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YES BANK launches Sustainability Series to promote Sustainable Finance in India

The first ever initiative in India, in association with UNEP FI, GIZ & RIRA, aims to build Risk Awareness in the Environment & Social domains within the Financial Sector

Mumbai, April 23, 2013: YES BANK, India’s fourth largest private sector bank, has launched the YES BANK Sustainability Series, the first-ever initiative in India, to promote Risk Awareness in the Environment & Social (E&S) domain in the Financial Sector. The Sustainability Series, conceptualized in association with UNEP FI (United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative), GIZ (Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) and RIRA (Responsible Investment Research Association), will aim to promote Sustainable Finance in India within the Financial Sector.

The Sustainability Series was inaugurated by the RBI Deputy Governor, Dr. K. C. Chakrabarty. While speaking at the inaugural function, Dr. Chakrabarty said, "Environmental viability is not independent from Financial Viability and one needs to innovate to find viability in Sustainability. Indian Banks play an important role and they need to approach sustainability not just from a reporting lens but in a holistic manner."

Mr. Robert Tacon, MD & Founder at Boundes Sustainability Ltd. who represented UNEP-FI as the tutor of the ESRA Workshop while delivering his keynote address mentioned "Risk Management was beyond just the financial implications. Bad debts surely have linkages to non performance on ESG parameters".

The inaugural session of the Sustainability Series also witnessed a full-day Introductory Training workshop on Environmental & Social Risk Assessment, conducted for Chief Risk Officers and (Sustainability Officers) of leading Financial Institutions in India. Enthusiastic participation was seen from leading public and private Financial Institutions like SBI Capital, ICICI, HDFC, RBS, Axis Bank, LIC, IDBI, IDFC, IL&FS, CITI Union, FirstRand Bank, IIFCL, L&T Finance, Ratnakar Bank, KPMG, United India Insurance, Birla Sun Life and YES BANK.

Commenting on the initiative, Ms. Namita Vikas, Chief Sustainability Officer, YES BANK said "Sustainable Finance is the key pillar of growth at YES BANK. We strive to be a part of India’s growth story through a strategic approach towards sustainability. By including wider economic, social and environmental objectives into our core business strategy, we intend to achieve significant traction in mainstreaming sustainability".

Going forward, as part of the Sustainability Series, YES BANK along with the partners will organize quarterly workshops focusing on Project Finance and Environment & Social Risk for Private Equity firms and Insurance firms.

About the Sustainability Series

Over the last few years, Sustainability has assumed significance and has become a key component of businesses worldwide. In the Asia-Pacific region, the sustainability sensitivity is relatively low, bringing out the critical need to evaluate E&S risks along with financial risks. While financial institutions are experts in traditional risk evaluation methods, there is a skill gap to address E&S risk assessment. The Sustainability Series thus focuses on this critical area through an in depth workshop for financial institutions.

About the Partners

UNEP, the leading organization within the United Nations system in the field of environment focuses on its global mandate; the conservation, protection, enhancement and support of nature and natural resources, including biological diversity, worldwide. UNEP, via its Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) has the mandate to promote sustainable development and environmentally sound business practices across the international financial services sector.

GIZ is a federal enterprise that supports the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development worldwide.

RIRA is a Not-for-Profit, member organization which works towards powering Sustainable & Inclusive Development through Responsible Financial Markets.


YES BANK, India’s fourth largest private sector Bank, is the outcome of the professional & entrepreneurial commitment of its Founder, Rana Kapoor and his top management team, to establish a high quality, customer centric, service driven, private Indian Bank catering to the Future Businesses of India. YES BANK has adopted international best practices, the highest standards of service quality and operational excellence, and offers comprehensive banking and financial solutions to all its valued customers. YES BANK has a knowledge driven approach to banking, and a superior customer experience for its retail, corporate and emerging corporate banking clients. YES BANK is steadily evolving as the Professionals’ Bank of India with the vision of "Building the Best Quality Bank of the World in India" by 2015

For media queries, please contact:

George Koshy

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