SA Banks embracing Sustainability Development and Going Green

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Standard Bank to takes up residence in its news green building in Rosebank which has received a five-star rating for “green” design from the Green Building Council of SA. Standard Bank to takes up residence in its news green building in Rosebank which has received a five-star rating for “green” design from the Green Building Council of SA.

South African Banks have started to incorporate the concept of sustainability building into their business and are working with communities in the push towards going green.

In emerging markets, banks have started to move away from mere corporate philanthropy and simple community projects. An increasing number of financial institutions are now marching to the beat of sustainability and are embracing sustainability financing.

Sustainable finance can be defined as the provision of financial capital and risk management products and services in ways that promote or do not harm economic prosperity, the ecology and community well-being.

Nedbank has been particularly instrumental in the green advocacy movement in the banking sector.

Standard Bank staff are getting ready to move into their new Rosebank, Johannesburg, offices — which have received a five-star rating for “green” design from the Green Building Council of SA.

The building, reminiscent of a massive fish tank, stands atop a ridge and is bordered by Baker Street, Bolton and Oxford Roads, and Cradock Avenue.

It will bring 5000 new workers to the commercial suburb and is only a longish cricket-hit from the Rosebank Gautrain station.

Staff will move in before the end of the month, said Karin Ireton, Standard Bank head of sustainability management, yesterday.

Though it won five stars for green design, maintaining the R2-billion building in a green way will not be easy.

“We are confident it will achieve at least a four-star [green] rating once complete,” Ireton said.

In September, Absa moved into a new building in the Johannesburg CBD that it said had the first “five star as-built” green building rating by the Green Building Council.

According to the council, a green building is energy- and resource- efficient, environmentally responsible and incorporates design, construction and operating practices that reduce or eliminate adverse effects on the environment and its occupants.

Absa Towers West contains an “energy centre which uses natural gas [generators] to provide electricity for the building,” Absa said.

“Absa employees do not see, hear or smell the energy centre, which operates between 7am and 8pm weekdays with a high level of sound attenuation to prevent disturbance to the surrounding areas.”

Before Absa’s coup, the second phase of Nedbank’s headquarters in Sandton won a four-star design rating. It was the first office building in the country to be rated according to the council’s green star system.

Nedbank moved into the offices three years ago.

First National Bank, and its vehicle financing unit Wesbank, moved about six years ago into a sprawling complex in Fairland, near the N1 and Beyers Naude Drive.

The building’s sun screens were punted as an energy saver at the time.

Read more on:

Green Buildings in South Africa  |  Green Building Council of South Africa (Gbcsa)  |  Nedbank CIB Property Finance  |  Absa  |  First National Bank (FNB)  |  Standard Bank  |  Nedbank