On Friday, 21 May 2021, Bank Windhoek was presented with the prestigious Sustainable Development Award as the best Green Financial Institution in Namibia. Hosted by the Namibian Environmental Investment Fund in partnership with the Sustainable Development Advisory Council, the Sustainable Development Awards took place at the Safari Hotel Conference Centre in Windhoek.
In her acceptance remarks, Bank Windhoek's Managing Director, Baronice Hans, said that Namibia had seen the impact of global warming and climate change on the local environment and businesses first-hand. Hans stressed that the transition to a sustainable and green economy requires financing investments that provide environmental and social benefits. "Financial services have a unique role to play in this regard, and Bank Windhoek has made a solid commitment to being a driver of sustainable development as a responsible organisation," she said.
The Sustainable Development Awards recognises the outstanding contributions made by Namibians in the field of sustainable development. This year's theme, "Accelerating the green economy and transformation in recovery from COVID-19", the awards acknowledged companies, local authorities, civil society organisations, youth, media practitioners, and individuals that have demonstrated and promoted sustainable and responsible development.
Delivering the keynote address, the Minister of Environment, Tourism, and Forestry, Pohamba Shifeta, said, "The transition to a greener economy, based on the most efficient and sustainable use of our natural resources, offers us the opportunity to move out of this crisis towards a nation that is food, water, and energy secure. It is for this reason that accelerating the green economy transition is key to our development as a nation," he said.
Hans echoed Shifeta's sentiments and said that Bank Windhoek believes that the Sustainable Development Award creates awareness amongst the public on the link between sustainable development and favourable finance and facilitates the transition to a low-carbon and customer resilient future. “I would like to thank the organisers of this great initiative for recognising Bank Windhoek," she said. “Gratitude goes out to the great men and women that make up Bank Windhoek and the Capricorn Group and who have made this award a reality."
The Sustainable Development Awards was first held in 2015. A biannual event, the subsequent second edition of the awards took place in 2017. Despite various challenges, the third edition of the awards was delayed and only took place in May 2021.