Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is on the verge of recycling disused polymer banknotes into flower pots and other environmentally-friendly uses as well as ensure the disposal of its electronic-waste (e-waste) in an environmentally-sound manner
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who spoke in Abuja, Tuesday at an event to mark this year’s World Environment Day with the theme: “Beat Plastic Pollution”, observed that this year’s topic galvanises the entire world to take action to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on biodiversity and human health.
He admonished the bank’s personnel to shift emphasis from consuming table water in plastic bottles to drinking from the well- treated water dispensers littering the entire headquarters complex as a way of preserving the environment.
Emefiele expressed CBN’s commitment to replace bottled water with reusable water dispensers and encouraging the use of paper bags as alternatives to plastic bags.
“You can count on me and my colleagues, the deputy governors to act as change champions. As a result, the Governors Committee has agreed on replacing bottled water with reusable water dispensers and encouraging the use of paper bags as alternatives to plastic bags.
“Having set the tone at the top, I urge you all to take action to make our plastic consumption more sustainable, by using 97 water fountains strategically situated within the CBN building as source of drinking water,” he admonished.
He also said “in line with the bank’s commitment to a green and low carbon economy, the CBN management has approved the recycling of our paper waste into tissue paper, which will be donated to the society as part of our corporate social responsibility” he said.
“Management is also in the process of concluding the recycling of our polymer banknote wastes into everyday use plastics such as flower pots, dustbin, shovels etc, and the disposal of our electronic waste (e-waste) in an environmentally-sound manner,” he stated.
This year’s celebration of the World Environment Day, he said, is game-changer, adding that “it will provide an opportunity for the CBN to renew its commitments towards the implementation of the Nigeria Sustainable Banking Principles and the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Change Agreement because a reduction in plastic use will bring about reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and our carbon footprint.”
The central bank marked the day through activities including online survey, plastic-free campaigns and exhibitions by recycling companies to create awareness and understanding of the scourge of plastic pollution, which Emefiele said was in recognition of the fact that enabling the transition to a more circular economy requires sustainable commitment, attitudinal change in consumption habits.
Over 50 Union Bank employee volunteers facilitated the workshops which impacted about 500 students in Lagos from schools, including St. Mary’s Private School and Agidingbi Primary School.
In a statement, the bank said it joined governments, organisations and individuals across the world to mark World Environment Day by training primary school students on the benefits of upcycling to the environment.
“The students were educated on the importance of preserving the environment and
were taught how to convert Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles into pencil cases.
Speaking on the bank’s activities to mark World Environment Day, Union Bank’s Head, Corporate Communications and Marketing, Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem said: “Union Bank is committed to being recognised as a sustainability champion and a socially- responsible bank.
“As leaders in the Nigerian financial sector, we are deploying the latest technology for eco-efficiency and developing new processes to ensure we are accountable across our value chain.”