Societies experienced tremendous economic growth and prosperity 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 heavy toll on natural ecosystems and the climate. As a growing number of 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 2 emissions. We disclose our Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions annually,” Niranjan Banodkar, CFO and Head of Sustainable Finance, Yes Bank, told Business Today.
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 has switched to renewable energy supply to power its head office, the Yes Bank House (YBH) in Santa Cruz, Mumbai, from January 1, 2022.
The company points out that 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 fiscal year 2021-22. The bank has adopted an Environmental and Social Policy (ESP), which provides a structured approach to responsible lending. Through this policy, the bank incorporates environmental and social risks into its overall credit risk assessment framework.
Yes Bank, being the only Indian bank to measure and report its financed emissions from its exposure to the power generation sector, is in the process of developing carbon intensity targets to align with the global decarbonization trajectories of 1.5 degrees.
“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,” Banodkar said.
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 1,645 crore rupees (or $260 million), through three green bonds to channel funding to the sector Indian renewable energy. In FY21-22, the bank made available Rs 1,769 crore in financing solutions for renewable energy projects totaling around 562 MW,” Banodkar added.
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