Nedbank opens green branch

Nedbank opens green branch

South Africa's Nedbank has unveiled what it claims is the continent's first 100% renewable energy powered bank branch.

The Cape Town branch's hybrid power installation taps into solar and wind energy, converting it into electricity and feeding it back to the national grid.

This not only offsets the branch's electricity consumption, during some months it creates a surplus, meaning that Nedbank is on course to recoup set-up costs within two years, compared to the five years it would take for a normal branch.

According to James Carpy from Kestrel Renewable Energy, which installed the system, it will cut South Africa's total CO2-eqt emissions by 71 tonnes per year, which equates to 25 000 litres of petrol.

Ciko Thomas, managing executive, consumer banking, Nedbank Retail, says: "The off-grid hybrid installation offers proof of what can be achieved when organisations have a genuine vision for, and commitment to, contributing to a greener future for our country."

The bank has also been looking to experiment at a new tech-packed flagship branch in Johannesburg. Designed to appeal to customers who increasingly use digital channels, the branch has a kids area, a self-service zone that is open until midnight, and an 'eduzone' area for presentations and workshops.

In addition, tellers are no longer stuck behind glass and clients have access to Wi-Fi stations and iPads as well as video banking, which allows for a face-to-face engagement with a client service agent. ATMs have also been revamped to allow for deposits to non-Nedbank clients.

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