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Thursday, 12 November 2015 08:57

Every person has a role to play in preserving the planet

The current droughts and peculiar weather patterns experienced in various parts of South Africa are an urgent call to all stakeholders to take appropriate action towards combating the impacts of climate change. This, and other urgent environmental realities, is what Nedbank and WWF-South Africa responded to when the WWF Nedbank Green Trust was founded 25 years ago.

The Trust is funded through the Nedbank Green Affinity programme, and since inception, has contributed in excess of R 211 million to over 200 conservation projects. The Trust takes a community-based approach to fund projects in marine, freshwater, land stewardship, species, climate change, environmental leadership development and community engagement.

Chief Executive of Nedbank Group, Mike Brown, says “One of our deep green aspiration is to be highly involved in our communities and the environment. This aspiration has helped inform our approach to sustainability by way of integrating the social, economic, cultural and environmental imperatives. Not only have we as a bank entrenched these four pillars of sustainability into our own operations, we have committed ourselves to using our leadership position to place sustainability at the centre of modern-day South African consciousness.”

The Trust’s Programmes and projects aim to protect wild places, achieving environmental sustainability and ensuring the long-term integrity of species and people that inhabit natural systems.

According to Augustine Morkel, Executive Manager of Operations at WWF-South Africa and Manager of the WWF Nedbank Green Trust, “From the early days of conserving the Kalahari lions and sea turtles to pioneering research in climate change, water conservation and environmental leadership, the WWF Nedbank Green Trust has been  forging the way. The Green Trust recognised that the survival of our planet depends on the coming together of governments, businesses, organisations and civil society and we are proud to have played a

role in bringing people and nature together, and in harmony for 25 years. In 2012, WWF revised its strategy to be more proactive in how it works in South Africa and the new strategy was focused on delivering impact at the scale of the problem. The WWF Nedbank Green Trust was already well positioned to respond to this new ambition that WWF and its partners have set out to achieve.”

As the world prepares for the Congress of Parties (COP21) in Paris, climate change will once again be in the spotlight, and it requires courageous leadership and our ability to consider the whole rather than narrow pursuit of self-interest to gear us towards realizing a sustainable future. Nedbank Fair Share 2030 is the bank’s strategic response to this challenge, which will see the organization lending differently to address society’s unmet needs.