Sterling Bank Plc, Africa’s most agile company, has become a participatory member of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact – the world’s largest sustainability initiative with more than 9,000 businesses and non- business participants in 135 countries.
The Global Compact is a voluntary initiative to promote sustainable development and good corporate citizenship, a set of values based on universally accepted principles, a network of companies and other stakeholders as well as a forum for learning and exchange of experiences.
The UN Global Compact Office said in a statement that as a participant, Sterling Bank has committed to set in motion changes to its business operations so that the UN Global Compact and her ten (10) principles become part of its business strategy, day-to-day operations and organisational culture. Furthermore, to incorporate the UN Global Compact and its principles in the decision-making processes of the highest-level governance body like its board of directors.
Sterling Bank is expected to advocate the UN Global Compact and her ten (10) principles via available communication channels and communicate annually with its stakeholders on efforts to implement the UN Global Compact principles and post this Communication on Progress (COP) on the UN Global Compact website.
The Bank is also expected to take actions in support of the UN goals and issues, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to communicate efforts made in achieving these goals.
Prior to being a member, Sterling Bank had already adopted some sustainability initiatives in line with the UN Global Compact principles. They include the Sustainable Banking Policy which contains elements of human rights, labour relations and denouncing child labour.
The Bank has also developed a Diversity & Equality Policy which incorporates gender equality and women empowerment.
Besides this, the Bank’s Carbon Footprint Policy highlights its commitment to protecting the environment; and it has also developed an Anti-corruption policy which explicitly emphasizes its zero tolerance for corruption.
The 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact is centered around human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
The concept of human rights acknowledges that every single human being is entitled to enjoy his or her human rights without distinction as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
The UN Global Compact’s labour principles are derived from the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
Other principles are those that relate to the environment and anti-corruption.