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Green Banking

For Sustainable Development

 For Sustainable Development
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Md. Zillur Rahaman :
Green banking refers to the initiatives taken by banks to encourage environment friendly investment. Green banking is a proactive and smart way of thinking towards future sustainability. It is very important for the banks to be proactive and accelerate the rate of the growth of the economy. As there is a continuous change in the environmental factors leading the banks face intense competition in the global market. Green banks also focus on commercially viable technologies, as opposed to early-stage innovative technologies, because they have been tested, have less associated with "technology risk" and can reliably produce revenue for project owners.
Green banking is not new in Bangladesh and this innovative banking system has been incorporated in Bangladesh since 2011. Green Banking is basically the paperless banking which doesn't harm the environment at all. It is also the finance of the banking project, service or trade in a firm or individual which doesn't pollute the environment in any way or causes any harmful elements or waste to the atmosphere. On-line banking, i-banking (Internet banking), ATM, CRM, POS, IDM, SMS service, finance in solar energy etc. are the examples of green banking.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) issued the Environmental Risk Management Guidelines for banks and financial Institutions (FIs) in 2011 to assess environmental risk in their credit and policy guidelines for Green Banking for banks. BB also introduced a uniform reporting format for reporting green banking activities in a structured manner for banks in 2012 and prepared 'Policy Guidelines for Green Banking' in 2013.
Most of the commercial banks are now vibrant either green finance or internal use of green banking. All the commercial banks have already been adopted green banking policy in their internal practice and also formed green banking unit to look after the green banking activities of the respective banks. A total of 569 branches have already been running under solar panel system upto June 2019, whereas 101 branches were running under the same system untill 2012. Then no ATM booth was available under solar panel system but now 95 ATM booth out of 7015 are running under the same system.
Paperless banking is one of the most development of green banking in Bangladesh. A sum of 9251 branches out of 10,342, i.e. 88.45 percent branches are rendering services under online facilities upto June 2019, whereas it was 3,042 out of 7,998 branches during 2012. Private commercial banks are rendering such services since long but in case of government banks have made a remarkable progress after resumption of green banking policy in Bangladesh.
Many banks are more advanced to decorate in their internal side as a green banking atmosphere. As such, Shahjalal Islami Bank Ltd has constructed a 17 storied 'Iconic Green Tower' at Gulshan area having the facility of 35 percent less consuming electricity and water system. This structure is certified as Lead Gold of USGBC of USA and its rooftop is also decorated by many eye-catching green trees. In the same way, Mutual Trust Bank has constructed the MTB Tower at Bangla Motor having the facility of solar panel system and less consuming water and electricity. Alarafah Islami Bank Ltd have also rendering services of its 60 branches out of 174 branches through solar panel system as a symbol of green banking environment.
Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd is the largest bank in our country considering Islamic finance and investment. Maximum area of its Head Office is running under the solar panel system and its 58 branches out of 361 across the country are rendering services under solar panel system. Every branch has made 28 point instructions from its Head Office meticulously to follow green banking in case of using water, electricity and other costs. This bank have planted 10 million samplings all around the country to make green environment through its Rural Development Scheme in 2018 and this process is running thereafter in every year.
Every bank is competing to each other for considering green finance. From 2013 to 2018, all the banks have made an green banking finance of Tk. 291.96 billion in various products and upto June 2019 it has more enhanced of Tk. 55.71 billion. In every year, this amount of finance in the industrial sector has increased significantly and in 2018, it has disbursed near about double of Tk. 99.87 billion than the previous year, whereas it was Tk 42.51 billion in 2017, Tk. 33.80 billion in 2016. This amount is increased remarkably due to government pressure as well as many green banking initiatives of Bangladesh Bank and regulatory Authorities.
Geographically Bangladesh is one of the most affected climate change countries in the world and the people of Bangladesh have been suffering for years from it. BB has the legitimate right to mold the actions of the banks and it is able to coerce all banks to put into action green banking policy to subdue its own environmental pollution as well as a commercial bank through the country.
If we all are well aware about our environment, we can save and change our risky climate through green banking initiative and investment.

(Mr. Rahaman is a banker and freelance contributor. E-mail: zrbbbp@gmail.com)

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