First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) developed its sustainability framework in 2017 under four pillars: sustainable banking, being a responsible employer, having a positive social impact and excellence in governance, integrity and risk management.
These pillars have helped guide the bank, leading it to a series of firsts over the last 12 months that make it Euromoney’s best bank in the Middle East for corporate responsibility. Belinda Scott is FAB's head of corporate sustainability.
Leading on reporting and its sustainable banking commitment, the bank became the first financial institution in the Mena region to announce the implementation of the recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
FAB also participates in the CDP (previously known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) and has been the highest-scoring bank in the GCC for three years in a row.
Internally, the bank has made a concerted effort to reduce paper, plastic and electricity consumption and has eliminated all plastic bottles from its offices and replaced them with reusable glass bottles. It has a commitment to eliminating all single-use plastics this year.
In financial inclusion, FAB launched a pilot financial literacy programme for Youth of Determination in October of last year. The bank collaborated with the Sedra foundation, and FAB volunteers were trained to engage with young people to help them develop financial competency.
Its Ratibi programme – prepaid payroll cards for lower-wage workers – continued to help those who have difficulty accessing banking services. The number of cards reached 1.76 million by the end of last year.
FAB volunteers helped pack and distribute more than 5,000 care packages to labour camps across the UAE for Ramadan.
With regards to inclusion, in addition to focusing on what it calls “people of determination” internally and externally – such as supporting the Special Olympic World Games 2019 as an official partner – the bank has been making strides in the region when it comes to gender balance.
It has committed to equal pay for equal work, providing flexible work arrangements and actively promoting more women to management roles as part of the Accelerating Women in Leadership programme for female Emirati leaders in middle-management roles.