Banks in India Going Green
IDBI Bank becomes the First among the Public Sector Banks to enter into Carbon Credit business by setting up an exclusive cell providing technical and commercial services to Clean Desk Mechanism (CDM) projects: B.K. Batra, Deputy MD
Banks can adopt to green practices such as — Paperless Services, eco-friendly initiatives like Internet banking/Mobile Banking, encouraging online banking instead of branch banking and can help reduce carbon footprint said Dr. R.K. Director or Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt of India
IndiaCSR News Network
CHANDIGARH: If there is one collective concern of the world, it is Environment. What can and should Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector do and what can each person in BFSI sector do individually and collectively to address this issue. How can Banks be not proactive to such a concerns, asked Kamleshwar Sharan, President of Greentech Foundation, who is organizing a Two Day National Meet on Environment and CSR.
Banks and financial institutions can play a major role in the global efforts to make our planet a better place to live in. IDBI Bank recognizes this. Hence, IDBI has embarked on many Green Banking initiatives in the recent past informed Mr. B.K. Batra, Deputy Managing Director of IDBI Bank speaking to the media on the sidelines of the on going meet in Chandigarh on aligning sustainability and CSR with organizational goals.
Mr. Batra who participated a guest of honour at the meet said Green Banking is comparatively a new development in the financial world in India. Indian Banks are making small strides now, but, soon they will become giant strides. IDBI Bank has realized this long ago and we have taken several steps towards the same by going paperless, electronic mode dispatch of documents to the shareholders. Our news office which has come up in Mumbai recently is a ecofriendly bank office compliant of many environmental concerns. We have ecofriendly lightings. Innovative energy saving measures are undertaken and some of these include Energy efficient lifts, Installation of LED lamps, Sound proof environment friendly diesel generator sets and sensor based washroom facilities.
IDBI is Awarded LEED INDIA “GOLD” Rating by Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) for the Bank’s office building at Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai, he informed
IDBI Bank is the pioneer in the area of Climate Change and Green Banking. Major multilateral projects undertaken include Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS) Phase Out Projects. Four projects are initiated since 1994 to phase out ODS consumption in the country. We supported non-ODS productions and assist enterprises to switch from ODS to non-ODS. The Role of IDBI has been to detail appraisal of ODS phase out project, disbursing grant and supervising implementation. We have approximately disbursed around US$ 120 million for the projects.
It is Channelizing disbursements of funds for compliance of commitments under Montreal and Kyoto Protocol. We have been providing financial assistance for Renewable Energy projects as part of Government of India’s National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC). We are the First among the Public Sector Banks to have entered into Carbon Credit business by setting up an exclusive cell providing technical and commercial services to Clean Desk Mechanism (CDM) projects , Batra said.
IDBI embarked on Rural Transformation Fellowship Program in pursuance of the objectives of Financial Inclusion at an estimated cost of Rs.1.55 crores over a period of two years (2011-13). To implement the said initiative a partnership with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) was established by signing a. The project aimed at bringing unbanked populace within the ambit of formal banking system, thereby increasing their access to financial services, opportunities to build savings, make investment and harness their earning capacity and entrepreneurial talent, informed Mr. Batra.
IDBI entered into 50th year. We have successfully transitioned from an apex Development Finance Institution (DFI) into a full-service Commercial Bank. We are the First large PSU bank in the country to achieve 100% networking, on the Core Banking Solution (CBS) platform of all its branches. Bank’s delivery network comprises over 1200 branches and 2100 ATMs. Average age of employees is 33 – the lowest among PSU Banks in India he informed.
Speaking about CSR initiatives Batra said we have fused CSR into Corporate Philosophy. CSR Committee of the Board has been recently constituted and the policy is being revisited. Special emphasis accorded to balanced spatial distribution aimed at sustained improvement of marginalized sections of the society, he informed. IDBI Bank has a comprehensive CSR Policy approved by the Board. The Core areas of extant IDBI CSR Policy: Rural Infrastructure; Social Empowerment; Education; Environment; Community Welfare; Healthcare and Any other CSR activities as felt appropriate.
Banks can adopt to green practices such as — Paperless Services, eco-friendly initiatives like Internet Banking/Mobile Banking, encouraging online banking instead of branch banking and can help reduce carbon footprint said Dr. R.K Suri, Director of Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt of India, another key note speaker at the 2 day meet. As providers of finance, banks can ensure that businesses adopt environment-friendly practices — to encourage and deploy renewable energy like solar, wind power, green infrastructure like buildings. Banks may designate CHIEF GREEN OFFICER to champion the cause and drive these initiatives across the enterprise. Boards of banks may lay down specific policies, he opined.
Dr. R.K. Suri who has gone far and wide spent his life time Training and Researching on Environmental subjects, introduced many initiatives such as Green Tambola to spread the message of Environmental Consciousness among the masses is recognized with Environmental Champion Award during the meet.
Banks can offer Incentives by way of offering Green Funds and cheaper funds for adopting green technologies, increase energy efficiency. We can work to reduce the usage of resources such as paper, stationery, vouchers, cheque leaves thereby aiding in environmental protection, Dr. Suri explained. Greening Processes, Products, Services and Strategies, Greening Infrastructure, banks can think of many such moves, he added.
Banks in China are going into ethical banking, some banks are already offering loans with lesser interest rates for environmental friendly projects, observed other speakers.
Many Banks such as Canara Bank and other have been the initiator of paperless banking and is the highest financer for solar energy related projects. The Canara bank is also known to be conducting carbon financing. Green Bank would lead the way in finding ways to blend customers’ financial interests with the interests of the environment. Let us propagate the idea of green banking, many bankers who participated in the meet gave a call.
The Centre has suggested Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) to take proactive steps to promote day to day use of electronic payment systems, elimination of post-dated cheques and gradual phase-out of cheques in their business transactions. Similarly, the ministry of finance has directed all public sector banks, financial institutions and public sector insurance companies to take up e-governance, observed Kamaleshwar Sharan, President of Greentech Foundation. Green Banking is not merely paperless banking, but it is much more, observed Mr. Sharan.
The two day meet on Environment and CSR organized by Greentech Foundation with a theme aligning sustainability and CSR with organization goals kicked off concluded today.