The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF South Africa) and Nedbank have officially crossed the R100 million threshold in funds donated towards environmental sustainability through The Green Trust. The contributions have largely been raised through Nedbank’s Green Affinity programme, where clients contribute through the use of Green Affinity current, savings and credit accounts, investment products and eco-insurance options.
“In the 1990s, conservation and environmental concerns were seen as very separate from community development. The Green Trust’s mission was to bring these two isolated concepts together in order to promote the ideals of people and the environment living and working in harmony. Twenty years later, The Green Trust has funded numerous community-based projects and has proven that a strong people focus is imperative to achieve environmental sustainability and the protection of wildlife,” says Green Trust Manager, Thérèse Brinkcate.
The Green Trust is a 50/50 partnership between Nedbank and WWF which is aimed at supporting sustainable environmental projects. The projects funded by the Trust have made significant contributions to the growth of the conservation and the environmental sector.
“The fact that The Green Trust has been going strong for 20 years is a remarkable and noteworthy achievement. It is a credit to Nedbank and WWF, who have sustained one of the longest running partnerships between a corporate and a non-profit organisation in the history of South Africa. We deeply appreciate the time, commitment and dedication of everyone who has contributed to this partnership – most importantly, the clients who have loyally supported Nedbank Green affinity products and without whose support none of this would be possible,” says Maseda Ratshikuni, Head of Cause Marketing at Nedbank.
Over the past 20 years, the Trust has supported over 170 diverse projects throughout Southern Africa. These projects have contributed to conserving South Africa’s biodiversity, enabling adaptation to climate change and promoting environmentally sustainable activities. Projects funded range from organic food production initiatives in urban areas, climate change, fresh water and marine conservation, environmental education, and conservation efforts in rural communities pioneering co-operative management projects, where local communities and conservation authorities jointly manage natural resources. More recently, The Green Trust has engaged in the arena of sustainable food production, crucial for ensuring food security in the future.
“As the issue of sustainability increasingly comes to the forefront, The Green Trust will continue to play its part in ensuring the long-term integrity of our natural systems and the species and people that inhabit it,” adds Ratshikuni.
This landmark R100 million milestone coincides with the celebration of The Green Trust’s 20th Anniversary. The Green Trust was established through an innovative funding
mechanism pioneered by Nedbank for the Trust by linking it to the affinity products and encouraging clients to support the programme directly.
Recently, Nedbank has achieved significant accolades for its environmental sustainability and was named South Africa’s Top Green Company in 2009. This year the bank has worked closely with WWF to achieve carbon neutrality and is first bank in Africa to achieve this. Today Nedbank is a recognized leader in the “green” revolution, advancing environmental sustainability in South Africa and pioneering the green economy. Maseda Ratshikuni
Head: Cause Marketing
Nedbank Affinities Marketing