Nedbank’s commitment to supporting economic and social development projects in rural and peri-urban communities aimed at growing the Green Economy continues to ensure sustainable development in underserved communities.
Nedbank views the green economy as far more than environmental sustainability – it takes a holistic approach that considers several factors, including economic growth, social protection, and the preservation of the natural ecosystem.
‘Nedbank’s vision is for the green economy to be a catalyst for sustainable economic growth, especially in rural and semi-urban communities,’ says Poovi Pillay, Nedbank Executive Head of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Four pillars of the green economy
The Nedbank Foundation’s work is underpinned by key pillars: water, agriculture, waste management, and energy, that are integral to the success of growing the green economy in South Africa.
Water is an essential part of sustainable development, and as South Africa is one of the 30 driest countries in the world many of its citizens have limited access to water.
The Nedbank Foundation has two key focuses when it comes to solving South Africa’s water challenges: ensuring there is sufficient access to water, andensuring that this water is clean and safe.
Among the projects supported is the Kusini Water Champions Programme, which is a social enterprise in which water is purified and sold to communities needing clean water.
Water is an integral resource for the foundation’s second pillar, which is agriculture.
Nedbank works with partners such as AgriSA and Timbali to propel subsistence farmers into scaling their operations into successful agricultural businesses. Nedbank also supports initiatives that support food security through the development of food gardens, such as Reel Gardening.
3. Waste management
The Nedbank Foundation believes in a circular economy approach. It therefore supports existing initiatives and entities that focus on sustainable waste management and repurpose waste into resources that can be used to grow the South African economy.
An example of such an exciting initiative is Dziphathu Green Tech – they collect plastic and biomass waste and then convert it into useful and valuable materials.
This last focus area supports Nedbank’s commitment to promote climate resilience through access to clean energy sources.
‘These four focus areas are underpinned by our commitment to support underserved communities, especially in addressing the very evident societal gaps that exist,’ said Pillay.
The Nedbank Foundation will continue to support the growth of South Africa’s green economy. Across its current implementing partners, the foundation is proud to confirm that 775 jobs have been created and nearly 1 000 people have obtained key skills in 2023.
This highlights the tangible impact that the Nedbank Foundation has on improving lives in South Africa.