Girish Chandra Chaturvedi Chairman

Going beyond the Bank, we extended our support for combating the pandemic and its impact, through financial and logistical assistance to the government authorities.

Chairman’s Message

In 2020, the world was gripped by the unprecedented challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, leading to deep changes, experiences and lessons for nations, societies, individuals and businesses. The conditions of life that we take for granted were sharply disrupted, as containing the spread of the virus assumed priority over all else. The pandemic reminded humanity of our shared destiny; and the response of key warriors against the virus, from healthcare workers to the scientists working tirelessly on vaccines and medicines, displayed our strength and our talent and ingenuity.

At ICICI Bank, our foremost priority was to continue to serve our customers with due regard to their safety, and protect our employees. Banking being categorised as an essential service, we adopted a comprehensive approach that involved providing a safe and healthy work environment at our offices and branches coupled with remote working solutions. Our continuing efforts to promote a cashless ecosystem and enable digital access to financial services proved invaluable in an environment of social distancing and restrictions on movement. Our strategy, based on a customercentric approach, enabled us to respond to the needs of our customers and launch digital alternatives for them to stay connected and meet their financial needs. We launched initiatives like ICICI STACK to enable banking on digital platforms for all customer segments. ICICI Bank continues to create innovative, convenient and comprehensive digital experiences for our customers.

We engaged with healthcare institutions to support those of our staff and their family members who were affected by Covid-19, by extending medical care through virtual consultations, providing quarantine facilities and organising vaccination. Going beyond the Bank, we extended our support for combating the pandemic and its impact, through financial and logistical assistance to the government authorities. The activities of ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth in fiscal 2021 were largely oriented towards relief efforts and meeting the challenges of the pandemic. ICICI Bank and ICICI Foundation reached out to over 550 districts across the country in this endeavour.

At the same time, we did not lose sight of our long-term goal of promoting inclusive growth. For many years, we have been harnessing our experience and capabilities to help in addressing some of the challenges faced by society. Our financial inclusion initiatives focus on leveraging technology to improve digital adoption in rural areas. We have also enabled access to direct benefit transfers from the government, the benefits of which were particularly relevant during the pandemic as the government sought to alleviate its impact on the under-privileged. ICICI Foundation’s focus on skill training continued at the centres of ICICI Academy for Skills through innovative use of the digital medium for training purposes. We believe a hybrid model for training, combining digital with classroom training, can create a new paradigm in outreach. ICICI Foundation’s efforts in rural areas, adopting a holistic approach and balancing environmental and social priorities, aim to support the creation of sustainable rural ecosystems. Some projects undertaken by ICICI Foundation during the year included watershed management, water harvesting at schools, kitchen gardens and promoting climatesensitive farming practices. These efforts help to preserve the village ecosystem while deriving the benefits of development.

Environmental impact has become an important area of focus for organisations across sectors, particularly as climate related risks are increasingly becoming an important area of focus. The Bank has established a social and environmental management framework as part of its credit risk assessment process. We continue to promote the renewable energy sector, either by way of financing sustainable capacity creation or by increasing its use in our own operations.

We are sensitive to our role within our ecosystem that includes customers, employees, suppliers, communities and the environment. Maintaining integrity, fairness and transparency are important values for us in our engagement with our stakeholders. Ensuring right-selling of products to our customers and the philosophy of “Fair to Customer, Fair to Bank” are core to our strategy. We continue to instil a sense of accountability and ethics among employees through robust policies and strong governance. Our governance culture supported by sound risk management is aimed at ensuring we remain resilient during challenging periods and forge a sustainable future for the organisation.

The Environmental, Social and Governance Framework of the Bank integrates the various policies, principles and approaches and articulates our commitment to sustainable business practices and making a positive impact on society. We are delighted to present ICICI Bank’s second Environmental, Social and Governance Report 2020-2021 to share more information about our ESG efforts. We reiterate our commitment to sustainability in our business as an essential pre-requisite for long-term value creation. Girish Chandra Chaturvedi Chairman