AFRICA – IBM, a multinational technology corporation, has launched their Sustainability Accelerator, a global pro bono social impact program that applies IBM technologies, such as hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence, and an ecosystem of experts to enhance and scale non-profit and government organisation operations.
The operations are focused on populations vulnerable to environmental threats including climate change, extreme weather, and pollution.
“We believe that the power of science, technology and innovation can help tackle environmental issues while serving vulnerable communities exposed to environmental hazards,” said Justina Nixon, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG at IBM.
“By pairing expertise and technology with the goal of improving the lives of populations most affected by environmental threats, we have the potential to make lasting, scalable impact.”
Last year, a pilot project with three inaugural participants of the Sustainability Accelerator was conducted. This included Heifer International which is working with the tech giant to help deliver sustainable agriculture solutions in Malawi.
While it contributes relatively little to global greenhouse gas emissions, Africa’s low adaptive capacity makes it more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Heifer International – which successfully finished phase 1 of the project last December – is working with IBM to develop scalable and affordable digital solutions designed to equip farmers’ cooperatives in Malawi with weather and crop yield forecasts to help increase their yields and incomes.
“Through collaborations in Malawi and Honduras, Heifer International and IBM are supporting smallholder farmers to bridge the digital divide,” said Elizabeth Magombo-Kabaghe, Innovations and New Initiatives Lead, Heifer Malawi.
“We look forward to working with IBM through the Sustainability Accelerator initiative, supporting smallholder farmers as they leverage digital tools to reach sustainable living income. Our work will increase productivity, market access and livelihoods for the farmers and rural communities who feed the world.”
Each year, IBM will define one theme for the RFP and project selection of the organisations that belong to that year’s cohort.
KCB Bank named Best Sustainable Bank
Meanwhile, KCB Bank has been named the Best Sustainable Bank in Kenya by the International Business Magazine for its efforts in driving and ensuring the adoption of sustainable and green financial initiatives.
The International Business Magazine, a Dubai-based global magazine recognized the Bank as a trailblazer in the sustainability agenda.
The award comes at a time when the World is grappling with the consequences of climate change as a result of disregarding the implications of its effects, with organizations attempting to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the goals of the United Nations’ Paris Climate Change Agreement as a means of addressing climate change concerns.
The bank has continuously assessed and disclosed its green gas emissions related to the Bank’s lending portfolio which includes setting emission targets for customers to address climate change-related risks. It aims to keep its carbon footprint within a 10% reduction trajectory as a as part of its commitment to be net zero by 2050.
KCB Bank was the first bank in the region to receive accreditation in Kenya by the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The move paves way for us to receive GCF funding for on-lending to green and climate-friendly projects in the region.
This keen focus on adopting sustainable business models has seen KCB Bank being recognized as the ‘Best Investment Bank” by the Global Finance – World’s Best Bank Awards 2022 as well as the “Most Valuable Banking Brand Kenya 2022” by Brand Finance.