its relentless support to sustainable and greener environment and, to the growth of Rivers State.