National Bank of Kuwait: Leading Through Sustainability

As Kuwait’s Vision 2035 national development plan calls on the country to become a financial and cultural leader in the Middle East, NBK Group Chairman Nasser Musaed Al-Sayer says the bank’s strategic sustainability initiatives put NBK at the forefront of Kuwait’s future transformation.

Naser Musaed Al-Sayer NBK
Nasser Musaed Al-Sayer, NBK Group Chairman

The largest financial institution in Kuwait, NBK started its sustainability program in 2016, in line with guidelines from the Global Reporting Initiative, an independent standards organization for reporting on sustainability. “Our goal is to serve as a model for sustainable developmentbest practices in Kuwait and the Middle East, according to national and international sustainability guidelines,” said NBK Group Chairman Nasser Musaed Al-Sayer. “Through our CSR programs, we contributed KWD 200 million (around USD 658 million) over the last 20 years to dozens of charities and community organizations, and we developed sustainability initiatives that would extend our commitment to building a thriving economy in Kuwait and position NBK as a sustainability leader.” NBK’s sustainability initiatives cover the key areas of economic development, environment, diversity, community, governance and customer service.

As the Kuwaiti government’s main financing partner in developmental and environmental projects, NBK has been a leader in sustainable development in Kuwait. NBK has financed large-scale sustainable development projects — including the Clean Fuel Project, solar energy projects, the Kabad Water Treatment Plant and the wastewater treatment project — in addition to providing financing facilities to major housing, water treatment and hospital building projects.

Demonstrating its commitment to environmental sustainability, NBK began construction of NBK Tower, itsLEED Gold Certificated new eco-friendly headquarters in Kuwait City’s Sharq financial district — one of the first buildings with such high-level certification in Kuwait and the region. The new NBK Tower, expected to be completed during 2020, is projected to achieve 34% energy savings and a 40% reduction in water consumption by 2025.

During this construction period, NBK acted on defined goals for reducing its environmental footprint. The bank achieved impressive results in environmental sustainability in 2018 including 17% increased recycling, reduced consumption of water by 22% and power by 5.9%, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 6.8% (all compared to 2017).

The bank has also made diversity part of its consumer banking strategy. As part of that initiative, NBK now has six branches that have been adapted for customers with special needs.

Demonstrating its commitment to workforce development and fostering diversity among its employee base, NBK spent KWD 1.14 million on employee training and development programs during 2018, and committed over 80,302 hours to development and training programs. Moreover, women now make up over 45% of NBK’s workforce.

Our goal is to serve as a model for sustainable developmentbest practices in Kuwait and the Middle East, according to national and international sustainability guidelines

NBK Group Chairman, Nasser Musaed Al-Sayer.

“Our employees have been enthusiastically engaged in NBK’s sustainability programs and their efforts have been crucial to our success,” says Al-Sayer.

NBK’s sustainability strategy was already underway when the Kuwait National Development Plan, known as “Vision 2035,” was launched in 2017, with the ambitious goal of transforming Kuwait into a leading financial, commercial and cultural center by 2035. “We are proud that our key environmental and social responsibility initiatives are aligned with the Vision 2035 plan and help lay a solid foundation for sustainable development in Kuwait,” said Al-Sayer.

Through its successful sustainability initiatives, NBK was recently selected to be a constituent of the FTSE Russell’sFTSE4Good Index Series. NBK is the only Kuwaiti bank to be included the FTSE4Good Index Series, widely regarded as one of the world’s leading Environment-Social-Governance (ESG) indices. “Inclusion in the FTSE4Good Index is valuable recognition of NBK Group and a testament to the success of our sustainability strategy,” said Al-Sayer.

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