Towards A More Comprehensive View of sustainability
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to our valued employees, customers, and shareholders for their invaluable contribution toward National Bank of Kuwait’s (NBK) 2017 Sustainability Report.
The report is a reflection of our work culture that is now walking down the path of sustainable growth across all operations. In 2016, we identified the key social, economic, and environmental aspects and integrated them in service of creating long-term value. Taking a monumental leap forward, this year we developed sustainability strategy mapping to integrate our key innovative ideas into our core business strategy and operational practices.
NBK believes that “Sustainability is everyone’s responsibility,” and we are committed to becoming a leading advocate of and a national exemplar in sustainability practices.
Nasser Musaed Al-Sayer
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Chairman of the Bank and the Community Committee
Evolution of NBK Sustainability-Related Reporting and Disclosure
NBK’s governance practices and financial performance have been covered in NBK’s Annual Reports since our incorporation 65 years ago. Since 2008, NBK has also published an annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report. In the past, these CSR reports focused primarily on our community giving initiatives in Kuwait, while also highlighting our key environmental programs. We now release this 2016 NBK Sustainability Report as a new approach to our reporting of a wider range of sustainability-related impacts, issues and opportunities of interest to our stakeholders.
Our Stakeholders and Material Issues
NBK’s key stakeholders include employees, customers, investors, communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), industry and sector bodies, suppliers, regulators and governments. In defining the material issues of concern for NBK, we benchmarked sustainability leaders and competitors in our region, examined leading sustainability indices and raters globally and in the MENA region, and reviewed the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Financial Sector guidelines.
NBK is Now Taking a New Approach to Sustainability
Our stakeholders increasingly expect banking and financial services firms to integrate environmental, social and economic sustainability considerations into risk management and investment choices, product and service offerings, management of resource consumption and emissions, human resource development, safety and wellbeing, community engagement, governance policies and practices and ESG disclosure and reporting. NBK is committed to proactively evolving our sustainability policies and practices, more thoroughly reporting on our impact and management policies and practices, better communicating what we are already doing, and vigorously meeting these changing conditions and more rigorous expectations.
Customer experience is our priority. Given the importance of customer feedback to enhance that experience, NBK has developed various platforms where customers can easily provide their feedback and trigger an operative and efficient redressal mechanism.
In 2017, our overall customer satisfaction score reached a new record of 93% (+2% VS 2016). Significant improvements were seen for E-channels, Loans, and Complaints and Staff maintained very high scores. In addition improvement actions were identified for some products and services along with the waiting time at branches.
ACCESSIBILITY OF SERVICE
More than the availability of service, accessibility of service is important. A service that is not known or is not accessible to customers is simply of no use. At NBK, we have various channels through which our customers can easily access our products and services without any hassle. These channels are available to all of our customers, particularly those with special needs.
Leading in Business and Governance
NBK gives priority to innovation and technology. We have revamped our digital channels, from websites to mobile banking applications. Automation has touched all the majority of the Group. On the governance side, NBK has improved the corporate governance and compliance culture across all of our entities. We constantly review and enhance our corporate governance framework to ensure that it is in line with international and local best practices.
NBK directly impacts our stakeholders in terms of economy through our positive and stable contribution. In 2017, NBK’s direct economic impact exceeded 330 Million KWD.
Caring For Our Environment
NBK has taken practical and cost-effective actions to address environmental concerns. NBK promotes judicious use of the available energy, efficient use of water, proper waste treatment and disposal, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions management as part of viable and workable sustainability practices.
NBK continues to work toward our commitment to achieve a sustainable building certification (LEED), as projected in our 2016 sustainability report. In the present report, we emphasize our leaders ‘commitment to strive to make the plan successful at our new headquarters. The headquarters building has been constructed keeping in mind all the positive environmental criteria that will contribute to reducing the harmful impacts of the traditional construction and building methods.
ENERGY AND WATER MANAGEMENT
NBK recognizes the importance of water as a fundamental resource. As a global company, we understand that access to adequate supplies of water is essential for the communities in which we operate. NBK is also committed to conserving energy as much as possible. Therefore, we manage both energy and water consumption responsibly across our branches by implementing numerous energy conservation measures and by using the lowest possible volume of fresh water in our operations and by reusing water where conditions permit.
GREENHOUSE GAS MANAGEMENT
Our GHG management standards help us assess, monitor, and manage GHG emissions and their associated operations and business activities. We maintain an annual inventory report of our GHG emissions and utilize innovative technologies to improve and manage our approach and commitment among NBK’s premises: Headquarter 1 & 2, Al Raya Tower, and our branches. NBK‘s use of automobile transportation is an additional and minor indirect source of GHG emissions. As a part of our 2017 Sustainability report we are committed to measuring our direct environmental impact following the GHG protocol that includes three main scopes of emissions:
- Scope I (Direct GHG): Emissions from sources owned and controlled by National Bank of Kuwait
- Scope II (Indirect GHG): Emissions from the consumptions of purchased electricity and other sources of energy
- Scope III (Indirect GHG): Emissions that are not directly owned and controlled by National Bank of Kuwait
By doing so, NBK has found an innovative operational solution to mitigate the CO2 intensity for our employees. Moreover, NBK has taken an advanced step by implementing a GHG monitoring system as part of the sustainability data management platform that will capture all the energy, water, and transportation related information calculated in accordance with the GHG protocol. This step will help NBK to follow up and improve our existing and new projects that are related to environmental aspects.
Giving Back To The Community
“Giving Back to Community” is a quintessential definition for NBK. NBK has focused its objectives on improving health care quality, empowering youth, and improving the natural environment. NBK has aligned the impacts of its community engagement activities against UNSDGs and KNDP to maximize direct and indirect social and economic returns on its community investment.
NBK made an impact on the community based on three main themes of New Kuwait and Kuwait National Development Plan (KNDP): health care, human capital, and living environment, as well as several United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) listed below:
- UNSDG1- No Poverty
- UNSDG2- No Hunger
- UNSDG3- Good Health & Well Being
- UNSDG4- Quality Education
- UNSDG5- Gender Equality
- UNSDG6- Clean Water and Sanitation
- UNSDG7- Affordable and Clean Energy
Overall, and for over two decades, NBK spending on giving back to the community through its social responsibility programs exceeded KWD 180 million, including annual contribution to the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancements of Sciences (KFAS).
Respecting and Developing People
NBK constantly focus on enhancing our workplace environment, assess our employee retention strategies every year, plan individual career development paths for each employee, and ensure a safe work environment for them. Nationalization, diversity, talent management, and succession planning are NBK’s core strategy to constantly improve the quality of our workplace.
NBK is committed to embracing diversity and equal opportunity in our workplace. For us, unlike most organizations, the most material diversity-related issue is increasing the percentage of Kuwaiti nationals in our workforce. In 2017, 65% of NBK’s workforce was Kuwaiti. 45% was female. NBK has programs aimed at increasing these percentages.
Employee engagement, loyalty, motivation, willingness to put in extra effort beyond their job description – all of these impact not only employees’ experience and the work climate for all of NBK, but customer satisfaction and business performance overall.
Recognizing this business rationale for supporting employees and creating a positive work environment led NBK to launch the ‘I AM NBK’ program in April 2012 in the Consumer Banking Group, and then organization-wide in June 2014. Our I AM NBK program focuses on engaging every employee in living our values and collaborating in serving customers.
Labor Rights and Human Rights
In both internal operations and for the projects in which we invest, NBK adheres to regulations on human rights, such as indigenous rights and impacts on indigenous peoples and communities, protection of human health, protection of cultural properties, occupational health and safety, rights around involuntary resettlement, stakeholder engagement and participation. We are compliant with all laws regarding child and forced labor, freedom of association, collective bargaining, and non-discrimination.
Contributing to Sustainable Economic Development
Working closely with the Kuwait National Development Plan (KNDP), NBK supports the Kuwait National Vision 2035 and aligns our financial goals with their sustainable goals. Advancing the community, strengthening innovation, using green technology and products, building capacities, adopting positive environmental practices, and improving energy efficiency are the pillars of NBK’s strategy.
NBK's objective is to support the economic growth of Kuwait. Toward this end, the NBK Group is financing the Kuwait government‘s infrastructure development projects as part of the KNDP. NBK has also financed Public–Private Partnership (PPP) projects such as AZ Zour North IWPP and supported bidders for Kabd Municipal Solid Waste Project and BOT rojects, for example, the expansion of the Sulaibiya Wastewater Treatment Plant. Thus, NBK is increasingly playing a primary role as the Kuwaiti government‘s financial partner in major sustainability related projects. Some of the other projects already underway include the clean fuel refinery upgrades, solar energy projects, a waste-to-energy incinerator, housing provision, seawater desalination plants, and hospital construction.
NBK SUSTAINABILITY AT A GLANCE – 2017
- 7 MILLION KWD COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTION TO STEM CELL THERAPY UNIT
- 115.8 TONS OF PAPER RECYCLED ANNUALLY
- 0 INJURIES IN WORKPLACE
- 65% NATIONALIZATION
- 6 BRANCHES EQUIPPED FOR SPECIAL NEEDS
- 92% CONTRIBUTION TO LOCAL SUPPLIERS
- 93% CUSTOMER SATISFACTION RATING
- 45% FEMALES IN THE WORKPLACE
- 13,298 PARTICIPANTS IN NBK WALKATHON
- 68,000 HOURS OF EMPLOYEE TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
- 33% LESS MATERIAL CONSUMPTION THROUGH DIGITIZATION
- 13 UNITED NATION SDGS MAPPED TO SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY