Girish Chandra Chaturvedi
At ICICI Bank, we have focused on ESG (environment, society and governance) through our governance framework, our approach to business and our CSR initiatives.
There is a consensus among all stakeholders of business organisations that current or near-term financial performance is not a sufficient indicator of the long-term prospects of a business. Stakeholders have begun to seek a deeper understanding of the sustainability of a business, around three broad areas: its impact on the environment and its ability to adapt to climate change; its impact on society, including fairness and equity in treatment of customers and employees; and the effectiveness of its governance structure in ensuring that the business is conducted ethically and managed with a view towards long-term sustainability.
Appropriate oversight at the highest level of an organisation along with effective policies and practices are integral to effectively managing the wide variety of risks any business is faced with. A commitment to ethical conduct in all areas of operations and in the engagement with stakeholders is essential to build long-term trust in the franchise. A non-discriminatory approach towards customers and employees and a serviceoriented culture are fundamental to contributing to the growth of business as well as society. Products and services should be designed to be fair to customers, and should factor in the impact on society and the environment.
At ICICI Bank, we have focused on ESG (environment, society and governance) through our governance framework, our approach to business and our CSR initiatives. In the area of environment, the Bank has financed projects for capacity creation in environment-friendly sectors. The Bank assesses social and environmental risks when evaluating new projects for financing. The Bank’s business operations are conducted keeping in mind the environmental limits and ensuring ongoing efficiency gains. The Bank has also been ensuring green building features in all its large offices and new premises.
With regard to social responsibility, the Bank has endeavoured to have a transparent and ethical relationship with all its stakeholders. Being fair and ensuring right-selling of products has been a core element of the Bank’s strategy in its engagement with customers. The Bank has a no-discrimination approach in its treatment of employees.
Going beyond businesses, large organisations are also deploying their managerial expertise and financial resources in addressing socio-economic gaps through corporate social responsibility (CSR) related activities. At ICICI Bank, we have a long-standing commitment to undertaking social initiatives that have a meaningful impact on society. Enabling access to banking and financial services in rural areas is a key focus area. This has been made possible by leveraging technology and working with a network of partners for providing last mile access. Economic empowerment of women is integral to the efforts of the Bank in rural areas.
ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth was set up in October 2008 and focuses on socially impactful and scalable projects, with funding from ICICI Bank and its subsidiaries. Through its skill development activities, providing free training to youth and helping the trainees to find employment, the Foundation has created an opportunity for the youth to build an independent life and be part of mainstream economic activities. This has been further dovetailed with the rural strategy and the focus on strengthening rural ecosystems. Under its Rural Livelihoods initiative, ICICI Foundation has adopted a holistic approach to socio-economic development in the rural areas. The strategy involves four pillars: leveraging and improving local skills and output; enhancing market linkages; facilitating low-investment entrepreneurial opportunities; and addressing local environmental challenges by promoting sustainable practices.
ICICI has a 65-year heritage of partnering in nation-building. The Board of Directors of ICICI Bank has approved a Environmental, Social and Governance Framework which integrates the various policies, principles and approaches of the Bank in these areas. The Bank will continue to be committed to sustainable and responsible business practices and initiatives to positively impact society at large. Girish Chandra Chaturvedi Chairman