EGA’s bank balances to progress sustainability through sustainable accounts with Citi and Standard Chartered

Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, has opened sustainable corporate bank accounts with Citi and Standard Chartered Bank and is amongst the first in the region to choose the accounts, which ensure cash balances are used to finance or refinance sustainability progress elsewhere in the economy. EGA uses the interest-bearing accounts for funds that are required for daily and other short-term operations.

Zouhir Regragui, Chief Financial Officer of Emirates Global Aluminium, added: “The aluminium EGA produces plays a key role in the development of a more sustainable society worldwide. It also matters how sustainably aluminium is made, and we are embedding sustainability throughout our company – from focusing on decarbonisation to reporting publicly on our sustainability progress. Ensuring our cash balances at the bank also contribute to enhancing sustainability economy-wide is in line with the overall direction of EGA.”

Citi’s sustainable deposit solution seeks to help corporate finance and treasury departments invest excess cash in deposit accounts that aim to support financing for environmental and social projects, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, green buildings, and expanding access to affordable basic infrastructure and essential services.

Steven Buonvino, Head of Corporate and Public Sales, Treasury and Trade Solutions, EMEA Emerging Markets at Citi, said: “Sustainability is a key strategic priority for our clients and Citi’s deposit strategy is one of the innovative ways we’ve embedded our commitment in our products and services to help our clients advance their sustainability goals by offering sustainable deposit solutions in UAE. We’re pleased to be working with EGA and look forward to support EGA in the sustainability journey.”

Since Standard Chartered first rolled out their Sustainable Deposit product in 2019, the Bank has continued to innovate, launching impactful Sustainable Finance products such as Sustainable Trade Finance, ESG structured notes and Sustainable savings accounts. Funds in these accounts are referenced against sustainable assets on the Bank’s balance sheet. Standard Chartered has developed a Green and Sustainable Product Framework with industry experts Sustainalytics, which addresses themes including climate change and financial inclusion.

Mohammed Salama, Managing Director, Regional Head of Commercial, Corporate and Institutional Banking for MENA at Standard Chartered Bank, said: “We believe, that the sustainable proposition extends beyond financing, it covers the economy and clients’ end-to-end needs. Standard Chartered Bank has been a key catalyst of the sustainability agenda in UAE as well as the MENA region, and our engagement has spread across market leaders and national champions like EGA, offering a wide range of products and services.”

EGA is the largest ‘premium aluminium’ producer in the world. Aluminium is an essential material for everything from wind farms to lightweight electric vehicles. As the world moves to net zero greenhouse gas emissions, the International Aluminium Institute forecasts aluminium demand will increase by between 50 per cent and 80 per cent by 2050.

EGA was the first Middle East headquartered company to join the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, which brings together aluminium producers, end users such as Apple and Nespresso, civil society and the public through consultation, to determine what constitutes good sustainability performance in the aluminium industry.

EGA was the first company in the region to achieve a site certification to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s Performance Standard. EGA’s sites in Jebel Ali and Al Taweelah are both now certified.

Last year, EGA became the first company in the world to produce aluminium commercially using the power of the sun, through a partnership with Dubai Electricity & Water Authority. Electricity generation accounts for around 60 per cent of the global aluminium industry’s emissions. EGA markets this metal under the product name CelestiAL.