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On behalf of nine Chinese environmental NGOs, Ms. Jin Jiaman, Director of Global Environmental Institute, announced the Green Banking Innovation Award on August 1st. China Industrial Bank Co. Ltd. received Green Banking Innovation Award for the second time at the Best China Banks Ceremony organized by the Economic Observer weekly.
This award was nominated and voted by nine renowned NGOs: 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.
Integrating environmental standards and social responsible standards into core business strategies is a global trend for banks to develop sustainability. Responding to such trend, some banks in China established environmental policies and made remarkable achievement. For instance, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China dedicates itself to green credit policies; China Merchants Bank applies green credit policy to overseas investments. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank invited a third party to audit their Social Responsibility Reports. In addition, on October 31, 2008, China Industrial Bank became the first bank in China to adopt the Equator Principles.
According to selection criteria made by the nine environmental NGOs, China Industrial Bank got the highest score and won the Green Banking Innovation Award. Since the adoption of the Equator Principles, China Industrial Bank has integrated sustainability issues into its strategy, and made progress, such as the establishment of the "Environmental and Social Risk Management" policy and the Center for Sustainable Finance. In addition, China Industrial Bank was a signatory of Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and participated in CDP survey.
On the ceremony, Ms. Jin Jiaman said, "We expect China Industrial Bank can continue its innovation and build up a model green bank in China." Representatives from China Industrial Bank called for more banks in China to contribute to sustainable finance.
Established in July 2008, the Green Banking Innovation Award is the first-ever award in China specifically about green banking, which promotes banks and other financial institutions to consider their roles in environmental protection. This not only indicates Chinese NGOs are using more diversified approaches to advocate sustainable development, but highlights the efforts of Chinese banking sector on environment. Mr. Yu Xiaogang, Director of Green Watershed, pointed out, "Various interactions between environmental NGOs and financial institutions will be developed like dialoguing, monitoring, advocating, praising outstanding banks and criticizing problematic banks." It was reported that the nine organizations will compile an Environmental Report on Chinese Banks based on this award evaluation, and publish it at the end of 2009.