Green bank of the year 2018
Industrial Bank of China is known as the bank of green finance in its homeland because it was the first to begin operating by the Equator Principles, a globally accepted risk-management framework used by financial institutions for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in projects.
The bank took on the green initiative with gusto, and since then has lent out Rmb1.5 trillion ($234 billion) in the form of bonds and commercial loans, the largest portfolio among Chinese financial institutions.
“We grew from a little crack, as if a green sprout would grow in search of livelihood and survival,” says Luo Shiyi, the bank’s general manager in charge of green finance. “Green finance is a key strategy for our development as an institution.”
Founded in 1988 in Fuzhou, the provincial capital of Fujian, the bank has become one of China’s largest commercial banks. Its green finance department has been so active that China’s central bank has asked its senior executives to lead a wide range of education efforts to help society understand the need to be environmentally friendly. In 2018, the bank published a book, ‘From green to gold’, that has become popular among green finance advocates in China.
The Green Finance Committee of the China Society for Finance and Banking, a think tank affiliated with Tsinghua University and the People’s Bank of China, recently asked the bank to lead seminars teaching green finance to bankers, not only in China, but in other markets that Chinese banks are entering as part of the nation’s Belt and Road Initiative.
“We are quite willing to share our experience with local banks and local governments not only in China, but in other Belt and Road nations,” says Luo.