Zenith Bank Plc has been rated the first Nigerian company and first African financial institution to adopt the Global Reporting Standards on sustainability of the Global Sustainability Standards Board.
A statement by the bank in Lagos on Thursday said it had received a letter of commendation on this feat from the GSSB.
The GRI standard was introduced in October 2016 by the GSSB to replace the GRI 4, which Zenith Bank first adopted in its 2015 report.
The GRI Standards enjoin all organisations to report publicly on their economic, environmental and social impacts and demonstrate their contributions – positive or negative – to goal of sustainable development.
Developed by the Global Sustainability Standards Board – an independent standard-setting body, the GRI Standards are based on years of expert input from diverse stakeholders.
The Standards are global best practice and create a common language for sustainability reporting.
According to GSSB, the Zenith Bank’s 2016 Sustainability Report with the theme: “Creating Wealth Sustainability,” is the first GRI Standard report in Nigeria and the first in Africa’s financial services industry.
It said: “Sustainability Reporting provides a good tool for measuring progress and ensuring transparency, accountability and good corporate governance.
“This is why it has become a key performance indicator, especially among leading brands.
“We are pleased to see that you have prepared it in accordance with the GRI Standards.
“It is one of the first standards report from Nigeria, so a big congratulations on this accomplishment.
“We are very excited to see all of the positive changes you have made since last year and your continued commitment to the goal of sustainable development.”
Zenith Bank said its 2016 Sustainability Report disclosed its economic, environmental and social performance during its financial year 2016.
The bank said it was its second standalone Sustainability Report coming after the first report was published in August 2016 and which covered the period January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015.
It said: “While our 2015 Sustainability Report was written in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative G4 disclosure documents, the 2016 report is prepared in accordance with the new GRI Standards unveiled in October 2016 by the Global Sustainability Standards Board.
“The General Disclosure and Management Approach guidelines for the different indicators are followed in the report.
“It includes a Sustainability Materiality Matrix covering all issues and indicators that were material to us during the review period.
“The boundaries for the different identified impacts are clearly indicated.”