The Development Bank Ghana (DBG) has signed onto the United Nations Global Compact Initiative, becoming the first Ghanaian financial institution to achieve the feat.
The move is part of the Bank’s efforts to protect human rights, labour, and the environment and anti-corruption principles through its business practices.
The United Nations Global Compact is a United Nations pact, which enjoins its signatories, mostly businesses and firms worldwide, to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on their implementation.
The compact has ten principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Chief Executive Officer of DBG, Kwamina Duker, said the bank’s membership in the UN Global Compact was a huge demonstration to partner institutions, which had made investments that the bank would play by the rules.
“Signing onto the UN Global Compact is a public message both locally and internationally about the kind of bank we want to be, the standards we want to adhere to and the governance that underlines everything that we do.”
He said the compact provided DBG with a universal language for corporate responsibility and a framework to guide all businesses regardless of size, complexity or location.
Mr Duker stressed that DBG supported public accountability and transparency and was committed to reporting on the progress of the UN Global Compact, in its annual Communication on Progress as demanded of the signatories of the compact.
“DBG is pleased to join the many organisations all over the world who are signatories to the UN Global Compact and who believe as we do, that ethical business conduct is an important component that enables companies to foster sustainable development,” he said.
Mr Duker indicated that the tenets of the UN Global Compact were strategies DBG currently employed in its business operations.
“The UN Global Compact also positions DBG to effectively assess, define, implement, measure and communicate the bank’s sustainability strategy goals, ” Mr Duker stated.
He said the key pillars of DBG’s mission were to foster strong partnerships to finance economic growth, create jobs and build the capacity of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) towards achieving sustainable growth.
“So, in joining the UN Global Compact, DBG looks to strengthen it’s ability to serve as a catalyst for responsible business practices,” Mr Duker, stressed.
Mr Duker said all the partner participating institutions, supplies and clients were enjoined to uphold the UN Global Compact.
Deputy CEO of DBG, Michael Mensah-Baah, said the signing of was the bank’s long-term commitment to sustainable business practices.
He said the bank would adhere to the tenets of the compact in its quest to provide long-term finance for SMEs.
The Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network- Ghana, Tolu Delacroix, said it was important for businesses to uphold sustainable business practices in their operations and lauded DBG for singing to the compact.
Mr Delacroix said DBG was the first financial institution in the country to sign onto the UN Global Compact.
Mr Delacroix indicated that the signing of the compact would help boost the image of DBG to attract more funding.
According to him, companies that had signed onto the compact had been able to increase their profit margins by 13 per cent.
Mr DelaCroix said the UN Global Compact was the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative with 13,000 corporate participants with the objective to mainstream the ten business sustainability principles in business activities all over the world.
DBG is Ghana’s new development institution to facilitate and provide long-term credit for SMEs to drive their economic growth and transformation.
The bank has received funding from the World Bank, European Investment Bank, KfW and the African Development Bank.