Raised Rs 1,645 cr thanks to three green bonds: Yes Bank CFO Niranjan Banodkar

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There was tremendous economic growth in the industrial age, with improvements in indicators such as life expectancy, population, per capita income and poverty reduction. However, uncontrolled economic growth has taken a toll on natural ecosystems and the climate. As more and more sectors consider measures to reduce their emissions, Yes Bank has long focused on the environment as part of its ESG commitments.

“We have set a target to achieve net zero emissions from our operations by 2030. The target applies to the bank’s Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. We disclose our Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions annually,” says Niranjan Banodkar, CFO and Head of Sustainable Finance, Yes Bank.

Initiatives undertaken by Yes Bank include renewable energy sourcing, funded emission reductions, adoption of the Task Force on Climate Related Disclosures (TCFD), among others. As a first step towards achieving its net zero goal, the bank switched to renewable energy supply to power its head office, Yes Bank House (YBH) in Santa Cruz, Mumbai, from January 1.

YBH’s shift to renewables resulted in the elimination of a significant portion (approximately 1,105 tCO2e) of the bank’s Scope 2 emissions in FY 2021-22. Yes Bank has adopted an Environmental and Social Policy (ESP), which provides a structured approach to responsible lending. Through this policy, the lender integrates environmental and social risks into its overall credit risk assessment framework.

Yes Bank being the only Indian bank to measure and report its funded emissions (Scope 3 tier 15 emissions) of its exposure to the power generation sector (project finance and corporate lending), it is in the process of develop carbon intensity targets to align with global emissions. 1.5 degree decarbonation pathways. “We are working to align our activities with the Paris Climate Agreement goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We also recognize climate risk as a material risk and the TCFD’s recommendations for adopting best practices in climate risk management and disclosure. We also continue to build capacity in climate risk measurement and mitigation,” says Banodkar.

In addition, the bank recognized the importance of mobilizing climate finance to support climate-aligned sectors such as renewable energy. “We were the first to issue a green bond in India in February 2015 and since then we have raised Rs 1,645 crore ($260 million), through three green bonds to channel funding to the Indian sector renewable energies. In the financial year 2021-22, the bank made available Rs 1,769 crore in financing solutions for renewable energy projects totaling approximately 562 MW,” Banodkar adds.

A signatory to the UNEP FI Pledge for Climate Action, Yes Bank is the only Indian bank to be a member of the Science-Based Goals Initiative Expert Advisory Group and is committed to developing emission reduction targets.

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