What's the problem?
  • The world has a fixed amount of natural resources - some of which are already depleted. So as population growth greatly strains our finite resources, there are fewer resources available. If we intend to leave our children and grandchildren with the same standard of living we have enjoyed, we must preserve the foundation of that standard of living. We save for college educations, orthodontia, and weddings, but what about saving clean air, water, fuel sources and soil for future generations?
  • Some of the greatest threats to future resources come from things we throw away everyday. Household batteries and electronics often contain dangerous chemicals that may, if sent to a local landfill, leak through the bottom barrier and pollute the groundwater. This can contaminate everything from the soil in which our food grows, to the water which will eventually come out of aquifers and into our tap water. Many of these chemicals cannot be removed from the drinking water supply, nor from the crops that are harvested from contaminated fields. The risks to human health are tremendous.
  • Throwing away items that could be recycled diminishes energy, water and natural resources that could be saved by recycling.

Did you know...
  • For every ton of paper that is recycled, the following is saved: 7,000 gallons of water; 380 gallons of oil; and enough electricity to power an average house for six months.
  • You can run a TV for six hours on the amount of electricity that is saved by recycling one aluminum can.
  • By recycling just one glass bottle, you save enough electricity to power a 100-watt bulb for four hours.
    The more we throw away, the more space we take up in landfills. When a landfill becomes a "landfull", taxpayers have to build a new one. The less we throw away, the longer our landfills will last. The amount of taxpayer money we save by extending the longevity of our landfills is an important community benefit.

The Bottom Line
  • None of us operate in a vacuum. Our choices and behaviors have a ripple effect that reach across the world today, and on to future generations. What we buy, what we do or do not recycle, what we "throw away" has an impact on an evermore interconnected planet. If we want to maintain the standard of living we currently enjoy and pass it on to our posterity, it will take an all-hands effort to preserve the foundation of that standard of living – clean air, water and soil.
  • The Green Banking Initiative is the beginning of an important new shift in the way we treat our world. This grassroots program promotes the very best character traits in children and adults: caring for yourself and caring for others. Through simple, responsible behavior shifts, together we can protect human health through environmental stewardship.

JK Bank's "Green Banking" Initiatives

Over the years since industrial revolution, the single minded focus on economic progress, the perpetual desire for more amenities & comfort and the desire to control others has seen mankind make significant steps in its journey through time. The repercussion of the development process have, however, been equally enormous – loss of biodiversity, climatic change, environmental degradation, etc, which till recently were ignored. However, of late ,there has been a growing realization that if we wish to leave our children and grandchildren a healthy and resource-rich environment, as well as a healthy and sustainable global economy, we must act urgently to curtail negative impacts to important ecosystems and depletion of non-renewable resources. This realization is not limited to individuals alone but permeates across all sections of the society including Government, NGOs, corporates, and, of course, the Banking sector.
Banking sector, till recently, generally perceived itself as environmentally neutral and even the society didn't associate any major ecological concerns with the internal operations of the bank .The only concerns were on account of the financial relationship of banks with the firms who were having substantial impacts on the environment. This perspective is ,however, fast changing and banks today are realizing that like all other stakeholders, banks too have to contribute towards sustainability of the environment and this contribution has not only to be limited to users of banking services but also has to be pervasive in their internal operations .
As a developmental institution of the State, J&K Bank Ltd has always been proactive in undertaking socially & economically responsive projects ranging from support to artisans of traditional crafts to modernization of technology of local units and so on. Even on the ecological front, the Bank has been pioneering initiatives long before the concept catched the imagination of corporate world. However, to systematize the activities being pursued by the Bank and to properly channel the activities to be undertaken for preservation of the environment, it is proposed that the Bank may champion a new initiative under the title "Green Banking".
The initiatives to be undertaken under "Green Banking"shall not only be aimed at sensitizing our customers but shall also focus on initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint of the Bank. In addition, some initiatives may also be undertaken under the Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Bank. These initiatives, some of which have already been undertaken, are as under:

Finance for Solar Water Heaters/Solar Lights
  • J&K Bank offers the The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)subsidy linked scheme for Solar Off-grid (Photo-voltaic) and decentralized applications to promote commercial marketing of solar energy systems and devices by extending financial incentives in the form of capital and interest subsidy on loans availed from financial institutions by the target clientele. The scheme provides for routing the capital subsidy and the interest subsidy on bank loans availed of by the clients from the banking system for solar energy conversion/ user systems and devices under this scheme through National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).the JKBank Solar Lighting & Photo Voltaic Finance scheme has been providing finance to eligible borrowers for purchase of any of the approved photovoltaic systems from MNRE approved suppliers.

Solar Powered Branches & ATMs.
  • Currently, we are having Solar powered Branches & ATMs at 23 places across various parts of the country including Leh, Kargil, Tangmarg, Moradabad & Aligarh. This process shall be continued with and more & more operations shall be powered by solar energy

No paper Circulars allowed for internal communication.
  • All circulars, i.e. internal communications from controlling offices to branches and between offices are in soft form and no usage of paper is allowed in such communication

Dedicated intranet site for E-newsletter rather than a paper newsletter.
  • The internal magazine of the bank comes only in soft form and paper based form of the same has completely been stopped in accordance with the bank's policy of reducing avoidable usage of paper.

Energy Efficient Operations.
  • The high energy consuming CRT monitors of computer systems have been replaced by energy efficient TFT/LED ones for reductions of energy consumption. Additionally all the Computer Systems used by the bank are energy star compliant in accordance to European Standards. Similarly, all new generator sets installed by the bank have necessarily to be zero emission ones.

Web Page for Green Banking
  • Dedicating a full page in our website for Green Banking where all the initiatives of the Bank shall be provided

In addition to the above, then following internal activities have been undertaken:

  • Installation of Compact LED Bulbs at all Offices & Business units of the Bank to save on space and energy.
Plantation Drive
  • On the occasion of World Plantation Day, J&K Bank planted hundreds of saplings of various species across the state. The main function was held here at Badamvaer, a picturesque Srinagar park, developed and maintained by the Bank under its Heritage Preservation Programme.
    Commenting on the occasion, Chairman Parvez Ahmad said, "Planting these trees today is quite a symbolic gesture of celebrating the occasion of Navroz and World Arbour Day. Yet the very substance of the act is to convey that J&K Bank remains committed to the cause of development, of which environmental preservation is an important responsibility." “Therefore safeguarding state ecology forms an integral part of our heritage preservation programme, under which we have not only revived and restored but continue to maintain and develop many of the historical parks across the state including Badamvaer. Besides helping in eco-conservation these parks have emerged as hubs of socialization and public spaces for leisure and entertainment to the people of this state”, he added. While invoking the famous saying of the sufi saint, Sheikh Nooruddin Wali (RA) "AN POSH TELI YELI WAN POUSHI" supplemented by the proverbial English translation "Food is subservient to tree"" said, " It was the utmost responsibility of the bank as the most prominent corporate citizen of the state to ensure complete protection and preservation of the natural wealth that the state is bestowed with and which forms the main attraction for national and international tourists to leisure in the scenic beauty of the valley."
  • In past too, bank carried out massive plantation drive , to celebrate its 75th year i.e. Platinum Jubilee, in which 75000 saplings of various species will be planted throughout the state of Jammu and Kashmir.In this special drive, the Bank engaged civil society members including students, academics, professionals, artists, senior citizens and other sections of society to make it an inclusive and participatory initiative of the larger community. All the zonal and cluster offices keenly participated in the special drive and on the first day itself 48,750 saplings of various species were planted at scores of places in almost all the districts across J&K. These include, Iqbal Park, JVC Medical College, S P College, Islamia High School, , Green Valley Educational Institute etc. in Srinagar; various schools, colleges and parks in Budgam, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Kupwara, Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian, Rajouri, Kathua, Doda, Kishtwar, Samba, Poonch, and Reasi.

Digital Transformation
  • Digital Transformation mission encompassing digital awareness campaigns, workshops, digital drives, DIGIWIN Lucky Draw Scheme are being carried out by bank to make people adapt to the innovative solutions that banks offer and help bank to globally lessen the impact on the environment. Below are some basics tips on how you can be more environmentally aware when banking with us.
    • Try to use Internet banking as much as you can.
    • And try to use mobile app banking
    • Switch to electronic statements/ credit card e-bill statements, if you haven’t already

  • Simplify: Simplify your life as much as possible. Only keep belongings that you use/enjoy on a regular basis. By making the effort to reduce what you own, you will naturally purchase less/create less waste in the future.

  • Tree-Free Home: As much as possible, create a tree-free home: replace paper napkins with cloth napkins replace paper towels with a special set of cloth towels/napkins (or cut up old t-shirts for great towels) - store the used ones in a small container in your kitchen and just wash and reuse purchase bleach-free, toilet paper that is made from the highest post-consumer waste content you can find (80% minimum) if you print documents, print on once-used paper and/or bleach-free, recycled paper with the highest post-consumer waste content available (or hemp/alternative-source paper, if you can afford it) create and use note pads from once-used paper leave messages for family members/roommates on a reusable message board make your own cards/letters from once-used products or handmade paper

  • Avoid Trash: Avoid creating trash wherever possible: when ordering food, avoid receiving any unnecessary plastic utensils, straws, etc. (ask in advance), buy ice cream in a cone instead of a cup, don't accept "free" promotional products, buy products with the least amount of packaging, etc. Every little bit of trash avoided does make a difference!

  • Reusables: Switch from disposable to reusable products: food and beverage containers, cups, plates, writing pens, razors, diapers, towels, shopping bags, etc.

  • Ice caps are white, and reflect sunlight, much of which is reflected back into space, in turn cooling Earth; but with the ice caps melting, the only reflector is the ocean. Darker colors absorb sunlight, further warming the Earth.

  • Scientists blame global warming for the declining penguin population, as warmer waters and smaller ice floes force the birds to travel further to find food.

  • Stressed by cyanide fishing, harbor dredging, coral mining, deforestation, coastal development, agricultural runoff, careless divers, and now global warming, there is a devastating loss of coral across the world.

  • Everytime we burn oil, coal and gas to generate electricity and power, we produce the heat trapping gases that cause global warming.

  • Deforestation is one of the main causes of atmospheric carbon dioxide; burning and cutting millions of acres of trees each year, it is responsible for 20-25 per cent of all carbon emissions.

  • Water vapor is the most prevalent and most powerful greenhouse gas on the planet; it holds onto two-thirds of the heat trapped by all the greenhouse gases.

  • A laptop is more environment friendly than a desktop. It consumes five times less electricity.

  • An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!

  • A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15 per cent.

  • Tissue paper is a major source of waste. It takes 60,00,000 trees to make 1 year's worth of tissues for the world.

  • A ton of recycled paper equals or saves 17 trees in paper production.

  • A plant on your desk acts as a natural filter, absorbing airborne pollutants and computer radiation while replenishing oxygen levels.

  • Lawns only need watering once a week, post rain only after two weeks. Do watering early morning for minimal evaporation and water conservation.

  • Crawling traffic contributes eight times as much air pollution as traffic moving at regular highway speed.

  • Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year!

  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth and soaping your hands. This can save around 16 litres a day. That's 11,000 litre of water per person per year.

  • A dripping tap can waste over 20,000 litres of water every year.

Source: http://green.ndtv.com
  • Pollution: Each kind of pollution- air, noise, water- has significant impacts to our everyday lives, affecting all living and non-living factors in the biosphere and the atmosphere and also involve socio-economic factors. These impacts have caused significant changes to the environment we are living in.

  • Deforestation:Trees are the earth's largest depository of natural resources and house half of the planet's dryland species. But man's greed is putting a saw through the fragile ecosystem and over the years half of the world's forests have been transformed into a concrete jungle. Indiscriminate felling of trees for fuel and timber or for housing and agriculture purposes has gone on unabated despite the cliches mouthed by environmentalists and a line of successive governments.

  • Soil Erosion:Floods and soil erosion are two of India's greatest problems. Neither is new, but there can be no doubt that in recent years floods are taking an increasing toll on crops and the rapid progress of soil erosion in different parts of the country has caused grave concern. India is thought to be losing 4.7 billion tons of topsoil a year, mostly through water erosion. Its monsoonal climate, with the concentration of rainfall during a few months of the year, leaves its exposed soils vulnerable to erosion. About 60 percent of soil that is washed away ends up in rivers, streams and lakes, making waterways more prone to flooding and to contamination from soil's fertilizers and pesticides. Soil erosion also reduces the ability of soil to store water and support plant growth, thereby reducing its ability to support biodiversity.

  • Land Degradation:Decline in land quality caused by human activities has been a major global issue during the 20th century and will remain high on the international agenda in the 21st century. The importance of land degradation among global issues is enhanced because of its impact on world food security and quality of the environment. High population density is not necessarily related to land degradation; it is what a population does to the land that determines the extent of degradation. People can be a major asset in reversing a trend towards degradation. However, they need to be healthy and politically and economically motivated to care for the land, as subsistence agriculture, poverty, and illiteracy can be important causes of land and environmental degradation.

  • Waste Management:Urban India is likely to face a massive waste disposal problem in the coming years. Until now, the problem of waste has been seen as one of cleaning and disposing as rubbish. But a closer look at the current and future scenario reveals that waste needs to be treated holistically, recognising its natural resource roots as well as health impacts. Waste can be wealth, which has tremendous potential not only for generating livelihoods for the urban poor but can also enrich the earth through composting and recycling rather than spreading pollution as has been the case. Increasing urban migration and a high density of population will make waste management a difficult issue to handle in the near future, if a new paradigm for approaching it is not created.

  • Increasing Energy Consumption:India faces a huge energy deficit: till 2001, only 44 per cent of Indian households had access to electricity. But consumption's galloping: between 1947 and 2001, India's per capita power consumption rose from 15 to 592 units. If India has to move ahead economically, it must find ways to bridge the deficit.

  • High Carbon Emissions:Carbon dioxide emissions are causing the Earth's climate to change and warm, which will have catastrophic results if we do not act to reduce them. Carbon dioxide emissions in our atmosphere are at their highest levels in recorded history, spanning over 650,000 years. The effects of climate change can be seen now. Temperatures are increasing, glaciers are receding at unprecedented speeds and storms are becoming more frequent and severe.

Source: http://green.ndtv.com