Chinese NGOs announce third Green Banking Innovation Award
(September 2010, Beijing) Nine Chinese NGOs presented the 2009 "Green Banking Innovation Award" and the "Environmental Information Disclosure Award" to China Merchants Bank and Industrial Bank, respectively.
The awards are part of the Economic Observer magazine's Best Chinese Banks annual awards ceremony. However, the jury is comprised of nine independent NGOs including Green Watershed, Friends of Nature, Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, Green Earth Volunteer, Global Environmental Institute, Civil Society Watch, China Development Brief, Green Volunteer League of Chongqing and Hengduan Mountains Research Society. SynTao Co. Ltd., a leading consulting firm in China on corporate social responsibility, acted as an advisor to this award.
In China, public environmental awareness and the role and function of Chinese society in environmental protection are gradually increasing. This award was established three years ago to encourage the Chinese banking sector to fulfill their societal role to protect the environment, curb emissions and climate change, and promote the green development that is important to the public. It is in-line with the Chinese government's Green Credit Policy of 2007, which created a blacklist of companies that should not receive loans from banks in China because of their dismal environmental record.
The jury first shortlisted nine Chinese banks after examining the banks' 2009 corporate social responsibility reports. Next, banks were sent questionnaires, of which four banks - China Merchants Bank, Industrial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank - completed the survey and Bank of China and CITIC Bank provided some information. Of those, China Merchants Bank, Industrial Bank and Standard Chartered Bank accepted face-to-face interviews. Additional information was sought from related domestic and foreign media reports.
The 2009 Green Banking Innovation Award was based on the following 13 criteria: level of information disclosure; formulation of environment-related policies; adoption of environment-related implementation measures; presence of dedicated environmental departments or staff; the situation of ‘liang gao' lending; the situation of energy-saving environmental protection lending; public opinion and critiques; adoption of international standards and norms; the banks' internal environmental performance; the banks' external advocacy and trainings; the banks' social investments; and the situation of overseas investments.
The ‘Environmental Information Disclosure Award' was developed to promote greater transparency and disclosure of environmental policies and information. Award indicators included the means through which information was disclosed; the circumstances under which information was disclosed; the substance of information disclosure; bank responses to public demands, etc.