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It is now five years since the African Development Bank (AfDB) embarked on its ‘Green Bank Initiative’ in 2007, with the aim of cutting the Bank’s impact on the environment in its daily operations, and now it is time to take stock of the results.
For this initiative, the AfDB undertook a footprint diagnostic and an energy audit in 2007. The Green Bank Initiative Framework was then presented to the board of executive directors. Afterwards, the AfDB signed an agreement with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for Climate Neutrality Technical Assistance. The AfDB then received a study report from UNEP on the energy efficiency in its buildings in Tunis, and acted upon the report.
The AfDB took actions designed to cut direct and indirect emissions resulting from its use of buildings and facilities, from its travel and procurement policies, and from its organisational and in-office culture generally.
It cut down on its use of resources such as paper, water and energy, minimised its waste generation, and ensured health and safety standards were met.
Major savings were made between 2007 and 2011. More than 14 million litres of water have been saved, which is the equivalent to the annual water use of almost 4,000 African rural dwellers.
On electricity, the AfDB has saved one million Kwh per year. That’s the equivalent of about 91 tons of oil and equates to cutting 565 tons of CO2 emissions.
Paper use, too, has been drastically cut – by 48 tons each year. That translates into saving more than 820 trees every year and cutting CO2 emissions by more than 100 tons.
The AfDB has done its bit with recycling, too. It recycled about 12 tons of paper each year, collected and recycled an estimated 4,250 plastic bottles annually, and collected around 120kg of alkaline batteries every year.
In 2011 alone, almost 13,000 items were recycled.