The country’s biggest private sector lender HDFC Bank on Thursday announced plans to become carbon neutral by 2031-32.

As part of the initiative, the bank is looking at reducing its emissions, energy, and water consumption.

“HDFC Bank will continue to incorporate and scale up the use of renewable energy in its operations,” said Ashima Bhat, the Group Head, CSR, Business Finance and Strategy, Administration and Infrastructure, HDFC Bank, while addressing a virtual press conference on Wednesday.

As part of its ESG strategy, the bank will also focus on offering loans for green products like electric vehicles at lower interest rates and incorporating ESG scores in its credit decisions.

The bank is also working on a framework for issuing green bonds.

The announcement comes just ahead of World Environment Day on June 5.

It is a part of the bank’s overall commitment to embed ESG principles in its business.

The bank has a three-pronged strategy to achieve its objective to become carbon neutral – reduce consumption, transition to renewable energy, and offset carbon footprint.

As a part of this strategy, the bank is planning to decrease absolute emissions and energy consumed in line from current level of 315,583 MT CO2 emissions and increase rooftop solar capacity in large offices.

Bhat said, “We are planning to convert 50% of our total sourced electricity to renewable energy and create single use plastic free corporate offices.”

The bank also plans to plant 25 lakh trees and reduce water consumption by 30%.

“A shared future means that individuals, companies and countries all have to act together to mitigate the effects of climate change,” said Bhat.

“Through this effort, we are supporting the country’s commitment in this direction. The broad strategy is in place and going forward we will fine tune it and introduce new measures if necessary,” she said.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, HDFC Bank is fully committed to help India mitigate the effects of climate change as well as help the country meet its international commitments under the Paris agreement,” she added.

In reply to a question, Bhat told Northeast Now that the bank will create awareness on decreasing emissions, energy consumption and use of green products like electric vehicles among its customers.

The press conference was also addressed by Nusrat Pathan, Head – CSR, HDFC Bank.

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