BY JANE OSAMOR
Unity Bank Plc has received commendation from one of Nigeria’s foremost environmentalists, Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi for its consistent environmental sustainability initiatives and programmes aimed at protecting the planet earth.
Mr. Majekodunmi, who is the founder of Lufasi Nature Park, Lagos – Nigeria’s only urban forest reserve – gave the commendation at the Bank’s Beach Cleaning and Tree Planting exercise held to commemorate the World Earth Day 2023.
According to the nature park promoter, Unity Bank’s commitment to environmental protection through consistent investment in sustainability programmes and initiatives has set the institution apart.
Recall that this year’s edition of the Beach Cleaning exercise makes it the third year in a row that Unity Bank is holding the volunteer initiative, being an activity lined up to commemorate the World Earth Day. Unity Bank has partnered with 3 non-government organizations – Recycling Scheme for Women and Youth Empowerment, RESWAYE, MEDIC and KBG to promote environmental sustainability through the Beach Bleaning Initiative.
Majekodunmi joined no fewer than 200 volunteers, inclusive of members of staff of Unity Bank, RESWAYE team and the Lagos Kids Beach Garden within the Oba Elegushi beach environs who participated in the cleaning exercise. The volunteers picked and removed over 100,000 plastic bottles from the beach to rid the beach and ocean of plastic waste and reduce pollution.
Also as featured in the previous editions, the Bank also carried out a Tree Planting exercise in 23 locations across the country, with members of staff participating in planting at least a tree in each of the locations.
Speaking at the event, the Divisional Head, Resources, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Hillary Ajuebon said that the World Earth Day initiatives, have become a core focus of the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility aimed at promoting climate action and reduction of environmental pollution.
Citing recent reports on ocean pollution, he decried gloomy statistics stating that: “of the over 380 million tons of plastic produced globally every year, about 10 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from different coastal plains. There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste estimated to be in our oceans. While 70% of the debris sinks into the ocean’s ecosystem, 15% floats, and 15% lands on our beaches.”
While noting that plastic pollution has become one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues, he said Unity Bank would continue to join collaborative efforts aimed at eliminating plastic pollution in our oceans.
Ajuebon further recalled that in addition to the Beach Cleaning and Tree Planting exercise, the Bank had, throughout the month of April, embarked on aggressive sensitization on environmental sustainability, reinforcing the Bank’s culture of prioritizing sustainable practices, adding that the Bank has over time promoted corporate and business philosophy that encourages low paper usage, recycling and adoption of renewable energy be increased investment in solar-powered branches and ATMs.