Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank had submitted his doctoral thesis on “Green Banking and Sustainability “to Sri Sri University recently and on 16th August 2015 he was invited to defend the same. The Viva Examining Board on the basis of unanimous opinion has recommended that Dr. R. Seetharaman be awarded the Ph.D. Degree on “Green Banking and Sustainability “. Dr. R. Seetharaman was awarded the Ph.D. Degree by Dr. Nand Lal, Vice Chancellor of Sri Sri University at the Second Convocation of Sri Sri University held on 1st September, 2015 in the presence of Shri Naveen Patnaik, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Odisha and Poojya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji, Life time President, Sri Sri University.
While defending his thesis Dr. R. Seetharaman said, “Green Banking promotes environmental-friendly practices and reducing carbon footprint from the banking activities. The Global financial crisis has made me rethink on Green Banking. Banks as Socially responsible citizens should earmark capital for Green Banking apart from capital for regulatory requirements. The areas which are related to Green banking and impact sustainable development include Green economies, Food security, Corporate Social Responsibility, Public –Private Partnership, Climate Change Financing, Small and Medium enterprises, Global and GCC Sustainability and Human resources. The key themes are Green economies are the solutions to global sustainability, Green Banking encourages Green economies and thereby mitigate climate change , Effective Policies are required to attract Private Sector investment in climate change, Climate change mitigation is necessary to address Food Security Challenges, SMEs are critical for sustainable development of economies and Global Governance gives emphasis on sustainable development. “
In relation to Green Banking Dr. R. Seetharaman said “The Banking environment operates within the global standards of lending or investing and such standards have been revised after the Global financial crisis both in terms of liquidity and capital adequacy. The going –concern and gone concern capital has been redefined and suitable buffers have also been developed taking into consideration the liquidity and systematic issues. However in addition to above Banks as socially responsible citizens have a role to play on protecting environment and contribute to sustainable development. Hence every Bank should earmark minimum 10% of Tier 1 capital subject to a cap of 10% of risk weighted capital towards Green banking or Clean development mechanism (CDM) or any Sustainable development projects taking into consideration the carbon emissions prevailing in the economy in which the bank operates. The Green house gas (GHG) emissions need to be estimated for major economic sectors in areas of operation to determine the carbon footprint. Based on the carbon footprint in various economic sectors various initiatives be proposed to promote Green economies such as Lending for Green projects, CDM scheme and Paperless banking. The allocation matrix should be such that greater the carbon footprint in the relevant economic sector, the higher the allocation of capital for Green Banking and Sustainable projects. The carbon footprint will be different across various geographies and economic sectors and hence country wise and sector wise allocations should be explored. This forms the basis for Green banking and brings prudency into the capital framework.”
Dr. Seetharaman also highlighted the key initiatives of Doha Bank on Green Banking. He said “. Doha Bank has promoted paperless banking, Internet Banking, SMS Banking, Phone Banking and ATM Banking as well as online channels such as Doha Souq, E-Remittances and Online Bill Payments. It has launched Green Credit Card and Green Account. It also has a dedicated Green Banking Website which integrates the bank’s initiatives in promoting environmental safety with the community by reaching out to both the public and private sectors. Doha Bank conducted Green Quiz with Global warming and climatic changes as a central theme to spread awareness in various countries. Doha Bank was involved in Project financing for supporting the construction of Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation’s Water Security Mega Reservoirs Project. It has also provided term loan for Emirates Central Cooling Systems, which provides Efficient District Cooling Services (DCS) to developments in Dubai and the surrounding region. Doha Bank has tracked the developments pertaining to various Conference of Parties (COP) meetings of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). “
In this concluding remarks he said “Green economies are the solutions to global sustainability and hence Green Banking should be practiced which encourages Green economies and thereby mitigate climate change.”