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Hellenic Bank: Green loans and social practices for a sustainable future

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Weighing its own responsibility to the community, and confident that the future is green, Hellenic Bank leads the transition to the Green Economy – investing in the application of sustainable practices and supporting initiatives and businesses that reduce the carbon footprint. At the same time, the Bank stands by the community with a comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility programme as well as with alternative methods of providing service, catering to customers’ modern-day needs and wants

With the belief that the Group’s growth is interlinked to the prosperity of the society, Hellenic Bank has developed a comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility programme that is based on the following pillars: The Environment; Society; People; and The Market.

The Environment
Hellenic Bank is focused on cutting back on its carbon footprint – by designing energy-efficient buildings and implementing systems that reduce the consumption of paper, water, electricity and thus generating less pollution through its operations. According to the Sustainability Report, the Bank succeeded within the year to achieve a 16 per cent reduction in its annual energy consumption while bringing down carbon dioxide emissions by 15 per cent.

What’s more, Hellenic is the first bank in Cyprus to join the Priceless Planet Coalition and has already started issuing environmentally friendly cards. The Priceless Planet Coalition is a pro-environment initiative run by Mastercard, bringing together leading banks from all around the world and coordinating their environment-related actions. In the context of this partnership, Hellenic Bank has issued environmentally-friendly Mastercard cards, using resources from Mastercard’s directory of sustainable materials – specifically a biodegradable and environmentally-friendly material, the manufacture of which utilizes 82 per cent less PVC. The same green policy will be applied to Visa cards as well.

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The Bank has also been supporting ‘Eco Schools’, an empowering global sustainable schools programme for over 20 years and participates as a strategic supporter in the ‘Let’s Do It Cyprus’ cleaning campaign. Among other actions undertaken, Hellenic Bank’s Volunteers Team organised – in cooperation with CYMEPA – a voluntary cleanup of the shoreline at Zygi, removing 60kg of waste from the beachfront. Additionally, the Bank adopted the “Primary Schools Tree Programme” to make the schools greener, friendlier and noiseless. The programme was carried out in 2021 in collaboration with the Environment Commissioner and the Department of Forests, where more than 1,535 climbing plants were planted at 16 primary schools across all districts. Moreover, Hellenic Bank encourages customers to receive their account statements in digital format, helping cut down on paper usage.

Aiming to take the lead in the shift to the Green Economy, Hellenic Bank offers quality products and integrated services, as well as advice and incentives to customers, whom we encourage to improve their environmental performance. Among other things, the Bank offers a comprehensive plan for leasing Green cars with substantial benefits.

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Society
Hellenic Bank supports the work of the Karaiskakio Foundation, taking part in the ‘Partnership For Life’ programme – a business and social network that aims to promote the goals, the community work and the vision of the foundation for a world without leukemia. Through various actions, the Bank also supports the work of the Karaiskakio Foundation’s advanced diagnostic and research centre for children’s cancer. Actions included sponsoring the awards ceremony for donors, providing financial support to the ‘Month of Leukemia’, and organising the taking of samples from Bank staff to boost the Cyprus Bone Marrow Donor Registry with self-recruitment stations.

In addition, Hellenic Bank’s Volunteers Team constantly takes on actions aimed at assisting vulnerable groups and charitable organisations. The Bank’s staff takes part in blood drives and reforestation actions across Cyprus frequently.
Beyond the programmes which Hellenic itself develops, the Bank also supports entities that do important social work – Hope for Children, the Sophia For Children NGO, the Elpida Foundation, PASYKAF (Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends), Europa Donna, the Karaiskakio Foundation, the Telethon, the Red Cross, food banks, the Ronald McDonald House Charities, ‘Majestic’ Miniature Horse Therapy, the Fairy Tale Museum etc.

People
Hellenic  Bank offers employment and career opportunities to some 3,000 people. The Bank has enhanced its evaluation system in a bid to constantly raise the performance of its staff, as well as recognise employees’ contribution and dedication to corporate values that are directly linked to desired behaviours such as respect. The HB Skill Development Lab and the Credit Academy programmes focus on tweaking skills and improving customer experience.

The Market – supporting the economy and the community
As part of its customer-centred strategy, the Bank finances economic growth, supporting viable businesses and households. Hellenic financed large-scale renewable energy projects, at the same time applying criteria evaluating social and environmental risks during the approval process for new loans. Its increased profitability and robust capitalisation prove that Hellenic has a sustainable business model that protects customers’ deposits while creating value for shareholders.

All digital, all easy
Thanks to Hellenic Bank’s alternative channels, transactions are faster and easier than ever. The upgraded Hellenic Bank Mobile App makes day-to-day transactions with the mobile phone as simple as sending a text message. Customers can register online with the Bank’s digital channels at any time (www.hellenicbank.com/connect). They can also arrange for an appointment with a bank officer, either face-to-face or online through Microsoft Teams on the following website: https://hbcy.me/bookameeting.
And using their debit card, customers can withdraw up to €100 in cash from 350 branches and at more than 179 ATMs across Cyprus. Customers can also make contactless payments with their mobile, on Apple Pay or Hellenic Bank Wallet, using their Visa or Mastercard. They can deposit multiple cheques at ATMs. Lastly, the Bank’s Connect Corners offer training to customers, so that they can learn to use digital channels and get the fastest service possible, any time of the day.

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