I am delighted to present our 2018 Sustainability Report, which we are proudly publishing for the third year in a row. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I extend my appreciation to all our valued NBK stakeholders who have been involved in advancing our sustainability practices.
This year, NBK’s Sustainability Report is focused on impact, while also highlighting that our sustainability commitment and performance are aligned with various organizational, industrial, national and international sustainability frameworks.
In 2016, we identified the key social, economic, and environmental aspects and integrated them in service of creating long-term value. Then, in 2017, we developed sustainability strategy mapping to integrate our key innovative ideas into our core business strategy and operational practices. This year, in 2019, we have emphasized impact through our sustainability-related initiatives and improvements, in alignment with leading global sustainability frameworks.
NBK believes that “sustainability is everyone’s responsibility.” 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
2018 SUSTAINABILITY HIGHLIGHTS
Customer Satisfaction: Improved 3% to 96%, new record high
Electricity Consumption: Decreased 5.9%
CO2 Emissions: Decreased 6.8%
Water Consumption: Decreased 22.0%
Community Investment: Continued Commitments – This Year KWD 782,000
Training & Development: Increased 18.1% to 80,302 hours
Women in the Workforce: Maintained at 45%
Kuwaitization: Maintained at 65%
Data Leaks: 0
Paper Recycled: Increased 31.9% to 92.3 tons
Alignment With Regional & Global Sustainability Frameworks & Initiatives
In 2018, we actively aligned our ongoing sustainability work with five leading regional and global sustainability frameworks:
- Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
- United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG)
- Kuwait National Development Plan
- Kuwait Boursa Environment-Social-Governance (ESG)
- Equator Principles
The alignment of the various elements of our sustainability work with each framework is highlighted in our 2018 Sustainability Report.
Sustainability and Governance
NBK‘s corporate governance is crafted to ensure proper governance, processes, and procedures throughout the organization and to incorporate sustainability elements throughout our policies, practices and performance. We recognize our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts, and therefore governance is a cornerstone in our sustainability strategy.
In 2018, NBK began the process of chartering a Sustainability Committee to supervise the overall strategy and implementation of our Sustainability Focus Areas, including also our Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives related to sustainability practices. We developed a Draft Sustainability Committee Charter defining purpose, membership, roles and responsibilities, operating practices and focus areas.
We have also formed an executive level CSR and Community Committee. This committee designs and helps foster business practices, social contributions and initiatives that support the growth and stability of the society. The committee is chaired by our Board Chairman, but leadership is rotated to help embed social responsibility throughout our executive ranks.
NBK has long been and remains to this day highly committed to ethical practices. We have a wide range of customer, marketing, and risk management practices focused on the highest ethical standards. In addition, we provide extensive training to employees focused on Anti-Money Laundering, Fraud Risk, Anti-Corruption, and Anti-Bribery. All the elements of our governance efforts are presented in our 2018 Sustainability Report.
Sustainability and Marketplace
Customer experience is our priority. Innovation and technology in service to our customers is at the heart of what we do. In addition, given the importance of customer feedback to guide their experience, NBK has developed various platforms where customers can easily provide their feedback and trigger quick and efficient resolution mechanisms.
In 2018, our overall customer satisfaction score reached a new record of 96% (up 3% compared to 2017, and up 5% since 2016). Significant improvements in customer satisfaction were seen for Credit Cards, Loans, Jawhara Accounts, Branch Facilities, Cash Deposit machines, and Social Media – and all other surveyed areas maintained their very high scores, with no areas declining in customer satisfaction. In addition, improvement actions were identified for some products and services along with the waiting time at branches. Digitization of our services has also become increasingly important in serving our customers.
Accessibility of Service
Along with 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.
Sustainability and Workplace
NBK steadily focuses on enhancing our workplace environment, assessing our employee retention strategies, planning individual career development paths for each employee, and ensuring 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 equal opportunity/diversity-related issue is increasing the percentage of Kuwaiti nationals in our workforce. In 2018, 65% of NBK’s workforce was Kuwaiti. Also of importance to us is growing our percentage of female employees. In 2018, 45% of all NBK employees were female. Both these percentages remain the same as 2017, and looking ahead, we have plans aimed at increasing both.
Employee engagement, loyalty, motivation, willingness to put in extra effort beyond their job description all impact not only employees’ experience and the work climate for all of NBK, but customer satisfaction and business performance overall.
During 2018 NBK launched two employee-based initiatives to engage with employees: our Employee Value Proposition project (EVP), and an Employee Engagement Survey (EES). Additionally, last year NBK invested more than KWD 1.1 million in employee training, involving 14,000 employee hours. Our 2018 Sustainability Report profiles 10 significant employee events and activities that have contributed to increased employee engagement and satisfaction.
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.
Sustainability and Community
"Giving Back to Community" defines the essence of NBK and is one of our six sustainability focus areas. We strive to continue our strong legacy of maximizing our social impact and contributing actively to the local community. Our consistent track record of giving back to the community forms a powerful foundation of NBK‘s sustainability performance.
NBK has focused its objectives on improving health care quality, empowering youth, and improving the natural environment. NBK has aligned the impacts of our community engagement activities against UNSDGs and KNDP to maximize direct and indirect social and economic returns on our 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):
- 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
Our work with NBK Children’s Hospital as well as more than a dozen other vital community programs is discussed extensively in our 2018 Sustainability Report. NBK contributed KWD 782,000 this past year to our community investments, as well as KWD 3,400,000 to the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS). Overall, and for over two decades, NBK spending on giving back to the community through our social responsibility programs has exceeded KWD 180 million, including annual contributions to KFAS.
Sustainability and 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.
Our new headquarters building has been constructed with the formal goal of achieving LEED certification, 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. In 2018, we reduced our electricity consumption 5.9% per employee – and 8.5% in total electricity compared to the previous year. We decreased our water consumption 24.1% overall, and 22.0% per employee.
Greenhouse Gas Management
Our GHG management standards help us assess, monitor, and manage GHG emissions. 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 2018 Sustainability Report we measure and report 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 consumption 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
This data provides the foundation for innovative operational solutions to mitigate the CO2 intensity. The GHG monitoring system is part of NBK’s sustainability data management platform. It is designed to capture energy and transportation information calculated in accordance with the GHG protocol. This system will help NBK to follow up and improve our existing and new projects related to environmental aspects. In 2018, these efforts helped us to reduce our total GHG emissions 9.4% and our GHG emissions per employee 6.8% compared to 2017.
Contributing to Kuwait’s 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 (Build-Operate-Transfer) Projects, 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.