Corporate Governance

Special Feature Story

The Sustainable Development Goals consist of a 15-year roadmap to building a more sustainable future via 17 ambitions ranging from ending poverty to tackling climate change and building strong institutions to bring about peace and justice driven by the United Nations as part of “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda”.
The private sector must align their core business to the SDGs to achieve a sustainable future, in partnership with governments, the private sector, the civil society and citizens alike, to make sure we leave a better planet for future generations.
The first step is to choose your battles based on expertise and the main focus of operation. Bank Audi chose five SDGs to pledge upon:

These are cross-cutting SDGs that we thought we could focus on based on what we do, and actually make an impact since they are in line with our core values and relevant to our CSR strategy and its five pillars. The SDGs give us a structured approach to assess whether our transactions are socially positive or not. These identified strategic priorities ensure that Bank Audi’s goals will include opportunities to make positive contributions to the SDGs and across our value chain.

KPIs help us monitor progress towards each of the SDG’s targets. SDGs encourage collaboration, hence our role as part of the UNGC National Network Steering Committee – Lebanon, and working together.
This is a social challenge, an industry challenge that no company is capable of solving on its own.

Hence the announcement of our commitment to the selected SDGs during the workshop organised by the local chapter of the UNGC "Lebanon Collaboration for the SDGs" in November 2016, and the presentations by our panel of experts within each scope. Mrs. Naimee Louis, Human Capital Manager, stressed the importance of the Training and Development Program in which USD 3 million were invested last year, benefiting 70% of employees over 113,000 hours. Not to mention other employee development programs like the Talent Management Program and the Training Academy; Management development programs like the Corporate Academy; the Bank’s many well-being activities like team building events, sports competitions, and “Enrich” sessions; and the Pro-family sponsorship program which targets employees’ high performing children. Meanwhile, the Bank’s internal structure reflects its respect of equality, with a staff composed of 54% males and 46% females, and with a 20% female board member representation.

Furthermore, Mr. Hassan Sabbah, Head of SME, discussed the vital role of SMEs in Lebanon’s economy where 90% of enterprises are SMEs, employing 82% of the private sector workforce. It is worth mentioning that LBP 1 trillion investment in SMEs is currently being rolled out, which would potentially increase Lebanon’s GDP by 0.65%, create 4,797 new job opportunities and reduce loan dollarization by 0.9%.

Finally, Mr. Jean Traboulsi, Head of Marketing and Communications, described Bank Audi’s work on Climate Action. Our “Grow Green” initiative, which was launched in 2012 and encouraged employees to recycle different materials, allowed the Bank to save up to 8,338 trees and reduce GHG emissions by 2.1%. Bank Audi has thus proven, time and time again, that the community and the environment are considered a vital asset.

As a result, the Bank has partnered with several institutions and NGOs like the UNDP, the Ministry of the Environment, Solicar, Microsoft, and arcenciel. The Bank has also supported Earth Hour, Earth Day, signed Lebanon’s Climate Act, and launched the “My Carbon Footprint” competition. To end the presentation, Mr. Traboulsi confirmed that Bank Audi shall continue to evolve its CSR strategy to adopt more responsible solutions toward greener banking.
UNGC Workshop ‘Lebanon Collaboration for the SDGs’.