WWF Nedbank Green Trust Making a Difference for 30 years

WWF Nedbank Green Trust Making a Difference for 30 years

The WWF Nedbank Green Trust’s slogan, Igniting new ways for people and nature to thrive, has never been more relevant or imperative than it is in 2020. It is the year of the Trust’s 30th-anniversary celebrations and the dawn of what many are hoping is humanity’s opportunity to reimagine how we live, how we use and consume, and the potential for our common futures. The WWF Nedbank Greentrust has been funding conservation since 1990.

"Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we consider our place on this planet and pour more energy into living, developing and using the earth’s finite and already scarce resources as carefully as possible", says Tatjana von Bormann, acting Head of the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) Policy and Futures Unit.

Since the trust's inception, Nedbank and their clients supported the program generously. Total contributions from Nedbank Green Affinity cardholders and Nedbank amounted to 350 million and 200 projects over the 30 years. I spoke to Tobie Badenhorst the head of cause marketing at Nedbank and Augustine Morkel the operations lead for the program at WWF about the program.

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"Nedbank has created a programme that makes it easy for anyone to contribute and what is great about it is that your contribution comes at no cost. As a bank that cares about nature conservation, it is our duty to lead the way and encourage everyone from individuals to corporates, urban and rural communities to support the environment." ~ Tobie Badenhorst - Nedbank

WWF Nedbank Greentrust and how it all works

So how does this all work? It all starts with the Nedbank cardholder. When joining, clients have an option to choose one of four Affinity programs arts, children, sports and green - green is the biggest and longest-standing and very closely aligned with the Nedbank brand. The more people transact on their cards, the more Nedbank donate on behalf of their clients.

To make sure the money is spent on the correct initiatives, Nedbank partnered with WWF to form the WWF Nedbank Greentrust. You can check out their new website here. The management committee made up of Nedbank and WWF meets four times a year to allocate funding to and reviewing existing and new projects. Ultimately, trying to affect impact and change.

Anyone can apply for funding, but the process is rigorous to allocate funds. The Greentrust is well known in the sector to projects as a funder, and other corporates and NGOs also get involved, which is critical to the program's success. Ultimately success cannot come from corporates alone, and it can only be possible if communities and rural leaders support the initiatives.

WWF Nedbank Greentrust Projects

Nedbank aim of the initiative is to educate and conserve, and the Greentrust is investing 30 million in 20 projects. These projects include 30% climate change / 18% marine / 18 % freshwater/ 31% Landscape / species 3% initiatives. 54% of these projects cover National initiatives and the rest province-specific programs. 64% are focused on social environmental and the rest on environmental projects.
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WWF Nedbank Greentrust’s aims to be more proactive and rather than sit and wait for project initiatives, they go and find initiatives that "Impact at scale", targeting systems intervention areas at key leverage points. WWF’s Augustine Morkel highlighted four key projects the Greentrust has been working on:

  1. Working for water is an invasive plant clearing for biodiversity project that was initiated in 1995. The original project managed by Guy Preston was so successful that the concept was used for other projects such as working for fire, working for wetlands. Ultimately, Augustine believes the project can be linked to the job creation for 50,000 people.
  2. Biodiversity and wine is an initiative that works with the commercial landowners in the wine regions to preserve Fynbos. Poor farming directly impacts fynbos and conservation champions among the farmers are critical to helping conserve it. Two hundred and twenty farmers collectively manage corridors allowing for ecological processes & pollinators. The project was funded by the green trust for 3-4 years. Ultimately the successful concept is being rolled out in the beef and dairy industry.
  3. Policy decisions are crucial to conservation. WWF rolled out a project to work with COSATU. COSATU has 2 million members, and their voice is vital for sustainable development. Today WWF and COSATU are actively changing policy to include sustainability in jobs and other initiatives.
  4. South Africa sports many rhino conservation initiatives. Up to 2012, most of the initiatives have been reactive. The Greentrust adopted a five-point rhino strategy; securing populations, prosecution mechanisms, eRhODIS database (rhino horn DNA), working with the Chinese government to curb international trade, and working with communities surrounding rhino conservation areas and making them custodians
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"We work with partners and communities who champion the custodianship of our natural resources and direct their energy and efforts to key levers of change for South Africa's future. Our prosperity depends on the coming together of governments, businesses, organisations and all people", says Augustine Morkel, Executive Manager of Operations at WWF-SA.

30 Years Anniversary of the WWF Nedbank Greentrust ~ #30yearsconservation

The Greentrust relationship started in 1990 when Dr John Hanks, as founding member, initiated the WWF Nedbank Greentrust. The Nedbank Green Affinity program was the first of its affinity programs. Over the years the initiative has won various awards for its contribution. Nedbank's Tobie Badenhorst indicated the WWF Nedbank Greentrust supports brand purpose to use financial expertise to do good for society.

To celebrate the anniversary, Nedbank has initiated a competition running where you can win your share of 100,000 Rand. The prizes will be in the form of R1000 Woolworths vouchers, and the competition will end 31 October 2020.

How to enter the competition:

  • Follow/like the WWF Nedbank Green Trust Instagram and Facebook pages and look out for the posts promoting the competition.
  • Tag three friends in the comments section of the post on Instagram
  • And a comment with the indicated phrase and #30YearsConservation on Facebook