Equity Bank Kenya has secured the top position in the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Climate Assessment for Financial Institutions (CAFI) Awards for Climate Reporting in 2023. The bank emerged as a global leader, surpassing 258 participating financial institutions worldwide in climate-related financing transactions.

Equity Bank’s impressive feat, under the stewardship of Managing Director and CEO Dr James Mwangi, showcases a genuine dedication to combating climate change. The institution reported the highest number of transactions, a testament to its pivotal role in fostering climate-related projects globally.

The Climate Assessment for Financial Institutions (CAFI) is a valuable tool crafted by the IFC, enabling institutions across 210 countries to transparently report their financing activities for climate-related projects. Equity Bank’s proactive engagement in this initiative highlights its commitment to environmental sustainability.

Equity Bank Kenya’s impact has reached far and wide, supporting 47,593 households and businesses in adopting adaptive and mitigating solutions to address the adverse effects of climate change. From providing climate loan facilities for energy-efficient cookstoves to financing renewable energy distribution from hydro, geothermal, and wind sources, the bank has been a catalyst for positive change.

A noteworthy achievement is the reduction of 39,917.4 tons of CO2eq annually, a result of the bank’s diverse efforts. As of October 2023, Equity Bank had disbursed Ksh.24.7 billion, with 66% allocated to climate adaptation and water efficiency, 28% to energy efficiency and transport, and 6% to renewable energy.

Dr Mwangi, expressing his satisfaction, emphasized Equity’s role in supporting Kenya’s commitment to combat climate change. He affirmed, “Equity is committed to playing a significant role in climate change mitigation and adaptation by providing appropriate financing and capacity development.”

The partnership between Equity Bank and the IFC, initiated in 2019 with a $100 million facility, underscores the bank’s dedication to climate finance. As of June 2023, IFC had committed $15.2 billion to climate-related projects through over 210 emerging market financial institution partners, leveraging an additional $5.8 billion.

Tomasz Telma, Global Director, Financial Institution Group, IFC, acknowledged the critical role of CAFI in aligning financial flows with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The tool fosters accountability and progress in directing investments toward climate-related endeavors.

Equity Group’s commitment extends beyond financing, encapsulating its efforts to reduce its environmental footprint. Driven by a twin-engine business model that intertwines community well-being with business success, the group invests in key pillars such as energy and environment projects, food and agriculture, health, education, leadership, enterprise development, financial inclusion, and social protection.

Through its social impact investment arm, Equity Group Foundation (EGF), the bank has facilitated tree planting initiatives, distributed clean energy products, and engaged in climate-smart agriculture, reaching millions of farmers. This multifaceted approach aligns with Equity’s vision of managing climate change through people, climate, and nature.

Equity Group’s pivotal role in the Africa Rural Climate Adaptation Finance Mechanism (ARCAFIM) demonstrates its commitment to being a catalyst for systemic change in climate change adaptation financing. The bank, along with its subsidiaries in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, is set to contribute US$90 million to this innovative initiative, aiming to alleviate poverty and hunger in Eastern Africa.