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General Enquiries

Contact Details:
087 575 9404


International calls
+27 11 371 3711

Environmental policies and compliance

The bank's environmental policies cover two broad areas:

  • The direct environmental impact of our own daily operations, which is governed by our Environmental Health and Safety Policy
  • The bank's indirect impact on the environment in terms of responsible lending and business development, which is governed by our Environmental Risk Policy

In addition to the corporate action described above the strategy of the Group, where appropriate, has been starting and growing completely new businesses, which the Group refers to as its "greenfields" approach.

Examples of significant 'greenfields' start-ups by the Group include:

  • King II Code
  • JSE SRI Index
  • Principles of the UN GRI Index
  • UN Global Compact
  • Carbon Disclosure Project

At FirstRand level, an Environmental Committee discusses relevant issues and reports to various executive committees, as well as the Board of FirstRand Bank. There is also a Group Environmental, Health and Safety Manager who manages environmental issues for the bank.

FNB's Environmental, Health and Safety representatives have to undergo formal training that includes a module on environmental management, with a pass rate of 90%. An online learning module about the importance of environmental management and FNB's environmental initiatives is also made available to all new employees.

Every business unit has a compliance officer, who reports on any non-compliance issues. Compliance with environmental legislative requirements and the group's sustainability reporting (excluding Financial Sector Charter reporting) are audited by FNB's internal auditors. The bank is also audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers on environmental management, ISO 14001:2004 standards. Financial Sector Charter Reporting is audited annually by Sizwe Ntsaluba VSP.

Paper saving initiatives

The nature of our business is paper-intensive and FNB is constantly looking for ways to minimise and manage the utilisation of this resource.

Electronic statements

  • The bank offers our customers the option of receiving their monthly credit card and cheque account statement electronically, rather than in paper format. We have introduced a reduced electronic service fee incentive to encourage our customers to move to electronic channels. As a result of the switch to electronic statements, we reduced our paper consumption by 22 354kg in the last financial year.
  • The knock-on effects of this change include a reduction in the use of printing ink and equipment, as well as envelopes, postage and associated processes.

Recycled paper

  • FNB has piloted the use of recycled paper in many areas of Head Office operations.
  • Educational initiatives regarding efficient printing methods, such as the re-use of paper, duplex and similar printing, have been run.
  • Employees have been encouraged to make use of online information, rather than printing documents.
  • We are currently considering using recycled paper for our letterheads and branded documents.
  • To encourage the recycling of white paper, employees at the head office, BankCity, have been provided with special bins at their workstations to deposit recyclable material.

Energy + water conservation

Energy saving initiatives

  • As the largest concentration of our employees is at BankCity, our head office, a number of initiatives have been implemented there to promote energy savings. The results of this have been incredible, with BankCity achieving a benchmark saving of around R300 000 per month in 2005.
  • BankCity management has entered into an agreement with Eskom where engineers have assessed the complex to identify areas where energy could be saved.
  • All lights in BankCity have been changed to energy saving globes and triple tube lights have been replaced with double tubes.
  • Lights that used to remain on constantly are now switched off during the night and override switches have been installed. We are currently in the process of installing occupancy sensors in pause areas as well as meeting rooms which stands empty most of the day.
  • The air conditioning system has been optimised to use less energy.
  • Where possible, catering equipment has been converted from electricity to gas.
  • Dishwashers that used to be located in all employee rest areas are being phased out.
  • Large fridges in these areas are being replaced with smaller ones that use less energy.
  • Fans in basements that ran 24 hours now only run when required. It is connected to CO2 sensors which automatically increases the speed of the fans as the amount of carbon monoxide increases.
  • All the lifts in BankCity are being replaced with new models that run off energy efficient motors and use 70% less power.
  • A feasibility study was conducted on the installation of a solar panel on the roof of one of the buildings to heat water for use in the hand basins in the toilets. Currently, this has proved not to be financially viable but research is ongoing.
  • FNB is currently launching a competition for the best energy saving idea among our employees, with prize money for the three best initiatives.

Water care

  • Awareness about water conservation is raised through training and internal communications.
  • Water readings are taken regularly at BankCity so that excessive use can be identified and investigated immediately.
  • At BankCity, grey water is directed into a dump, where it is treated before being used in the fountains in the buildings' piazza.

Suppliers and other third parties

  • FNB actively engages with suppliers and contractors on environmental issues, and will in future include our customers and other interested parties.
  • Our Purchasing and Supply Management policies insist on the sustainability of all operations.
  • We engage our suppliers on environmental issues and support them in implementing initiatives that improve their SRI Index on the JSE.
  • We are currently evaluating the use of recycled paper in conjunction with our paper supplier, Bytes Document Solutions, as well as Sappi and Mondi.
  • Due to the large volumes of printing done at FNB, issues in terms of manufacturer's warranties and guarantees on printing equipment arise when recycled paper is used. We have engaged with the suppliers of these machines to test the acceptance of recycled paper, reduce paper consumption and eliminate the use of paper made from hardwoods.
  • FNB is currently in the final stages of choosing an IT consumable supplier and the tender process has included issues such as collecting and recycling printer cartridges, ribbons and other consumables, as well as other waste management planning.
  • In future, all FNB's tender processes will include a section on the prospective supplier's environmental policies, as well as other sustainability issues. Regular reporting on strategy development initiatives will be required from suppliers.
  • Training material about the bank's environmental management objectives is being prepared for contractor and suppliers.

Community projects

  • A portion of FNB's Corporate Social Investment funds is donated to projects that work in favour of the environment.
  • Some branches have arrangements with Mondi Paper to collect used paper for recycling. In lieu of payment, they cede their profits to Mondi's CSI initiatives, such as Hospice and the SPCA.
  • Some branches send reusable material to community recycling projects.
  • Other branches donate their used paper and other materials to local artists for use in their work.

Environmental awards

FNB's environmental awareness and initiatives have been recognised through the following awards:

  • Deloitte and Touche Award for Sustainable Development.
  • Mail and Guardian Greening the Future Award for The Company with the Most Improved Environmental Performance.

Archival holdings

The historic documents and other sources held by the Archives pertain to FNB and its predecessors, the most important are:

  • The Eastern Province Bank
  • The Bank of Africa Limited
  • The Natal Bank Limited
  • De Nationale Bank van den Oranjevrijstaat/National Bank of the Orange River Colony
  • De Nationale Bank der Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek Beperkt
  • The National Bank of South Africa Limited
  • Barclays Bank (Dominion, Colonial and Overseas)
  • Barclays Bank DCO
  • Barclays National Bank Limited

Other core documents include:

  • Board minutes
  • Branch and head office general ledgers, signature books
  • Directors' reports and balance sheets
  • Annual reports
  • Correspondence photographic collection
  • Staff and branch records

The Archives also has a small research library containing books dealing mainly with banking and other related subjects.

Archive contact details

Telephone / fax

Tel: 011 352 8684
Fax: 011 352 8633

Postal address

The Archivist
PO Box 1153

Physical address

2nd Floor
78 Market Street


For more information on the FirstRand Group, visit FirstRand's website

FirstRand - Financial results

View FirstRand's financial results

About us

Who we are

Find out about FNB - its structures, values, community involvement and more.

Our roots

Humble beginnings

FNB is the oldest bank in South Africa, and can be traced back to the Eastern Province Bank formed in Grahamstown in 1838. Today, FNB trades as a division of FirstRand Bank Limited. When looking at FNB's history, two things in particular stand out. The first is a story of survival - different circumstances in South Africa have posed many great challenges in our history, all of which FNB has successfully met. This track record provides a strong foundation for our future challenges. The second is a story of people - our history has always been firmly influenced by the needs of the people we serve.

The Acacia tree in our brand logo is a suitable representation of our history. Our roots run deep in South Africa, and we have grown thanks to our commitment to serving the needs of our clients and communities.

A landmark development in FNB's history took place in 1998 when the financial services interests of Rand Merchant Bank Holdings and Anglo American were merged to form FirstRand Limited. In the process, FNB was delisted from the JSE on 22 May 1998 to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of FirstRand, which was listed on the JSE on 25 May 1998. On 30 June 1999, the banking interests of FirstRand formally merged into a single entity to form FirstRand Bank. FNB, WesBank and RMB now trade as divisions of FirstRand Bank.


Environmental focus

Environmental policies and compliance

Covering the direct environmental impact of our own daily operations.

Read more

Suppliers and other third parties

We engage with suppliers and contractors on environmental issues.

Read more

Paper saving initiatives

Ways to minimise and manage the use of this resource.

Read more

Community projects

A portion of funds is donated to environmental projects.

Read more

Energy + water conservation

Awareness about water and energy conservation through training.

Read more

Environmental awards

Our initiatives have been recognised through various awards.

Read more

FNB Archives

On the record

The FNB Archives Department was established in 1979 to carry out document research and make available to the public the important historical records accumulated by the bank.

The archives initially formed part of the FNB Museum. In May 1997, when the museum closed, it was decided to move the Archives to a new premise. The Archives cater for a wide variety of researchers from many fields of study, such as economic history, genealogy, economics, banking and management studies.

The bank's historic records are open to bona fide researchers (restrictions do exist on certain material)

Archival holdings

Archive contact details


FirstRand Group

Of bulls and bears

Listed on the JSE and the Namibian Stock Exchange, FirstRand Limited is one of the largest financial institutions in South Africa, and provides banking, insurance and investment products and services to retail, commercial, corporate and public sector customers through its portfolio of leading franchises, which include FNB, RMB, WesBank and Ashburton Investments.

FirstRand Bank Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of FirstRand Limited, and has a number of divisions, including Rand Merchant Bank (the investment bank), FNB (the retail and commercial bank) and WesBank (the instalment finance provider).

For more information on the FirstRand Group, visit FirstRand's website

FSP Licenses


FirstRand Financial Results

FirstRand Links



Being earth-friendly

At FNB, our vision is to transform a good business to a great business and to help create a better world.

Reports to society

FNB views sustainability as a business practice which creates value for stakeholders through managing environmental, social and governance factors impacting the company's ability to generate sustainable profits. We are a values based organization, with core values of pride, accountability, innovation, Ubuntu and respect. These values serve as a guide when making business decisions and in our dealings with all stakeholders, including colleagues, customers, investors, suppliers, the community and the environment.

View FNB's reports to society