There has been tremendous economic growth in the industrial age, with improvements across indicators such as life expectancy, population, per capita income and reduced poverty. However, unchecked economic growth has come at a huge cost of natural ecosystems and the climate. While an increasing number of sectors are looking at measures to cut down their emissions now, Yes Bank for long has been focusing on the environment under its ESG commitments.
“We have undertaken a target to achieve net zero emissions from the operations by the year 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, Chief Financial Officer & Head Sustainable Finance, Yes Bank.
The initiatives undertaken by Yes Bank include sourcing renewable energy, reducing financed emissions, adopting Taskforce on Climate related Disclosures (TCFD), among many others. As a first step towards achieving its net zero target, the bank has switched to sourcing renewable energy to power its headquarters, Yes Bank House (YBH) in Santa Cruz, Mumbai, from January 1.
Switching YBH to renewable energy has resulted in eliminating a significant portion (approximately 1,105 tCO2e) of the bank’s Scope 2 emissions in FY 2021-22. Yes Bank has adopted an Environment and Social Policy (ESP), which provides a structured approach toward 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 financed emissions (Category 15 Scope 3 emissions) of its electricity generation sector exposure (project finance and corporate loans), it is in the process of developing carbon intensity targets to align with the global 1.5-degree decarbonisation pathways. “We strive to align our business to the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We also recognise climate risk as a significant risk and TCFD recommendations for adoption of best practices around managing and disclosing climate risk. We also continue to build capacities toward climate risk measurement and mitigation,” says Banodkar.
In addition, the bank has recognised the importance of mobilising 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 have raised Rs 1,645 crore ($260 million), through three green bonds for channelising finance towards India’s renewable energy sector. In FY 2021-22, the bank made available Rs 1,769 crore of financing solutions for renewable energy projects totalling about 562 MW,” adds Banodkar.
A signatory to the UNEP FI Commitment to Climate Action, Yes Bank is the only Indian bank to be a member of Science Based Targets Initiative’s Expert Advisory Group and is committed to develop emission reduction targets.
This content was originally published here.