Sustainability & CSR

What sustainability means to us

Maximizing profit at any cost is not the primary goal of HNB – rather a more holistic goal of looking out for the well-being of everything the Bank’s action impacts.

We continue to mainstream targets established through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as a baseline for mapping our own initiatives to forge an example of localized sustainability in action.

Internalizing sustainability

HNB takes a holistic view to sustainability. Hence, our processes have matured through a merging of Strategic CSR and Socio-Economic responsibility with business ethos. In 2016 we introduced a comprehensive Sustainability Management Framework (SMF) integrating HNB’s performance with non-financial indicators to develop a hybridized decision making strategy.

Concurrently, HNB introduced an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) to create a formal framework for assessment of the environmental and social impacts including impacts on customers and suppliers to ensure sustainable business operations across our value chain.

The final stage in this life-cycle is in Creating Shared Value (CSV) through the collective alignment of business operations to support socio-environmental needs of society, whist ensuring shareholder value thus completing our journey from transactional to social enterprise.

Our SMF allows assessment of material business impacts based on the Accountability UK principles and the GRI Standards. Based on this data on our key performance indicators (KPIs), HNB reviews and update policies and management processes on a quarterly basis.

By prioritizing categories of risk mitigation, our sustainability initiatives are strategic and considered investments as opposed to immediate costs, the return of which will be evaluated over the long term in relation their contributions to society, the environment and the economy.

Economic development

HNB’s remarkable contributions to the Sri Lankan economy can be seen in the collective Rs. 53 billion allocated by the bank for funding of vital Government development projects, in addition to the further Rs. 14.2 billion in taxes and Rs. 221 billion invested in Government securities by HNB.

Our extensive network has been leveraged to drive financial inclusion across Sri Lanka – spanning retail and corporate banking in addition to SME and microfinance lending. Particularly in the context of HNB’s on-going pivot towards comprehensive digital banking services, our ability to include more Sri Lankans within the banking system has been radically expanded, generating even greater opportunities for Sri Lankans to gain access to our entire range of products and services at their fingertips. HNB’s vast product and service also ensures value for every customer demographic – from our renowned Singithi Savings accounts for minors to Sathkara accounts for pensioners.

Socially progressive banking

We believe that our long-term sustainability is contingent on the positive impact we have on the communities we work with. Consequently, HNB directly supports socioeconomic development by empowering communities with access to finance, financial literacy and financial inclusivity.

HNB is also committed to leveraging technology to enable innovations like HNB FIT Savings account, South Asia’s first fitness-linked savings. Through such products, HNB is working to holistically enhance the lives of customers.

In 2018, HNB supported 300,000 micro entrepreneurs and SMEs with access to finance and advisory services. All corporate and SME loans are also screened for social and environmental compliance while projects that advance development in agriculture, education, youth development, environmental sustainability, domestic value addition for export and infrastructure are considered on a priority basis.

Positive environmental contributions

HNB has steadily ramped up its mobilisation on climate change culminating in major reforestation and biodiversity projects in Kanneliya and Thundola. HNB’s personal loan scheme for installation of solar energy systems has gained significant traction with 86 loans being granted through the scheme in 2018. HNB is also at the forefront of large scale renewable energy financing. Similarly, the bank’s rooftop solar project has expanded to cover the energy requirements of 96 customer centers while Scope 1 & 2 emissions generated by the bank are tracked and reported on a quarterly basis.

Vision 2020

The continuing success of HNB is the result of a concerted effort to drive progressive policy and innovation that is focused towards the transformation of HNB’s model from an analogue transactional business to digitally empowered social enterprise as outlined in our Vision 2020. In this manner, we aim to partner the rapid development of our nation’s natural, social and economic capital.

HNB Sustainability Foundation

HNB’s Sustainability Foundation drives corporate citizenship through its strategic pillars, our branches island-wide undertake location-based CSR projects involving community and staff. The ethos of sustainability starts from the point of talent acquisition with an extensive induction programme that covers all aspects of risk, operations, credit, compliance, audit and control, which are critical from a bank’s perspective. When we post a new entrant to any one of our 250 plus customer touch points, we need to ensure that they not only have the necessary knowledge to do the job accurately, efficiently and effectively, but also live up to the ethics of the Bank, which is the foundation of sustainability. 

We have a green pledge with a focus on our carbon footprint. Our sustainability strategy pillars include education, healthcare, community, economic empowerment and the environment. Rather than merely donating or reserving money for projects, we encourage employee volunteerism. We have created the mindset that more than entitled, we are privileged; that there are lesser-privileged people out there who we could help.