The global trend to ingrain a culture of sustainability within the business community did not arise from a vacuum. Indeed a number of the ecological, social and economic upheavals witnessed in the 21st Century are examples of the consequences of ignoring the reverberating impact of policies motivated by profit alone.
At EFG Hermes, we started our journey as early as 2006 by establishing the EFG Hermes Foundation for Social Development
– an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation. The Foundation assists people and institutions to overcome the financial, educational and health-related challenges facing society by supporting innovative and sustainable high-impact programmes that increase the opportunities of those most in need. It further demonstrates the determination to build partnerships and models of sustainable development projects in underprivileged villages of Upper Egypt, among other comprehensive social development activities.
Throughout the years, the Foundation has disbursed over EGP 120 million on integrated development programmes benefiting more than 370,000 Egyptians.
However, we wanted to do more.
In a world fraught with global warming and the dangers of political and social instability, the need for participation in initiatives advancing the cause of sustainability such as the Global Compact has become vital to local, regional and global security. As the leading investment banking firm in one of the most critical regions to global stability, EFG Hermes must shoulder the responsibility of leadership in this arena and has chosen to lead by example by promoting sustainability.
We decided to move a step further and become members of the United Nations Global Compact
in 2011 with a commitment to submit a yearly communication on progress. The yearly report showcases EFG Hermes’ policies and procedures to uphold the 10 GC principles.
In 2014, we redefined our vision and articulated a set of values that describe the kind of institution EFG Hermes aspires to be in the coming decades. We pledged to become a sustainable business and defined our social purpose
: ‘To leverage our financial expertise and capitalize on our human talent to create sustainable value for our stakeholders and the communities we serve.’
That is when the interesting part of our journey started. We were on our way to becoming the first investment bank in Egypt with a sustainable strategy in place. We have worked diligently to make corporate social responsibility (CSR) an integral component of our culture and strategy. We pledged to become sustainable and we developed our Environmental, Social and Governance ESG Policy
We launched a dedicated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Department responsible for policy development, reporting and liaising on all sustainability issues together with EFG Hermes Green Team — a dynamic action group made up of representatives from different divisions – and its advisor from senior management.
The department works on awareness campaigns to align the Firm with each of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals and highlight how businesses can advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through their activities and partnerships.