As Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) held its Eco Festival on June 26, one of the key highlights of the event was the Donate a Tree campaign, which is part of the bank’s efforts to support the Brunei Climate Change Secretariat (BCCS) and Brunei Darussalam National Climate Change Policy (BNCCP), particularly the Green Protocol’s Tree Planting Strategy.
Under the SME360 Sustainable Nation Campaign, the initiative sees BIBD partnering with BCCS, Progresif Sdn Bhd, Sphiere Sdn Bhd and various NGOs with an aim to plant 2,000 trees in various locations across Brunei Darussalam.
According to Acting Managing Director and CEO of BIBD Hajah Noraini binti Haji Sulaiman, “The Donate a Tree campaign is something which is very close to BIBD’s heart, because of thinking about the environment, climate change and also the sustainability position that BIBD is taking.”
“BIBD is pledging 2,000 trees on an annual basis, and if that is matched by anybody from the public, that would be great. Apart from that, the public who are also very conscious about this particular cause can actually donate into that.”
“We are providing the platform so that everybody who is close to this particular cause will also be able to participate, not just from this event but any point of time. Basically you can just donate and make sure that your purpose is going to be channeled properly.”
On the campaign’s importance, Hajah Noraini said, “I think it will be very significant. We’re starting small, of course. We want to make sure that BIBD will be able to bring out the awareness. I think this is one of the great ways for ensuring the awareness is there, and you can also contribute to it from Donate a Tree and other ways, such as recycling any materials that can be recycled and repurposed for a reason. So we hope to ensure that it becomes a full loop, there is no wastage and it reinforces our support on a sustainability basis.”
BIBD will be opening a platform through Progresif Pay, Community for Brunei as well as the Atmosphiere application for members of the public who would like to donate a tree.
As BIBD Chief Marketing Officer Hajah Nurul Akmar binti Haji Mohd Jaafar explained, “The donation of trees is open for three months, and within those three months, we hope to gather as many donations from the public as possible, and BIBD will match up to 2,000 trees.”
“Hopefully, three months after the full launch of the Donate a Tree campaign, for which the date will soon be announced, we will find time to invite the public who donated to plant the trees together with us.”
Hajah Nurul further highlighted that the annual event organised with the BCCS aims to ensure that momentum is sustained and that people understand they can neutralise their carbon emissions.
“So you can go to Atmosphiere and there will be a carbon calculator, for you to identify how much your carbon emissions are when you go to work, when you are at home, your household and when you are traveling. This will help to give you an indication of how many trees you should plant, based on your own individual carbon emission.”
She expressed hope that the engagement, education and awareness from the campaign will help create a mindset that will be sustained towards becoming a habit.
Atmosphiere, as Project Manager of Sphiere Sdn Bhd Wan Mohamad Farid bin Haji Zaini explained, is a mobile app for the community to track their carbon emissions and have access to tree planting sites across Brunei Darussalam. “We have a set of calculators provided by BCCS, whereby all the calculations are up to date with the Brunei tariff.”
Head of Brunei Climate Change Secretariat, Ministry of Development, Ahmad Zaiemaddien bin Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi, sharing his thoughts on the campaign, said, “It’s a very good initiative. It’s a partnership between ourselves from the BCCS with BIBD, who has been a very good partner, especially since we signed the MoU.”
Noting that Donate a Tree will be an annual event, he said, “It will be a very nice way to involve the public towards tackling the impacts of climate change. From our perspective in BCCS, reforestation and rainforest cover is under Strategy 2 of our BNCCP, so it really fits our narrative and our vision to really help Brunei become a low carbon and climate resilient country.”
On BCCS’ hopes for the campaign, he first mentioned raising public awareness. “There’s already a wave, especially among the youth.”
“Secondly, we want people to feel a part of it. We want people to feel they own it,” he added. “It’s a really good opportunity to have people say they played a part in helping Brunei achieve our ambitions.”
Progresif CEO Hajah Nurul Haniah binti Haji Mohd Jaafar also commented, saying, “We’re inviting the general public to donate and do their part to donate a tree and do something for the environment, for Brunei. The campaign is a collaborative effort between Progresif and BIBD to ensure our responsibility towards the environment is carried out.”
“With reference to environment being one of our CSR pillars, we want to be a part of a movement and a platform that contributes meaningfully to the cause.”
Meanwhile, Co-founder of Community for Brunei Shinny Chia said, “We’re trying to unite the entire country to make a push for sustainability, and of course planting trees is a huge part of our goals for carbon sink and moving towards net zero 2050.”
“You can offset your carbon in a lot of different ways, and planting trees is one of the most effective ways, so I think for us we’re really trying to get the public to understand that preserving our forest, preserving tree cover, ensuring that we have a high enough population of trees in Brunei is something that we all need to really focus on.”
In addition, BIBD Head of Corporate Banking Group (CBG) Kok Swam Sing, Head of Structured Finance at CBG Abdul Azim bin Haji Mohammad and Head of Corporate Relationship Management at CBG Andy Lim also commented, noting BIBD’s commitment of BND2 billion in funding towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
They explained that SME360 is engaging SMEs in line with the SDGs, and that from corporate banking they are striving to connect and create awareness among the public and companies in Brunei. Highlighting the importance of the environment and helping the planet as a whole, they said, “We have to work together ensuring that we have this full awareness.”
They also underlined the key role played by SMEs in the economy. “Everyone grows from small, so that is the infant stage where we want to intervene, educate and create that awareness in order to build the momentum for the later generation.”
Donate a Tree campaign
– Under the SME360 Sustainable Nation Campaign, Donate a Tree sees BIBD partnering with Brunei Climate Change Secretariat, Progresif Sdn Bhd, Sphiere Sdn Bhd and various NGOs to plant trees in various locations across the country.
– BIBD is pledging to plant 2,000 trees on an annual basis.
– BIBD will be opening a platform through Progresif Pay, Community for Brunei as well as the Atmosphiere application for members of the public who would like to donate a tree.
– Atmosphiere is a mobile app for the community to track their carbon emissions and have access to tree planting sites across Brunei Darussalam.
– The donation of trees is open for three months, and BIBD also hopes to invite members of the public who donated to plant the trees together with the bank.
– The initiative will be carried out annually with the Brunei Climate Change Secretariat and aims to ensure that momentum is sustained and that people understand they can neutralise their carbon emissions.
– It is hoped that the engagement, education and awareness from the campaign will help create a mindset that will be sustained towards becoming a habit, in line with the goal of moving towards net zero 2050.