First Bank of Nigeria Ltd (FirstBank) has announced the commencement of its annual corporate responsibility and sustainability week.
For the past seven years, the bank’s employees and customers have been participating in global annual volunteer (Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness) SPARK initiative, to give back to and foster positive change within the communities where they live and work. This has seen an impact of over 200,000 lives across eight countries, over 103 charities supported as well as over 121,015 volunteer hours achieved.
The activities of the 2023 edition, which is scheduled for October 23 to 28, 2023, include tree planting, women empowerment, SPARK schools engagement, orphanage homes, the less privileged engagement, and Kind Comments Day.
In partnership with Nigeria Conservation Foundation, FirstBank employees and partners will begin planting 50,000 trees over a three-year period from 2023. Tree planting is one of FirstBank’s initiatives to reduce its carbon footprints and promote environmental sustainability as part of its overarching sustainability and ESG (environment, social and governance) strategy and in alignment with the Nigeria Conservation Foundation’s Forest Programme – Green Recovery Nigeria (GRN) which is designed to help increase Nigeria forest cover from its current state of about 4-7% to 25% by 2047.
Additionally, in line with FirstBank’s commitment to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG) of women empowerment, the bank will support cancer foundations focused on women and skills acquisition for women on October 25 and 26, 2023. As a member of UN Women, FirstBank employs the relevant women empowerment tools to empower women internally and externally as well as partner with International Women Society to drive skills acquisition.
The Kind Comments Day is an advocacy campaign encouraging staff, customers, and other stakeholders to say kind things about one another. It focuses on inspiring and encouraging people to be deliberate about the use of kind words in relation to others.
On October 27, 2023, the bank’s staff will visit schools for the SPARK school engagement. This activity is aimed at engaging school students through the bank’s employees on financial literacy and inculcating and equipping young people with entrepreneurship skillset and mindset to inspire self-belief despite the increasingly daunting economic challenges while preparing them for the future of work.
Rounding off the 2023 CR&S Week will be visits to orphanage homes, the less privileged engagement which will hold on October 28, 2023. Orphanages, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), will be visited in six geo-political zones in Nigeria as well as other SSA markets.
“At FirstBank, we are committed to promoting the culture of kindness as it continues to engender positive relationships with our host communities. By making kindness a way of life, we build stronger communities, foster empathy, and create a positive ripple effect that extends far beyond this week, said Folake Ani-Mumuney, the group head of marketing and corporate communications at FirstBank.
“It’s great to see our volunteers demonstrate their continued commitment to positively impact our communities. In the spirit of kindness, I encourage everyone to join us in celebrating the FirstBank Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability week as we make kindness a part of our daily lives, interacting with one another in impactfully memorable ways,” she concluded.
FirstBank has continued to receive awards and recognition for its consistent positive impact and performance from reputable companies globally. Among these awards and accolades are the Most Socially Responsible Bank (2018) (International Finance Banking Awards); CSR Bank of the Year (2020) Business Day Banking & Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards; Market Leader Nigeria (CSR) Euromoney Market Leaders 2022; Best CSR Bank Nigeria (2021) (Global Banking and Finance magazine); Excellence in Women Economic Empowerment (2019) (Central Bank of Nigeria); Market Leader Nigeria (ESG) Euromoney Market Leaders 2022.