In commemoration of this year’s World Earth Day, Unity Bank Plc in partnership with three non-government organisations, including the Recycling Scheme for Women and Youth Empowerment (RESWAYE), has conducted a beach cleaning exercise as part of its commitment to promoting environmental sustainability.
At least 200 members of staff, as well as over 100 members of RESWAYE, thronged the venue of the cleaning exercise – the Lagos Kids Beach Garden within the Oba Elegushi beach environs – where they picked and removed over 100,000 plastic bottles from the beach to make it safer and reduce ocean pollution.
The Bank also carried out a tree planting exercise across the country as its employees nationwide planted at least one tree each.
Speaking at the event, the Group Head, Risk Management, Unity Bank, Mr Chris Nwambu, said the World Earth Day initiatives are part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) aimed at leading major collaborative actions for climate change adaptation.
Citing recent reports on ocean pollution, he said: “Of the over 300 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in oceans yearly, an estimated eight million tons of plastic enters our oceans. There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste estimated to be in our oceans. While 70 per cent of our debris sinks into the ocean’s ecosystem, 15 per cent floats and 15 per cent lands on our beaches.”
He added that such activity as the collaboration and partnership by organizations would play a vital role in reducing the threats of ocean plastics and thereby reduce the climate risks they pose to the earth.
He reiterated that Unity Bank will continue to be very aggressive in terms of environmental protection and sustainability commitments, adding that “in line with the Bank’s agribusiness strategic focus over the past couple of years, the Bank has granted access to credit to businesses in greenhouse farming and metal recycling to the tune of N3.25 billion.
“But beyond supporting sustainability-related business, the operations of the Bank have adopted sustainable practices in the way we carry out daily activities as a matter of corporate culture. As of today, thirty-one branches of the bank are running on Hybrid Solar Solution while 70 per cent of our 416 ATMs Bank-wide are powered by hybrid solar solutions with a projection to migrate an additional 15 per cent to hybrid solar solutions before the end of 2022.
“The reduction of carbon emissions by the bank since migrating branches and ATMs locations to Hybrid Solar Energy in 2018 now totals 21,631kg of Carbon Dioxide, saved monthly,” he said.
Unity Bank has over time promoted corporate and business philosophy that encourages low paper usage and recycling and the adoption of renewable energy as part of its sustainability programme. It has increased investment in solar-powered branches and ATMs in this regard.