NEDBANK’S GREEN PAPER JOURNEY
Millions of pieces of paper were once produced by banks worldwide every month. Each and every document was paper based and it had to be physically filed and stored.
This has significantly changed with the advance of the electronic age and the birth of the green age. Today, Nedbank is proving how millions of pieces of paper and millions of rand can be saved through environmentally friendly ‘paperless’ banking.
WWF has launched a voluntary tool for paper companies to report on their global ecological footprint. The Mondi Group from South Africa is amongst the first five international fine paper manufacturers to voluntarily disclose its environmental profile, reporting on criteria such as energy use, carbon emissions, forest and fibre management practices and water pollution. Photo courtesy of Mondi.
Where paper still needs to be used, Nedbank is leading the way by using the most environmentally sustainable paper available, combined with paper recycling and footprint-conscious printing practices.
THINKING LEAN ON PAPER PRODUCTION
“Our paper reduction target at Nedbank is driven by the principle of ‘thinking lean on paper production’, says Nedbank’s Chief Procurement Officer, Howard Stephens
Over the past couple of years, Nedbank has significantly reduced its paper use and beat its 10% reduction target for paper by 2010.
Paper is one of the key targets Nedbank has set for itself in order to reduce its carbon footprint and achieve carbon neutrality this year. Other targets include reductions in the group’s energy and water consumption, as well as business travel. The aim of these targets is to address Nedbank’s direct impact on the environment.
The starting point of its ‘green paper’ drive is the type of paper being used.
Mondi’s Rotatrim recently received worldwide accreditation as the Number One paper in the world for environmental sustainability.
THE MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PAPER
“We did a survey with our conservation partner WWF to determine which is the most environmentally friendly paper available,” explains Stephens. “We were using increasing amounts of recycled paper in the group and we needed to make sure we were on track.
“The survey revealed that the recycled paper we were using was in fact about 10% more environmentally damaging than your everyday piece of paper, because of its production process.”
The paper that came out tops for environmental sustainability is Mondi’s Rotatrim. To its credit it recently received worldwide accreditation as the Number One paper in the world for environmental sustainability.
REVIEW THE GREENING PROCESS
“It’s a solid reminder that the greening process like any other process requires constantly reviewing to make sure you are doing the right thing,” says Stephens whose team has a list of nine environmental questions that all vendors must answer in order to be considered as a supplier to Nedbank.
“Where suppliers fall short, wittingly or unwittingly, we work with them to change for the better, which is what we did with Sappi when the survey revealed that its Typek Green 50% recycled paper was less environmentally friendly than Rotatrim. Sappi immediately set about addressing this issue.”
GREEN BUSINESS CARDS
Nedbank recently started printing its business cards on ‘Cyclus Offset’ – made from 100% recycled paper. It’s an exceptional recycled paper produced in Germany and made from wood chips with a low carbon footprint and significantly reduced carbon emissions.
Cyclus Offset offers an 80% saving in energy consumption in its production process compared to non-recycled paper.
Because the volumes are not big for business cards, the transport issue for the paper is not an inhibiting factor.
ELECTRONIC PACKS AND PAPER RECYCLING
Towards reducing its paper consumption, Nedbank has a policy of using electronic packs for meetings and recycling all waste paper.
“When it is necessary to print, we print on both sides,” Stephens continues.
“We have environmental champions and managers in all our clusters and divisions who are constantly challenging our 28 000 staff members to use less paper and only print when absolutely necessary. Reducing the printing output not only means we use less paper, it also means we use less toner and less printing ink – both of which are chemical pollutants. We also encourage our staff to print at a lower resolution – which uses less ink and toner. And we recycle cartridges wherever possible.”
Nedbank has looked into using more natural inks – such as plant-based inks – but while they are good for specialized printing, as yet they are not effective for bulk printing.
To encourage clients to join its cleaner, greener paperless world, in 2009, Nedbank introduced electronic or e-statements as wells as its completely paperless, highly affordable Savvy account, which ranks amongst the most economical monthly transaction available in South Africa.
“Our ‘e-statement’ drive is in keeping with our journey towards greater efficiency combined with environmental sustainability – summed up by our ‘No waiting. No wasting’ motto,” says Maseda Ratshikuni, Head of Cause Marketing & Affinities at Nedbank.
From 2009 Nedbank started donating 25c to its climate change initiatives and The Green Trust for every e-statement issued.
“We encourage all our clients to shrink their- and Nedbank’s carbon footprint, and we help them to participate in the battle against climate change wherever we can,” adds Ratshikuni.
DIALOGUE/STRIATA: PAPERLESS SOFTWARE SOLUTION
Mountains of paper have traditionally been used to print clients’ statements. Nedbank’s introduction of Dialogue/Striata does away with this. “It’s a piece of software that allows us to ‘parcel’ all the different statements that would traditionally be printed for a client into one electronic download which is then emailed or faxed to the client in an encrypted form for enhanced security,” explains Sothemba Tshuma, COE Enterprise Technology at Nedbank. “This significantly reduces the amount of paper being used while contributing to our green journey.”
SIYAKHA – THE WAY FORWARD
Siyakha, meaning ‘we are building’, is one of Nedbank’s most exciting and strategic projects, aimed at harnessing technology to vastly improve the client’s banking experience while significantly reducing the paper trail.
The project is currently being piloted to reach a user group of 300 of its Bankers, with the aim of introducing this new banking platform throughout the Nedbank Group within a couple of months.
Previously, clients would have to fill out reams of paper-based documentation in order to apply for any of the 90-plus retail products offered by Nedbank,
The documents had to be manually completed, signed and captured in the system, which took time. From here, bankers would determine the client’s credit rating and discuss how the bank could assist them.
PAPER PAPER EVERYWHERE
Due to the fact that the different accounts and products offered to clients were managed independently from each other, the same customer might have to fill out their same details on several documents, all of which would be captured and analysed.
No more. The Siyakha project is aimed at streamlining the Banker account application and service process. To achieve this Nedbank is working with Microsoft to implement a system that centralizes all information and documentation, saving the bank and the client a huge amount of documentation, frustration and time.
ONE ELECTRONIC FOLDER
In short, it does this by consolidating each client’s banking documentation into one intelligent, electronic folder that can be accessed through one unique view of the client data.
Instead of repeatedly documenting their credit data on numerous occasions and on countless pieces of paper, the client will in future be able to go into any Nedbank branch where the banker can draw their ‘one-stop’ electronic folder and attend to their queries or requests.
No longer will the process of applying for more than one account or product be a trail of paper and endless waiting. Siyakha will see to this, at the same time as it reduces the bank’s paper use and carbon footprint.
THUMB PRINT SIGNATURE
Signed paper documents are still required for certain statutory purposes, such as FICA, but Nedbank is hoping that secure electronic signatures, such as electronic thumbprints or signing on a special electronic pad, are a facet of the near future.
This will dramatically reduce the need for paper in banking as the customer’s ‘signature’ can be electronically authenticated, replacing the need for physically signing documents. This system is still a few years from implementation – with plenty of legal and official rivers to cross before then – but when it does it will rank amongst the most notable contributors to our paperless world.
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