Cayman National

Small changes make big impact at Cayman National

Originally Published in the Journal | View as a PDF

In an industry that revolves around the use of paper and seems entrenched in corporate bureaucracy, it may often seem impossible for banks to change their ways for the betterment of the environment. Cayman National shows this is a misconception.

A research study conducted a decade ago exposed the fact that banks, European banks at least, were not interested in their own, or their clients’ environmental situation. Today this mindset has changed, with the banking sector working hard to incorporate environmentally-focused thinking into much of their day-to-day operations, as well as initiatives in their own environment and in the community. Cayman National is an excellent example of this change.

Cayman National has long been introducing environmentally friendly initiatives into both the work place and the community. Some initiatives may go unseen by the majority of the public, but are just as important as largescale community endeavors with wide press coverage. One such small change occurred on March 7 of this year. As part of their Employee Appreciation Day, each staff member received a reusable cup. These cups may seem inconsequential, but their effect will be far-reaching as Cayman National phases out the use of nonreusable and nonbiodegradable cups in their eating areas. The process of manufacturing Styrofoam and paper cups can pollute the air and create large amounts of liquid and solid waste. While some nonreusable cups are biodegradable, many are not, and after being used by consumers for mere minutes, they can take hundreds of years to degrade in a landfill. Cayman National is doing their bit to lessen this environmental impact.

Cayman National has had a long-running relationship with the Chamber of Commerce and a long-running interest in their environmental endeavors. In 2011 they signed the Chamber’s Environmental Pledge. The pledge encourages companies to better their green initiatives and change the way they run their businesses in order to benefit the environment.

Internally, Cayman National aims to minimize paper use, and to broaden the scope of this aim they encourage their customers to also think of the environment by signing up for paperless statements. E-Statements not only save paper, they also have a knock-on effect in reducing printer ink use, lessening how often they are replaced, and therefore decreasing company waste. The company also donates its old telephone directories to local primary schools in order for them to compete in the annual Yellow2Green School Challenge, a Yellow Pages initiative which recycles the collected directories.

Some of the corporation’s environmental undertakings also go under the radar, in ways that help both the two-legged and fourlegged residents of Cayman and have indirect effects on the environment by reducing waste. The bank saves its magazines to donate to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society. These magazines are then enjoyed by patients at the Cayman Islands Hospital as well as district health centers, as part of the “Waiting for Josephine” drive set up by Carol Hay in 2012. Newspapers are also saved and donated to the Cayman Islands Humane Society to line the kennels of their furry tenants.

Cayman National will no doubt continue to build on its environmental undertakings and be an example to other financial services that change is possible. This year, the green initiatives continue as Cayman National is sponsoring the 17th Chamber Earth Day Roadside Cleanup on April 26 and Nov. 29. The event is attended by 1,500 eager volunteers each year, and the Chamber hails it as an “expression of public will to create a sustainable society.”