New Delhi: Taking a lead among all the banks in the country with its pro-environment initiatives, ICICI Bank is working on an exclusive lending facility for businesses and people working in areas of clean energy and energy efficiency.
"We are always on the lookout for good projects that seek to develop and/or deploy clean energy technologies. We have the resources to support a large number of such projects and we would want to expand our activities in this area," ICICI Bank Managing Director and CEO Chanda Kochhar said.
Talking about the steps being undertaken by ICICI Bank for lending towards clean energy sector, Kochhar said that the bank also provides concessional finance to the projects in these areas and the concessions depend on various criteria.
Speaking to PTI ahead of the World Environment Day on June 5, she also asked other banks, the government and the private sector to come forward to work for a clean and green environment.
"ICICI Bank has been assisting projects and initiatives in the area of environmental sustainability for over two decades.
"We continue to support initiatives being taken by the industry in this area. At the same time, we will also look at projects that protect our biodiversity (flora and fauna) as well.
"As we observe World Environment Day, I have mentioned to my team that they should identify and support at least one project to protect an endangered species in the country to start with," she said.
In a significant pro-environment step, ICICI Bank has gone paperless in its various internal meetings, including the meetings of its board of directors, where all the communications take place through handheld devices.
Besides, the bank also recently adopted some villages in Arunachal Pradesh in border areas adjoining China to encourage farmers against deforestation there.
"Our Bank did adopt six villages in remote high altitude border areas and I am glad that this turned out to be a very successful initiative. We will continue to identify the most vulnerable populations in similar geographies and support initiatives of this type," Kochhar said.
Deforestation by farmers in high altitude areas along our borders with China is a common practice when extreme winters do not allow cultivation. The farmers then resort to logging and sell the timber in the winter months of the year.
After adopting the villages, ICICI Bank trained farmers to grow mushrooms so that they have a source of livelihood during the winter season.
It also supported the project that designed and built the country's first passenger electric car, Reva, which is currently being exported to the UK and 17 other countries.
First Published: Sunday, June 02, 2013, 20:25