Zenith Bank's Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, has emerged CEO of the Year at the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility (SERAS) Awards held in Lagos.
According to the judges, Onyeagwu was selected for a plethora of reasons, which included a robust environmental and social management system for screening credit facilities and continued investment in social initiatives in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and for joining 131 other banks from across the globe as a founding signatory to the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Responsible Banking.
A statement from the bank explained that the judges found him worthy for his commitment to the promotion of sustainability and responsible business practices in Nigeria, "by his frontal leadership of sustainability in Zenith Bank, thereby enabling best industry practices in the banking sector, and for his passion to reduce carbon emissions in the bank's operations."
At the event, Zenith Bank Plc also emerged winner in two other categories, carting home the awards for, "Best Company in Promotion of Good Health and Well-Being" and "Best Company in Promotion of Good Health and Well-Being."
Out of the five finalists for the Best Company in Promotion of Good Health and Well-Being Category, Zenith Bank emerged winner for donating N1 billion in support of efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, donation of N200 million towards Lagos State Government's efforts to provide relief to the victims of the Abule-Ado pipeline explosion, and for spending over N300 million in 2019 to support various healthcare initiatives across the country.
In addition, Zenith Bank was adjudged winner in the category for the Best Company in Promotion of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment for its Z-Woman initiative which offers credit facilities to women-owned businesses at single-digit interest rate and for a gender-balanced workforce (about 49.80% female and 50.20% male). The Z-Woman initiative has so far extended up to N1 billion in total credit facilities.
The Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAS) is an initiative of TruCSR, which celebrates and promotes investments by corporate organizations in the society through CSR and sustainability initiatives. It made its debut in 2007 and participation was opened to other countries of Africa in 2016.
The 2020 awards featured 1,500 projects by 98 organisations. The SERAS Jury Board consists of global thought and best-practices leaders from around the world such as Deborah Liepziger (USA)- President; Tunde Arogunmati (Nigeria); Maria Sillanpaa (Finland); Nyasha Gwatidzo (Zimbabwe); Amjed Achour (Morocco); Gina Din- Kariuki (Kenya); Adesuwa Onyenokwe (Nigeria); Paul Kapelus (South Africa); Ellen Gunning (Ireland); Scott Walker (England).
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