GREEN INITIATIVES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Doha Bank is the largest private commercial Bank in the State of Qatar. It was incorporated in 1978 and commenced its Banking business (including its International Banking services) in Doha, Qatar on March 15, 1979. As one of Qatar's leading financial services company, Doha Bank is committed to making Banking work for customers and clients like it never had before. Through innovative technologies and the ingenuity of its people, Doha Bank provides individuals, commercial, corporate and institutional clients across Qatar and even internationally, new and better ways to manage their financial lives. The company enables customers to do their Banking and investing whenever, wherever and however they choose through an extensive network, and multiple access channels. Doha Bank aims to be recognized as a dynamic, modern Bank with enduring traditional and regional values.
Sustainable Development Vision
Sustainable Development Goals
DOHA BANK ROAD SHOWS ON GLOBAL WARMING
Doha Bank organized a seminar on 21st October 2007 in Washington at Ritz Carlton, Washington D.C. on 'Global Warming and Climatic Change- perspective on Corporate and Social responsibility'. The event was held on the sidelines of annual IMF summit in Washington attended by Economists, Business leaders, Bankers and dignitaries. Doha bank has taken an exemplary initiative and has been conducting a series of seminars across the world not only towards imparting awareness of the issues, but also to deliberate on the corporate, social and economic perspective of the subject. The seminars have been extremely successful in Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Kuwait, Turkey, Tokyo, Nagoya, Singapore and Chennai and Mumbai. H. E. The Ambassador Mr. Patrick Theros, president of the US Qatar business council welcomed the guests for the evening and highlighted the useful contribution made by Government of Qatar during the disastrous impact on Katrina to the intent of USD 100M.
Explaining Economic model, Dr. R Seetharaman, CEO Doha Bank Group elaborated on how the combination of ecological balance and economics has opened opportunities to address Global Warming by tapping the power of the global marketplace. The innovative 'eco-nomic' business model has attracted a great deal of support as geopolitical, environmental and socio economic realities have made sustainable industrial production a permanent global issue. There are policy initiatives at highest levels to expand global market for emission trading, foster trade cooperation to improve energy efficiency, and develop renewable energy.
Elaborating on the various aspects of Global Warming, he explained the cause, the dangers and how one can responsibly tackle it. He said, "It has become alarming because of fast deteriorating ecological imbalance due to rapid industrialization, urbanization, growing pollution, and greenhouse gas emission. Impact of Global warming is getting worse with each passing day. Example: Increasing temperatures, rising sea levels, melting of sea ice and glaciers worldwide, severe weather changes resulting in increasing natural calamities like drought, floods, storm, heat waves etc. The need to develop environmentally sustainable businesses is becoming stronger, so that the globe remains a healthy place to live. We must do our bit to conserve the ecological balances globally. Environment protection for sustainable development is one of the eight Millennium Development goals ratified by United Nations, needing global attention.
He urged corporates to be highly proactive towards it. "We must invest more vigorously in projects for renewable energy, waste management, sustainable forestry, clean technology and energy efficiency. We should align internal organization practices responsibly with environmental cause. Environmental management and environmental audit should become an integral part of all organizations. Corporate relationship with only those organizations which comply with sound environmental management principles should be encouraged". Reminding every individual of their responsibilities towards it, he said 'We must reduce energy consumption with initiatives such as car pooling, putting unnecessary lights and TV off when not needed. We must totally eliminate usage of non bio- degradable materials, encourage recycling and buy environment friendly goods. We must plant more trees, he added. 'These are small steps which will make big difference".
He also said that, 'Doha Bank has taken various proactive measures in addressing Global Warming and its ramifications. It is propagating energy saving as a corporate habit. Doha Bank encourages ideas from staff on energy savings and suitably rewards them. Doha Bank is committed to be a carbon neutral entity.'
CEO ADDRESSING THE GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE KNOWLEDGE SHARING SESSIONS HELD AS A DOHA BANK INITIATIVE IN TOKYO
CEO ADDRESSING THE GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE KNOWLEDGE SHARING SESSIONS HELD AS A DOHA BANK INITIATIVE IN TURKEY
CEO ADDRESSING THE GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE KNOWLEDGE SHARING SESSIONS HELD AS A DOHA BANK INITIATIVE IN SINGAPORE
CEO ADDRESSING THE GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE KNOWLEDGE SHARING SESSIONS HELD AS A DOHA BANK INITIATIVE IN NAGOYA
CEO ADDRESSING THE GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE KNOWLEDGE SHARING SESSIONS HELD AS A DOHA BANK INITIATIVE IN CHENNAI, INDIA
CEO ADDRESSING THE GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE KNOWLEDGE SHARING SESSIONS HELD AS A DOHA BANK INITIATIVE IN CHENNAI, INDIA
UNESCO AND DOHA BANK CELEBRATE WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2011
On 05th June 2011, UNESCO Doha Office in partnership with Doha Bank jointly celebrated the World Environment Day to pay tribute to the "Forests: Nature at your Service". Forests sustain economic growth. In 2004 trade in forest products was estimated at $ 327 billion.
Continued and uncontrolled deforestation therefore not only has devastating consequences for the environment, the wildlife and communities, but for economies around the world, and for our natural life-support-system. 2011 is the United Nations International Year of Forests, which has been declared in support of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and other relevant conventions dealing with the complexity of forest issues. Efforts should be made by concerned stakeholders towards the sustainable management of all types of forests, including fragile forest ecosystems, and that includes, of course, the highly important coastal forest type of mangroves concerted efforts should focus on raising awareness at all levels to strengthen the sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations. Rather shockingly, 36 million acres of natural forest are lost each year. World Environment Day (WED) chose this year's theme, 'Forests: Nature at Your Service', to encourage forest conservation and sustainable consumption for green growth, and in support of the UN International Year of Forests. Preserving forests throughout the world has to be in our collective consciousness so as to change our lifestyles. As a resource, forests provide many important natural resources, such as timber, fuel, rubber, paper and medicinal plants. Forests also help sustain the quality and availability of freshwater supplies. More than three quarters of the world's accessible freshwater comes from forested catchments. Water quality declines with decreases in forest condition and cover, and natural hazards such as floods, landslides, and soil erosion have larger impacts.
DOHA BANK and UNESCO Environmental Alliance
Doha Bank and UNESCO signed a Partnership Agreement on 4th February 2010 at UNESCO Headquarters, West Bay, Doha, Qatar which was attended by Dr. R Seetharaman, Doha Bank Group CEO; Dr. Hamed Al-Hammami, UNESCO Representative in the Arab States of the Gulf and Yemen, Director of UNESCO Doha; Dr. Benno Boer, UNESCO's Ecological Science Advisor in the Arab Region; Mr. Mark Sutcliffe, UNESCO's Project Assistant - Natural Sciences, Mr. SalehSouror, Secretary General of the National Commission, Doha Bank Management, other guest and dignitaries. Doha Bank and UNESCO decided to work together as a Team in various environmental programmes by which both institutions can orchestrate together a partnership in greening the environment and actively promote the "green"culture. Eco-schools initiative will be developed in response to the need to involve young children in environmental projects and make them environmental advocates at a young age. The project aims to increase students' awareness on environmental and related sustainable development issues. Other projects include Waste Management, Beach Clean-up and Tree Planting amongst others."Doha Bank has Green Accounts which promotes the concept of paperless Banking and can greatly reduce petroleum-related carbon emissions, Go Green Credit Cards made from eco-friendly materials and contributes 1% of your spend towards a green cause, Doha Sooq for online shopping, DFast E-Remittances and DB Remit for online fund transfers and Doha Green Bank website, a green portal which creates public awareness on a wider scale."
DOHA BANK AND UNESCO: THE ECO SCHOOLS PROGRAMME LOGO COMPETITION
Doha Bank & UNESCO launched the nationwide ECO-Schools LOGO Competition along with the launching of the ECO-Schools Programme & website on 02nd March 2011. The programme began its awareness campaign through a LOGO Competition whereby a number of entries received from various schools all around Qatar. The ECO-Schools is an award programme that guides schools on sustainability initiatives which provides substantial opportunities to schools to explore various environmental concepts that can be implemented, improved, developed or retrofitted at their respective premises. On 13th June, 2011; the Top 3 LOGO competition winning entries were awarded by the ECO-Schools Committee based on its symbolism, simplicity and representation impact to the society. For each winning student; a Green Certificate plus 1 LG Net book each were given as a token of appreciation for their valuable contribution; Audrey Ivanov from The Cambridge School, Joyston the ECO-Schools Committee aims to increase ECO-consciousness and awareness amongst children to become environmental advocates at a young age. The ECO-Schools Core Process is very simple; the school only requires creating a framework for student action and making a promise to the ECO-Schools Committee. Once approved, the schools to implement the Action Plan; review and repeat the process. Afterwards, the Committee will monitor the progress and award the ECO-Stars once proven successful. CO-Stars will be awarded to schools for projects executed at 4 basic categories; i.e. Environmental Health, Waste Management, Energy-saving and Water Management projects. For Teachers, the ECO-Schools Programme is a tool to push the school children's eco-agenda and recognize their potential, training ground for students to become socially and environmentally-responsible citizens and task-oriented activity that will establish cooperation within the school. Dr. R Seetharaman, Doha Bank Group CEO, stated that, The programme is designed to increase environmental awareness and encourage school children and institutions to take the first step towards a greener path in order to lessen their carbon footprint. The LOGO symbolizes Doha Bank and UNESCO's ultimate goal to contribute positively in the reduction of Qatar's carbon footprint and provide a long-term impact to the society .
DOHA BROKERAGE & FINANCIAL SERVICES LIMITED AND ECOINVEST CARBON SA SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
In line with these Doha Brokerage & Financial Services Limited (DBFS), associate of Doha Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bunge Investment Management Limited (Bunge) through its affiliate company Eco- invest Carbon SA (Eco-invest). The MoU was signed for three pronged areas - carbon emissions risk management services, carbon emissions advisory services and carbon emission credit origination services in the Indian and Middle Eastern markets.DBFS is a brokerage institution having a preeminent position in Middle Eastern and Indian markets and Eco-invest is a world renowned player, having extensive experience and technical expertise in the development of projects intended to receive credits for reductions of carbon emissions of greenhouse gases. Dr. R Seetharaman, Chairman DBFS expressed his happiness over the agreement and said that the three fold service offerings through Eco-invest will go a long way in development of the Middle Eastern and Indian markets, and, will definitely boost the ongoing environmental friendly initiatives currently being undertaken in these regions. He said, 'This MoU is a part of the DBFS ongoing corporate social responsibility initiatives and has positioned DBFS as a pioneer in this business segment in the Middle Eastern and Indian markets'.
Carbon Mercantile Exchange:
In light of the above it is very important for Doha Bank to develop a good business model in line with its Global Warming and Climate Change - Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Accordingly, factoring the element of corporate social responsibility in the business model, Carbon Mercantile Exchange project has been initiated by Doha Bank. The necessary preliminary ground work for this Carbon Mercantile Exchange has been carried out across the globe by the bank. Further, it is also brought to attention that Doha Bank is the first bank in the Middle East Region to support sustainable investments and renewable energy.
Islamic USD 1 billion Sukuk:
In continuation with the bank's Global Warming and Climate Change - Corporate Social Responsibility - Green initiatives and the related business model, it's been proposed for issue to the public an Islamic USD 1 billion.
1st Eco-Friendly Card in GCC Launched in Qatar
Doha Bank in association with Visa Inc, the leading payment solutions provider, launched the Go- Green Visa Credit Card in 2009. The environment-friendly credit card is a first for the region and marks the latest innovative payment product from Doha Bank. The Go-Green Visa Credit Card is manufactured from bio-degradable material and the cardholders are able to manage their accounts electronically. E-statements reduce paper usage and wastage and all communication relating to the card is printed on recycled material. Furthermore, 1% of all that customers spend through the Go-Green card will be converted into Green points and donated to an approved Green cause that supports environmental initiatives such as tree planting in Qatar. Dr. R Seetharaman, Doha Bank CEO always has maintained that Doha Bank has always been passionate about Mother Nature. We've pioneered the Green Banking paperless concept by getting customers to open new Green accounts. With the new Go-Green Card we hope to maintain our position as the Best Green Bank in the Middle East and contribute to a cleaner and greener Qatar.
Dr. R Seetharaman, Doha Bank Group CEO said "Doha Bank is proud to have UNESCO, an international organization, be our Partner in Doha Bank's drive towards greening and cleaning Qatar. The Partnership will have a positive contribution to the environment through the collaboration of education, science and culture to further promote social and environmental responsibility. As a forward-thinking and socially responsible Bank, we continue to embrace sustainable business practices to satisfy customers and promote strong environmental stewardship. Even from within the organization, we have taken measures to instill the value of green culture among the staff through various eco-related activities. Doha Bank also arranges green activities that include the Annual Al Dana Green Run, Green Quiz, Green Seminars and Conferences, Recycling, Beach Clean-up, Tree Planting and more. These are small steps which will make big difference."
"We must do our part to conserve the ecological balances globally. The need to develop environmentally and economically sustainable businesses is becoming stronger, so that the globe remains a healthy place to live for everyone. We need to strive towards investing in approved and UN-compliant clean energy carbon credit programs. Investments made now in clean energy projects represent the future and will be a hedge against possible oil-deflation prices as well as profit-generating on their own account." he added.
Doha Bank is one of the leading Banks in Qatar and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, actively expanding its branches network throughout the region. It has a proud record of providing exceptional services and innovative products to customers. This record reflects the traditions of our culture, and is one, that endeavors to pioneer and continue being in the forefront of making a lasting positive impact on the environment and sustainable development.
Dr. R Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank Group remarked, "We at Doha Bank supports the World Environment Day campaign to save the forests since the world's forests protect land and water resources, provide renewable raw materials and energy, maintain biodiversity, and contribute an essential role in the climate change mitigation. The forests influence climate change mainly by affecting the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. When the forests grow, carbon is accordingly removed from the atmosphere and absorbed in the wood, leaves and soil. This is in line with the Bank's Green Banking initiative aimed at increasing public and corporate awareness on Corporate Social Responsibility around the world pertaining to the harmful effects of and Climate Change." Doha Bank has taken various proactive measures in addressing Climate Change and its consequences whereby proactively propagating energy saving measures as a corporate habit. Doha Bank is also committed to be a carbon neutral entity with a goal to reduce its carbon footprint; energy, water and paper consumption. Other environmental activities such as recycling, buying of environment-friendly goods, planting trees, beach clean-up and etc. were also implemented. Doha Bank has won the Golden Peacock Global Award for Corporate Social Responsibility in 2011/2010. We at Doha Bank; practice what we preach to set an example to the community; such small steps will make big difference," Dr. R Seetharaman added.
DOHA BANK'S AL DANA GREEN RUN 2012 DRAWS OVERWHELMING SUPPORT
More than 1,500 people from all walks of life took part in the seventh annual Al Dana Green Run. Men, women and children came together to run 3km raise awareness about wildlife preservation and environmental protection. This year the race started at 3.30pm and covered an entire lap around the Al Saad Sports Club complex. Dr. R Seetharaman, Doha Bank CEO said: "This is the seventh consecutive year of the run. We at Doha Bank have a continuing campaign to raise awareness among people and encourage them to think green. We live in an increasingly fragile ecosystem and we need to act now and one of the major steps towards that is realizing that we human beings are the ones to protect and preserve the world we live in."
Doha Bank's Green Banking Stance and Active Projects Impress COP18 Delegation
Doha Bank, the leading advocate and exponent of green banking in Qatar and the region, welcomed a senior delegation from COP18 to its stand at the Qatar Sustainability Expo being held at the Doha Exhibitions Centre.
The delegation was led by H.E. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah the President-elect of the COP18/CMP8 conference and chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee. His Excellency praised the Doha Bank stand and the positive measures being taken by the Bank to showcase and create green programmes in Qatar and congratulated Doha Bank Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr. R Seetharaman. Dr. R Seetharaman escorted the delegation through the stand and highlighted the various programmes that were showcased during the event.
Dr. R Seetharaman, Doha Bank Group CEO during the COP 18 event with VIP delegates
The ECO-Schools programme hosted a "Climate Change School Competition" which included essay writing & painting competitions as well as songs and presentations of environmental projects conducted by the schools as part of the ECO-Schools programme.
During showcase sessions being hosted at the Doha Bank stand at the Expo, Doha Bank also offered corporate entities and visitors in Qatar the ability to learn more about the technology and software that works to help complete data capture and reports as well as how performance indicators are assessed and implemented in a carbon foot print programme.
During COP18, utilizing this software and technology, Doha Bank helped calculate organizations footprint for their buildings after collecting relevant data - covering area in square meters, number of staff occupying the tower, water and electricity consumption for past 12 months.
DOHA BANK EXTENDS FINANCING FOR WATER SECURITY MEGA RESERVOIRS PROJECT VALUED AT QR 2.2 BILLION
Doha Bank, the largest private commercial bank in Qatar, has announced the signing of a project finance deal with Leighton Contracting Qatar, a division of UAE-based Habtoor Leighton Group, for supporting the construction of Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation’s (KAHRAMAA) Water Security Mega Reservoirs Project- Rawdat Rashed. The project value is QR2.2 billion .
The Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG), focused on two core market sectors, Infrastructure and Building, is one of the leading diversified international contractors in the Middle East and North Africa having an extensive track record in large-scale projects across the region. For more than 40 years the Group has built a strong and loyal client base across both the public and private sectors.
The Mega reservoirs, with a capacity of 100 million gallons each, are the largest reinforced concrete reservoirs in the world. The Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) CEO and Managing Director, José A. López-Monís, said the award validated the high value placed by the client on the capabilities and proven performance of the Group which was awarded this project for KAHRAMAA last March.
“We are pleased at the opportunity to participate in a project that will form the bedrock upon which Qatar’s water security initiatives will be built,” said Dr. R. Seetharaman, Group CEO of Doha Bank, adding that the Bank has already issued project-related guarantees.
“Doha Bank is committed to using our considerable resources to support infrastructure development in Qatar and help build a more prosperous and sustainable future for our nation and its people. As such, we continually look for opportunities to play a greater role in Qatar’s growth story by catering to the financing needs of key strategic entities, both public and private, and we hope to further grow our relationship with Leighton Contracting in the years to come,” Dr. Seetharaman said.
Launched in response to the huge increase in water demand due to the continuous growth and development in Qatar, the Water Security Mega Reservoirs Project aims to provide seven days of strategic water storage within KAHRAMAA’s network system, covering the new mega reservoirs and the existing and future secondary reservoirs.
The first phase of the project will provide seven days of water storage for the expected water demand in 2026, with five mega reservoir sites, while the second phase will provide the seven days of water storage for expected demand in 2036 by adding more reservoirs within the 5 mega reservoirs sites.
KNOWLEDGE SHARING SESSIONS
Global Financial Stability is Contingent on Green Economies
Dr. R Seetharaman participated in a knowledge sharing session of European University held at Geneva on 20th Nov 2012 and at Munich on 21st Nov 2012 respectively. Students, industry experts and experienced faculty from various back grounds attended this session. Dr. R Seetharaman spoke on "Investment Management"
Speaking on the occasion Dr. R Seetharaman highlighted the importance of investment management and investment philosophies. He said "Increase in Global assets under management by 10% in 2010 to reach a record of US$79.3 trillion has made investment management critical for both individuals and organizations. Globalization has urged a need for professional investment management practices across the multinational companies. The changing outlook on economic data, political situation, fiscal balances and monetary policies results in pro-active investment management practices. Institutions can improve the risk appetite by having market risk departments. Investment philosophy can be pre-determined or opportunistic based on guiding principles. The attractive valuations of Qatari markets offer an opportunity for the investors to enter at the current levels coupled with an expected dividend yield of 5.2% for FY13."
Dr. R Seetharaman spoke on various asset classes. He said "Hedge funds and Sovereign wealth funds have also become a key institutional investor in markets apart from Banks, Pension funds and Insurance Companies. Hedge funds follow global macro, directional and event driven strategies. Private equity firms receive their return on investments through Initial Public Offerings (IPO), sale, merger or recapitalization"
Dr. R Seetharaman explained the current scenario prevailing in the global economy. He stated that "Global economy is expected to grow at 3.3 percent in 2012. Advanced economies are expected to grow at 1.3 percent for 2012. US economy growth is expected grow at 2.2 percent for 2012. Euro Zone is expected to contract by 0.4 percent for 2012. Emerging economies are expected to expand by 5.3 percent in 2012.Growth will slow in several large developing countries, mostly because they will export less to Europe and the United States. China's economy will likely expand by 7.8 percent this year. India's economy will grow by 4.9 percent in 2012.Spillovers from advanced economies and domestic issues prevailing in emerging and developing economies have held-back activity in emerging market and developing economies. Delayed or insufficient policy action may further escalate the euro area crisis. Delays in raising the federal debt ceiling in U.S could increase risks of financial market disruptions and a loss in consumer and business confidence."
Dr. R Seetharaman explained the importance of green economies and sustainable development. He stated "Environmental protection, economic development and social development are required for sustainable development of green economies. A key element for establishing a successful global green economy was guaranteeing the availability of sustainable energy for all. It calls for stronger government policies, public-private partnerships, and collaboration between businesses, academia, technology providers, financial institutions and civil society to further secure the longevity of green industrial development throughout the world. Eco -green investment practice will contribute to sustainable development and develop green economies"
Dr. R Seetharaman highlighted the global financial stability scenario. He said "Global financial stability is impacted by the Eurozone crisis, US fiscal cliff and slowdown in emerging economies. The severity of recent Global financial crisis has placed focus on the growing impact on ecosystems the widening inequalities within nations as well as between world regions, and escalating social discontent. Invest in key resources and natural capital which can becomes areas for future growth. Combine market and regulatory instruments and improve governance and encourage private sector investment. The Global financial stability is contingent on green economies"
Climate Change Financing Models will Contribute to Sustainable Development
On the sidelines of the COP 18 Summit the Third World Climate Summit was held at Ritz Carlton on 1st and 2nd December 2012. Dr. R Seetharaman, participated in the panel discussion "Climate Financing For Mitigation & Adaptation" on 2nd December 2012.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. R Seetharaman highlighted the importance of private players in climate change. He said "There is a need to find ways of engaging new private investors, particularly institutional investors to help address the climate financing gap. To engage the private sector, expected returns on climate-related investment should be commensurate with the perceived level of risk. This is however often not the case and the private sector continue to face challenges in investing in the low carbon sector. But, despite the concerns, the potential of Public private partnership may be wasted if profit is the main motivation for the private sector. Rather, combating climate change along with climate proofing of interventions and commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) must be a priority for business. "
Dr. R Seetharaman highlighted the various kinds of leverages prevalent in climate change financing. He said "Leverage is more often broadly applied to a set of instruments provided by a financial institution that encourage and catalyze other public and private investment by reducing investment risk or increasing project returns enough to attract private investors. A ratio of total private Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows to the net public guarantee coverage issued and ratio of the Net Present Value of the carbon finance unit to the overall capital investment needed for the project are some of the leverage ratios which are used in climate change financing."
Dr. R Seetharaman highlighted the various models for climate change financing. He said "Carbon Finance, Global environmental facility, clean technology fund and Feed in tariff are some of the financing models for climate change financing. The World Bank Carbon Finance Unit (CFU) uses money contributed by governments and companies in OECD( Organization for economic cooperation and development ) countries to purchase project-based greenhouse gas emission reductions in developing countries and countries with economies in transition Carbon finance provides a means of leveraging new private and public investment into projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby mitigating climate change while contributing to sustainable development"
Dr. R Seetharaman explained various climate change financing models. He said "The Global environment facility is today the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment which is supported by various UN bodies and World Bank. The Global Environmental Facility has in the past used the term leveraging to imply co- financing. Global Environmental Facility requires that co-finance from other public agencies is provided for Global Environmental Facility projects as it expands the resources available to finance environmental objectives. Clean Technology Fund is one of the climate investment funds which provide developing countries with positive incentives to scale up the demonstration, deployment, and transfer of technologies with a high potential for long-term greenhouse gas emissions savings. Clean technology fund concessional financing focuses on large-scale, country-initiated projects in power sector, transport sector and energy efficiency. In particular, public private partnerships (PPP) are emerging as a successful business model within the Clean technology to create scale and mobilize necessary funding. Feed-In Tariffs are payments to ordinary energy users for the renewable energy they generate. The tariffs give three financial benefits such as Generation tariff, Export tariff and Energy Bill savings."
Dr. R Seetharaman explained the climate change trends in GCC. He said "Saudi Aramco and the Japanese refining company Showa Shell are to develop a pilot solar power plant that will have a capacity of 10 MW. Masdar project in Abu Dhabi got $615 million of bank financing for the world's largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant and $153 million equity from its Spanish and French partners In April 2011 the U.S. Department of Energy and the Qatar Science & Technology Park have signed a MOU for clean energy technologies."
In his closing remarks Dr. R Seetharaman said "Climate change financing models will contribute to sustainable development."
Create Green Economy and Globalize Carbon Trading to Bring in Sustainability
The Doha Global Business Day took place on 3rd December 2012 at the Diplomatic Club in Doha. It was co-organized by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in the context of the United Nations Climate Conference. Dr. R Seetharaman, Doha Bank Group CEO participated in the panel discussion "Long-term Visions for Economic Growth Opportunities in the Middle East Region" held on Doha Global Business Day which was hosted by KPMG.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. R Seetharaman highlighted the importance of Green economies. He said "Green economies mainly focus on the eco system. Creating green economies and globalizing carbon trading will protect our children and grandchildren. The welfare of future generations should be taken into account in current economic decisions. Green economies should encompass renewable energy, clean transportation, water and waste management. A key element for establishing a successful global green economy was guaranteeing the availability of sustainable energy for all. It calls for stronger government policies, public-private partnerships, and collaboration between businesses, academia, technology providers, financial institutions and civil society to further secure the longevity of green industrial development throughout the world."
Dr. R Seetharaman gave his insights on climate change. He said "The UN Climate Change Conference (COP18/ CMP 8) held at Doha encourages all parties to combine their efforts in fighting against climate change. Developing countries are the first affected by climate change and degradation of the environment. Floods, drought, and earthquakes are the most visible effect which put at risk the economic and social development. In the recent years Qatar has also given importance to renewable energy such as wind and solar."
Dr. R Seetharaman explained key actions to promote sustainability. He said "Invest in key resources and natural capital such as water, renewable energy and marine resources. They could become areas for future economic growth. Combine market and regulatory instruments. Improve governance and encourage private sector involvement. Banking should encourage the use of eco-friendly technology in its products and services. Basel 3 should encourage a risk framework which should promote sustainability. "
Dr. R Seetharaman gave his insights on measures to encourage Climate change financing. He said "Comprehensive energy and climate change policies that accelerate the deployment of energy efficiency, cleaner energy, renewable energy and green buildings should exist. Policies should be there to support investment in renewable energy generation, including measures that support the access for electricity generated from renewable energy sources. Creating Green economy and globalizing carbon trading to bring in sustainability."
Dr. R Seetharaman gave his insights on measures to encourage Climate change financing. He said "Comprehensive energy and climate change policies that accelerate the deployment of energy efficiency, cleaner energy, renewable energy and green buildings should exist. Policies should be there to support investment in renewable energy generation, including measures that support the access for electricity generated from renewable energy sources. Creating Green economy and globalizing carbon trading to bring in sustainability."
Building Green Economies is the Need of the Hour for Sustainable Growth & Gross Welfare- By Dr. R. Seetharaman
The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP19) in Warsaw, Poland began on 11th November with calls for governments to harness the strong groundswell of action on climate change across all levels of government, business and society and make real progress towards a successful, global climate change agreement in 2015.
World nations have launched the new round of talks in Warsaw at the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 12-day Conference began in Poland's capital amid warnings about a potentially disastrous rise in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The level of progress at COP19 will be an indicator of the world's chances of reaching a deal in 2015, which is the new landmark year in the UN-led process after the 2009 summit in Copenhagen. Developed countries have reiterated their commitment on promises on long-term climate finance support to developing nations, with a view to mobilse 100 billion USD by 2020.
The UN Climate Change Conference (COP18/ CMP8) held at Doha has given an important platform for various global leaders to take necessary steps in response to the climate change. The conference has come out with "Doha Climate Gateway" which will push forward the solutions to climate change. The Kyoto Protocol has been amended so that it will continue as of 1 January 2013 and the Kyoto Protocol's Market Mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Joint Implementation (JI) and International Emissions Trading (IET) can continue as of 2013. They have looked at various ways which ensure the effectiveness and environmental integrity of projects under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism that capture and store carbon emissions. Technology and funding play a key role in climate Change.
Dr. R. Seetharaman said "Durban platform", is notable as it includes developing countries such as China and India. The terms of the future treaty are to be defined by 2015 and become effective in 2020 the agreement, referred to as the "Durban platform", is notable. The deal extends Kyoto, whose first phase of emissions cuts run from 2008 to the end of 2012. The second commitment period will run from January 1, 2013 until the end of 2017. The conference led to progress regarding the creation of a Green Climate Fund for which a management framework was adopted. The fund is to distribute US$100bn per year to help poor countries adapt to climate impacts."
Dr. R. Seetharaman said that "The Philippines' lead negotiator at the 2013 UN climate change said "10,000 people had died in the east coast city of Tacloban, with thousands more unaccounted for. Winds of 147mph (235 kmph) were reported at Haiyan's peak, with gusts of 170mph (235 kmph). Waves of 45ft (15m) hit the shore, while 15.75 inches (400 mm) of rain caused torrential flooding inland. In all, 36 provinces, around two-thirds of the country, were affected as the storm crossed the country en route for Vietnam. Sano says there is still no word on the 1.5 million people in the province around Tacloban". He wants clarification on the future of the UN's Green Climate Fund and the sources of the $100 billion a year by 2020 promised by rich countries. A report published by Oxfam today underlines why this is such a critical issue. It estimates that between US$7.6bn and US$16.3bn of climate finance has been set aside by developed countries for 2013. Only the UK has offered support until 2015".
Dr. R. Seetharaman said "Global warming will lead to a rise in the level of the oceans and seas, causing a serious deterioration of the climate over the next 1,000 years. Burning of fossil fuels and the gases produced - especially carbon dioxide - were responsible for most of the temperature increases recorded during the second half of the last century. Forecasts the level of the oceans and seas will rise by between 18cm and 59cm by the end of the century as a result of the melting of the ice caps at the two poles. International efforts to mitigate climate change needs improvement to meet the goal of keeping global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Developing countries such as India is affected by climate change and degradation of the environment and the most visible effects include floods, drought and earthquakes these put at risk the economic and social development at the global level. However with appropriate climate and energy policies, renewable energy sources can contribute substantially to human well-being leading to positive effects including stabilization of the climate"
In his concluding remarks Dr. R.Seetharman said "Climate change is a global challenge which requires an ambitious global response and a green economy will protect the planet from the worst effects of climate change. Hence it is necessary that we contribute to the development of Green Economy. Green economy is mainly based on sectors such as renewable energy, green buildings, clean transportation, water management, waste management and land management". "BUILDING GREEN ECONOMIES IS THE NEED OF THE HOUR FOR SUSTAINABLE GLOBAL GROWTH AND GROSS WELFARE".
Building Green Economies will Rebalance Global Growth and Promote Sustainability
Georgetown University's Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) hosted Dr. R.Seetharaman, Group Chief Executive Officer of Doha Bank, for a public Monthly Dialogue Series lecture titled "Sustainable Development for Economies and Corporations" on 20th January 2014 on their Education City campus in Doha, Qatar. Dr. Mehran Kamrava, Director, Center for International and Regional Studies Professor, School of Foreign Service in Qatar Georgetown University introduced Dr. R. Seetharaman.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank said "Sustainable development is the one that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Individuals, Corporates and Economies should contribute to economic growth, social development and environmental protection with the aim of achieving sustainable development. The dimensions of sustainable development include social foundation, low carbon economy, environmental sustainability and gender equality.The key challenges in sustainable development include climate change, energy security, increase in natural and man-made disasters and rising unemployment."
Dr. R.Seetharaman gave insights on Climate Change and Green economies. He said "Climate Change has become alarming because of fast deteriorating ecological imbalance due to rapid industrialization, urbanization, growing pollution, and greenhouse gas emission. Climate change is a global challenge which requires an ambitious global response and a green economy will protect the planet from the worst effects of climate change. Hence it is necessary that we contribute to the development of Green Economy. Green economy is mainly based on sectors such as renewable energy, green buildings, clean transportation, water management, waste management and land management."
Dr.R.Seetharaman highlighted the role of Global Governance in sustainable development. He said "The Kyoto Protocol is a part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and is aimed at fighting global warming. The 19th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) to the UNFCCC which happened in Poland in Nov 2013 has set a pathway for governments to work on a new universal climate agreement for deliberation in the next UN Climate change conference in Peru. Environment protection for sustainable development is one of the eight Millennium Development goals ratified by United Nations and has received global attention. Global Governance gives emphasis on sustainable development."
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insights on food security. He said "Across the world, 700 million people in 76 low and middle-income countries are food insecure, and the situation could grow worse in the poorest countries according to the US Department of Agriculture. The majority of undernourished people reside in developing countries growing population and adverse climate changes are the key challenges impacting food security. We can no longer look at food security, poverty and climate change separately. Climate-Smart Agriculture is a driver for green growth."
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted trends on corporate social responsibility (CSR). He said "There is an inevitable link between business and society and hence the corporate competitiveness needs to be integrated with social development. CSR activities have the potential to create several distinct forms of value for customers. It is the customer perception of this value that mediates the relationship between CSR activities and subsequent financial performance. Corporate social responsibility is about creating long term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks derived from environment, social, governance issues and economic factors."
Dr. R. Seetharaman explained the role of private sector in climate change. He said "Attention is turning to ways to unlock the investment potential of the private sector. There is thus a need to find ways of engaging new private investors, particularly institutional investors to help address the climate financing gap. The private sectors expected returns on climate-related investment should be commensurate with the perceived level of risk."
In his closing remarks he concluded “Green economies are the solution for climate change and for sustainable global growth. Building Green economies will rebalance global growth and promote sustainability."
Doha Bank Honoured with Golden Peacock Global Award for Sustainability
Dr. R. Seetharaman speaking at the House of Lords - IOD event & receiving award from The Rt Hon Theresa Mary May, MP-UK Home Secretary.
The Institute of Directors, hosted the 14th London Global Convention on "Corporate Governance Sustainability Global Business Meet & Presentation of Golden Peacock Awards" between 28th and 31st October, 2014 at House of Lords, UK Parliament, Westminster, London. The theme of the summit was "Boards to Lead: Effective Corporate Governance and Sustainability". Doha Bank was honoured with "Golden Peacock Global Award for Sustainability 2014". Dr. R. Seetharaman, Group CEO received the award from Rt. Hon. Theresa Mary May, MP - UK Home Secretary.
Dr. R. Seetharaman, Group CEO, Doha Bank conveyed a special address on the 28th of October 2014. He said "Institutions cannot afford to ignore the long-term goals and focus only on the short term. Long terms goals are achievable only when they are sustainable. Corporate structure and culture should focus on linking performance objectives with performance measures and should have a consistent design and should be implemented across the entire organisation. Improved oversight over board compositions, improved disclosure and transparency and the effective use of audit functions are key areas which require focus. Boards are increasingly considering sustainable development aspects at the committee levels. Board excellence contributes to sustainable development."
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted, how the Board can implement sustainable development. He said "The Board should recognise, the importance of staff, customers, communities and the risks associated with the limitations of natural resources. An understanding of these issues on the business model, long term success and ability to deliver on strategy are critical. Board diversity, which includes not only gender diversity, becomes really important in ensuring the Board is fit to drive change towards sustainable business model. Solving problems requires working across functions and this can happen if the senior team has collaborative leadership styles." Doha Bank has been consistently registering strong growth during the last decade, with participative leadership philosophy and has maintained a strong growth trajectory, including total asset growth, loan growth, deposit growth and shareholder equity growth year-on-year. International rating agencies, Moody's, Standard & Poor and Fitch Ratings, have assigned a stable outlook and Capital Intelligence has assigned the same as positive for Doha Bank on account of its strong financial fundamentals, asset quality, and robust liquidity.
Dr. R. Seetharaman also participated in the session "Global perspectives on Corporate Governance" and spoke on "Changing face of Global and Corporate Governance" on 29th October 2014. He said "The Global Governance is giving emphasis on global economic recovery with focus on areas such as infrastructure development, trade and competition.
The IMF Oct 2014 outlook, forecasts global growth to average 3.3 percent in 2014 and to rise to 3.8 percent in 2015. The weaker growth outlook for 2014 reflects setbacks to economic activity in the advanced economies during the first half of 2014 and a less optimistic outlook for several emerging market economies. Economies, institutions and individuals need to follow governance. It can be called corporate governance for institutions and global governance for economies. Individuals are affected by corporate governance and global governance due to the links with institutions and economies, respectively."
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted the areas where Global Governance gives importance in recent times. He said "The Global Governance gives focus on economic trends such as global economic growth, financial stability and fiscal monitor. It also gives emphasis on attaining inclusive growth and improving basic services which remains a challenge for countries with growing middle classes. The Global Governance has given focus on areas relating to sustainable development such as financing development post 2015, food security, climate change and building future capacities. It has also given attention to transform World trade through Global value chains." Doha Bank advocates green banking initiatives and some of the initiatives include, Paperless Banking, Internet Banking, SMS Banking, Phone Banking, ATM Banking as well as online channels such as Doha Souq, E-Remittances and Online Bill Payments. Green Banking is one of the core business philosophies that would support the sustainability into the future". Doha Bank regularly hosts numerous knowledge sharing sessions across various countries, which was attended by top experts from the region across banking, trade, manufacturing, logistics, legal sectors, etc.
Dr. R. Seetharaman also highlighted the emerging trends in corporate Governance in recent years. He said "The fines, penalties and settlements face by global financial institutions recently, have re-emphasised the importance of Corporate Governance. UK came with stewardship code in 2010. Its principal aim is to make institutional investors, who manage other people's money, be active and engage in corporate governance in the interests of their beneficiaries. Risk management, Remuneration and Incentive Systems, Board Skill's and independence and Shareholder engagement are the key areas which needs focus. The functions of Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors are segregated. Shareholders have should be proactive and the Institutional investors should be encouraged from acting together in individual shareholders meeting provided that they do not intend to obtain the control of the company."
Dr. R. Seetharaman said "Technology has transformed the way we bank and is one of the main drivers behind the accelerating pace of innovation in this sector by providing a comprehensive range of financial services through the deployment of consumer-centric technology and innovative delivery channels." Local GCC banks, appear well positioned to build upon a solid online banking trend.
Building Green Economies is the Solution for Sustainable Growth
Dr. R Seetharaman addressing the august gathering at Madras Management Association’s Mega Conclave on Green India at Chennai on 12-Dec-2015
The Madras Management Association hosted the Mega Conclave on Green India at Hotel My Fortune, Chennai on 12th Dec 2015. Leading energy policy makers, Energy project developers, Environmental advisors and Bankers participated in this event.
Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank was the Chief Guest and gave the inaugural address. He said “According to U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the October 2015 average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 0.98 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average of 14.0 degrees Celsius and setting 2015 on course to be the hottest year in recorded history. The Global warming and El – Nino are the contributors to the hottest year. As we burn fossil fuels and add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, we trap more heat on the Earth's surface. But more than 90 percent of that extra heat is absorbed by the oceans. So subtle interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere can cause fluctuations from year to year. We are also witnessing developments such as cyclone Gonu in Oman in 2007, Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines in 2013 and floods in UK this year. The above developments once again emphasis that Climate change is a global challenge which requires an ambitious global response and a green economy will protect the planet from the worst effects of climate change. Hence it is necessary that we contribute to the development of Green Economy. Green economy is mainly based on sectors such as renewable energy, green buildings, clean transportation, water management, waste management and land management.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on Carbon emission trends. He said “China emerged as the biggest emitter of CO2 in 2014, at 9.7 billion tones, contributing 27 per cent of the world's emissions.US was the second biggest emitter of CO2 in 2014, releasing 5.6 billion tones, 15 per cent of the world's total emissions and the EU was the third biggest emitter of CO2 in with 3.4 billion tonnes contributing 10 per cent. “
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on renewable energy investments. He said “Global investment in renewable energy was $270.2 billion in 2014, nearly 17% higher than the previous year. Investment in developing countries, at $131.3 billion, was up 36% on the previous year and the investment for developed economies was at $138.9 billion, up just 3% on the year.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on Climate change financing models and Green Banking .He said “Carbon Finance, Global environmental facility, Clean technology fund and Feed in tariff are some of the financing models for climate change financing. Carbon finance provides a means of leveraging new private and public investment into projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby mitigating climate change while contributing to sustainable development. 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 Greenhouse 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. Green Banking will encourage Green economies and Building Green economies is the solution for sustainable growth. ”
Dr. R. Seetharaman was also the Chairman for the Session “Green Ideas” and moderated the session very well to invoke many Green ideas.
Bankers can 'help raise awareness on global warming'
Bankers play a significant role in helping inculcate among the youth the importance of “green banking” in the campaign against global warming and climate change, Doha Bank CEO Dr R Seetharaman has said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 11th Al Dana Green Run held yesterday at the Aspire Zone, Seetharaman said bankers can help raise awareness on global warming by advising big industries to reduce their carbon emissions and by inculcating among the youth habits that promote a culture of green mission in their personal lifestyle.
The way f orward is for more renewables. Gulf states should invest more on green missions, including carbon emissions reduction and carbon-neutral programmes, as well as on water and waste management,” Seetharaman said.
He added: “I have seen the development of many bankers’ networks into green banks … a portion of capital from real estate or loans must be invested in socially-responsible projects, which is a good commercial model. There is a better meaning in investing or lending in socially-economic responsible projects.
“That’s precisely what was emphasised during COP21 – huge amounts of investments are going in the emerging markets in the fields of solar energy. Gulf states are now also focusing their sights on solar, and this is the way to go forward. With the changing dynamics on the use of fossil fuels, I think it’s time to diversify ourselves towards carbon emission reductions and bankers can play a significant role to achieve this.”
Asked if Qatar will impose further rationalisation measures following the recent reduction in oil prices, Seetharaman said: “Looking at the fiscal framework, government expenditure has been moderated around the essentials – healthcare and education. Also, none of the major projects are going to be given up.
“But globally, cost control, rationalisation, and fiscal prudence have been the norm. That is the focus now. Qatar is a sustainable economy and it has a policy framework that is akin to revenue and cost disciplines, and I think steps are being taken to achieve this.” On Qatar’s fuel price hike on Thursday, he added: “That is part of the rationalisation process, which is bound to happen. It is living within the means, as always. Qatar is still a sustainable economy.”
Seetharaman explained that Qatar’s long-term revenues and contracts in the global LNG supply chain and the country’s diversified projects in multiple markets and investments are among the factors “that will help in consolidation and sustainability in real terms.”
“Economic fundamentals remain strong,” Seetharaman stressed. He said that while current oil prices cannot be sustained even though it may lose further in the short term, “oil prices will recover in the medium and long-term.”
Seetharaman forecasts that oil prices will hover between $40 and $45 per barrel in the medium-term and around $60 to $65 per barrel in the long-term.
Waste Management - A Key Contributor to Sustainable Development
Dr. Seetharaman speaking at 6th Edition Waste Management & Recycling Summit on Green Banking & Sustainability in Doha, Qatar on 03-Feb-2016
Nispana hosted the 6th Edition Waste Management & Recycling Summit Qatar on 3rd and 4th February 2016 at Intercontinental Doha The City, Doha, Qatar. Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank participated on 3rd February 2016. The Participants at the summit will include important government bodies, research institutes, international waste management experts, Green Bankers, Health, safety experts, environmental consultants and recycling firms.
Dr. R. Seetharaman spoke on “Green Banking & Sustainability “. He said “Sustainable development is the one that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Banks as responsible corporate citizens adopt Green Banking as part of Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) and Sustainable development. Green Banking considers all the social and environmental factors with an aim to protect the environment and conserve natural resources. Green Banking is also called ethical banking or a sustainable banking and promotes environmental-friendly practices and reducing carbon footprint from the banking activities. Green Banking will blend customers’ financial interests with the interests of the environment. Green Banking will also enable environmental sensibility to pay off for clients and for the planet. Green Banking is an innovative solution for sustainable development. Climate change is a global challenge which requires an ambitious global response and a green economy will protect the planet from the worst effects of climate change. Hence it is necessary that we contribute to the development of Green Economy. Green economies are the solution for climate change and for sustainable global growth. Green economy is mainly based on sectors such as renewable energy, green buildings, clean transportation, water management, waste management and land management.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on Waste Management and Global Warming. He said “The disposal and treatment of waste can produce emissions of several greenhouse gases (GHGs), which contribute to global climate change. The most significant GHG gas produced from waste is methane. It is released during the breakdown of organic matter in landfills. Even the recycling of waste produces some emissions although these are offset by the reduction in fossil fuels that would be required to obtain new raw materials. Waste prevention and recycling help address global climate change by decreasing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and saving energy. Everyday waste contains readily biodegradable carbon based organic matter such as kitchen waste, garden waste, and paper. The absence of air in landfill sites gives rise to the formation of methane through the decomposition of the waste.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on Carbon emission trends. He said “China emerged as the biggest emitter of CO2 in 2014, at 9.7 billion tones, contributing 27 per cent of the world's emissions.US was the second biggest emitter of CO2 in 2014, releasing 5.6 billion tones, 15 per cent of the world's total emissions and the EU was the third biggest emitter of CO2 in with 3.4 billion tonnes contributing 10 per cent. India was the fourth biggest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2014, at 2.6 billion tones, contributing 7.2 per cent of the world's emissions."
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on importance of paper recycling. He said “Paper recycling prevents methane emissions from landfills. Decomposition of the paper in landfills produces methane, a greenhouse gas. Landfills is one of the leading source of methane emissions and the decomposition of paper is the largest contributor to the methane being generated. Paper recycling leaves more trees standing so they can absorb more Carbon dioxide. Trees left standing pull carbon out of the air through carbon sequestration, which is one way to reduce the impact of industrial Carbon dioxide emissions. Green Banking also believes in paperless banking and reduction in paper consumption.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on measures on Waste Management in GCC. He said “In June 2015 Abu Dhabi’s waste management authority has announced an ambitious 25-year recycling plan. Abu Dhabi will be split into zones with specific types of recycling centres introduced to match the kinds of waste generated there. The plan aims to integrate new facilities with existing ones. Landfills where waste is dumped and burnt will be restructured for more energy efficient and environmentally sound methods. The landfills in Qatar are running out of space and new engineered landfills need to be created. Qatar aims at raising the recycle share from 8% to 38% of solid waste, reducing landfill to 53% and converting waste to energy.”
In his concluding remarks Dr. R. Seetharaman stated that waste management will be a key contributor to sustainable development.
Green Banking gives Thrust on Corporate Social Responsibility
Dr. Seetharaman speaking at Institute of Directors' 10th International conference on Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) in Mumbai on 05-Feb-2016
The Institute of Directors in partnership with Times Now hosted the 10th International conference on Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) at Hotel Taj Lands End, Mumbai on 5th and 6th February 2016. The theme of the conference was “Embedding CSR Mandate into Corporate Strategy”. Dr. R. Seetharaman, Group CEO, Doha Bank gave the key note address on 5th February 2016.The key dignitaries include Lt. Gen. J.S. Ahluwalia, PVSM (Retd.) President, Institute of Directors, Mr. S. Chakraborty, Chief Executive, Innovative Financial Advisors, Mrs. Rajashree Birla, Chairperson, Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development, Aditya Birla Group, Lord Raj Loomba, founder and Chairman, The Loomba Foundation, UK and Mr Govind Swarup, IAS (retd.), Chairman - Mumbai Region, Institute of Directors.
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on Corporate Social responsibility. He said “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) contributes to sustainable development in the areas such as economic growth, social development and environmental consideration and hence it should be inbuilt into strategy with focus on the above. Institutions should not only focus on the short term but also on long term goals as part of economic growth. Long terms goals are achievable only when they are sustainable. Institutions should contribute to social issues and climate change mitigation as part of Corporate Social responsibility."
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted the importance of CSR during global financial crisis. He said “Irresponsibility to both shareholders and society, as well as a lack of transparency, integrity and respect, were among the leadership shortcomings that contributed to excessive leverage in financial markets and the subsequent meltdown. Corporate structure and culture should focus on linking performance objectives with performance measures and should have a consistent design and should be implemented across the entire organisation. Improved oversight over board compositions, improved disclosure and transparency and the effective use of audit functions are key areas which require focus. Boards are increasingly considering sustainable development aspects at the committee levels. Board excellence contributes to sustainable development.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on Green Banking as part of CSR. He said “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 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. However in addition to this 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. Green Banking gives thrust on CSR.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted how women can contribute to CSR. He said “Companies with more women at the top may be better practitioners of corporate social responsibility. Studies have shown that women leaders may bring diverse perspectives on fairness and the distribution of resources to donation decisions, which may in turn broaden a company’s commitment to CSR and increase its levels of charitable giving.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on areas where Global Governance in relation to CSR and initiatives of Doha Bank. He said “The Global Governance gives focus on economic trends such as global economic growth, financial stability and fiscal monitor. It also gives emphasis on attaining inclusive growth and improving basic services which remains a challenge for countries with growing middle classes. The Global Governance have adopted sustainable development goals (SDGSs) which have come into effect from beginning of this year and covers areas such as food security and climate change. Doha Bank advocates green banking initiatives and some of the initiatives include, Paperless Banking, Internet Banking, SMS Banking, Phone Banking, ATM Banking as well as online channels such as Doha Souq, E-Remittances and Online Bill Payments. Green Banking is one of the core business philosophies that would support the sustainability into the future.". Doha Bank regularly hosts numerous knowledge sharing sessions across various countries on climate change and mitigation”
Doha Bank CEO Honoured with “Green Economy Visionary Award” at UAB Summit
The 2016 Union of Arab Banks (UAB) International Banking Summit was held under the Auspices of the Prime Minister of Italy H.E Mr. Matteo Renzi on May 29- 30, 2016 at Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotel Rome – Italy. Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank was honoured with the “Green Economy Visionary Award” at the Summit on 30th May 2016. He received the award from Mr. Mohammed Jarrah Al-Sabah, Chairman, Union of Arab Banks in the presence of Mr. Wissam H. Fattouh, Secretary General Union of Arab Banks, H.E. Mr. Mohammad Machnouk, Minister of Environment, Lebanon, Mr. Sarkis Yoghourtdjian, Advisor, Federal Reserve Board, Washington DC, Mr. Mustapha Bakkoury, President du Directoire, MASEN, Morocco Mrs. Michele Caparello, Advisor to the Executive Board, European Central Bank, Mrs. Michele Caparello, Advisor to the Executive Board, European Central Bank and Mr. Eric Usher, acting Head of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI), Switzerland. The award was given for his outstanding contribution close to two decades towards environment friendly activities and thereby promoted Green economies. He was a recipient of multiple doctorates including the Ph.D. Degree on “Green Banking and Sustainability” from Sri Sri University, India in 2015.
On receiving the award Dr. R. Seetharaman stated he would like to dedicate this award to His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla Bin Saoud Al-Thani, QCB Governor, Sh. Fahad Bin Mohammad Bin Jabor Al Thani, Chairman of Board of Directors, Doha Bank, Sh. Abdul Rehman Bin Mohammad Bin Jabor Al Thani, Managing Director, Doha Bank and other members of the Doha Bank's Board of Directors and his family for their continued support in pursuing environment friendly activities. He also gave insight on Green Banking and 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 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 Greenhouse 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. Green Banking is the solution for sustainable development.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman also highlighted the initiatives undertaken under his leadership as part of Green Banking by Doha Bank. 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 across the Globe. 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).”
Doha Bank won Institute of Directors' Golden Peacock Award for Corporate Social Responsibility
The 11th International Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility & Presentation of Golden Peacock Awards was organized by Institute of Directors (IOD) under the theme “Embedding Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) in Corporate Strategy for Responsible Growth” on 20th and 21st January 2017 at Hotel Lalit Ashok, Bengaluru, India. Doha Bank won the “Golden Peacock Award for Corporate Social Responsibility in the Global Category” at this event being presented to Dr. R. Seetharaman by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, The Art of Living.
Dr. R. Seetharaman, Group CEO of Doha Bank gave the keynote address on 20th January 2017. He gave insight on CSR and said “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) contributes to sustainable development in the areas such as Economic Growth, Social Development and Environmental consideration. The corporate competitiveness needs to be integrated with social development. There is an inevitable link between business and society. A healthy business depends on a healthy community to create demand for its products and provide a supportive business environment. CSR activities have the potential to create several distinct forms of value for customers. It is the customer perception of this value that mediates the relationship between CSR activities and subsequent financial performance.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted how Green Banking can contribute to CSR and sustainable development. He said “Banks as responsible corporate citizens adopt Green Banking in their strategy to promote Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) and Sustainable development. Green Banking will blend customers’ financial interests with the interests of the environment. Green Banking will also enable environmental sensibility to pay off for clients and for the planet. Green Banking promotes environmental-friendly practices and reducing carbon footprint from the banking activities. Green Banking is an innovative solution for sustainable development. ”
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on CSR initiatives of Doha Bank. He said “Paperless Banking, free Access to do all the Banking transactions through Internet Banking, SMS Banking, Phone Banking, ATM Banking as well as online channels such as Doha Souq, E-Remittances and Online Bill Payments. Social Responsibility through positive contributions to the environment by joining Tree Planting, Beach Clean-up activities, etc. Branches and Department offices to be energy-efficient through the introduction of environment-friendly materials. Conserve water and electricity consumption. Doha Bank 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 Signs Project Finance deal with Leighton Contracting for Water Security Mega Reservoirs Project. ”
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted how Banks should greater environmental responsibility. He said “Banks should align lending activities with those factors which impact the environment. They should develop environmental and Social Risk Management (ESRM) – Expand the scope of risk management to include Social and environment risk also. Develop policies and procedures and integrate them in proposal evaluation. They should encourage financing programs for eco-friendly programs such as home owners to purchase and install solar power systems, forestry projects etc."
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on SME sector and its role in sustainable development. He said “SME segment is one of the fastest growing segments and is rapidly gaining dominance in the overall macro-economic environment as well as for the banking sector. SME sector can also contribute to eco- friendly projects and thereby encourage green banking. SMEs innovate in processes, products, and services and can sometimes innovate better than large firms.SMEs are critical for sustainable development of economies.” Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted the link between CSR and Corporate Governance. He said “Green Initiative can also be brought as part of Corporate Governance by going paperless and sending documents to shareholders through electronic mode. Improved oversight over board compositions, improved disclosure and transparency, and the effective use of audit functions are today’s priorities for regulators. Institutions cannot afford to ignore the long-term, and focus only on the short term, as the long term is achievable only when it is sustainable.”
Doha Bank Honoured with “Company of the Year Award” by Qatar University
Doha Bank honoured with the “company of the year award” by Qatar University on 20th March 2017. On receiving the Award from Dr. Hassan Rashid Al-Derham, President of Qatar University, Dr. R. Seetharaman, Doha Bank CEO said the award was given for Doha Bank’s contribution to sustainable development in Qatar. He said” Doha Bank believes in Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030 which aims to direct Qatar towards a balance between developmental needs and the protection of its natural environment, whether land, sea or air. The QNV 2030 includes an emphasis on establishing an effective legal framework and the environmental institutions that can serve as the guardians of Qatar’s environmental heritage. The QNV 2030 also emphasizes the importance of increasing citizens’ awareness of their role in protecting the country’s environment for their children and the nation’s future generations.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted the measures of Doha Bank on sustainable development. He said “Doha Bank advocates and practices Green Banking, which is one of the core business philosophies that would support the sustainability into the future. Doha Bank is also active in supporting the youth of the nation from a human development perspective and conducts numerous programmes to help develop indigenous talent. Doha Bank also supports social integration across various areas of society and actively participates in key economic events, keynote sessions, and other major local and global programmes. Doha Bank’s Eco school program is part of its Green Banking Mission. Doha Bank has embraced sustainable business practices to satisfy its customers and promote solid environmental stewardship. In doing so the Bank has embarked on a greener path in business and their personal lives. Financial sector could participate in sustainable development by taking initiatives to “Manage Climate Change and Mitigate Global Warming”. Doha Bank has worked on “ECO-Schools Programme” which works with educational institutions to build awareness of key environmental issues and create action plans that are school-specific to help mitigate the overall impact on the environment. Doha Bank Group as part of its corporate social responsibility will demonstrate fair, open, efficient and consistent business practices to mitigate climate change and promote sustainable development. Doha Bank also believes in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which into force from beginning of 2016 after adoption of the same at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015.”
Doha Bank honoured at Global Good Governance (3G) Awards
Dr. Seetharaman receiving the “3G Environmental Responsibility Award 2017” at the “Global Good Governance (3G) Awards 2017” held in Dubai on 24th April, 2017.
Doha Bank received the “Global Good Governance (3G) Awards 2017” under the category "3G Environmental Responsibility Award 2017" on 24th April 2017 at Fairmont The Palm, Dubai, UAE. This award ceremony was hosted by Cambridge IF Analytica. Leaders from Corporate Sector, Social Sector & Philanthropy sectors participated in the Award Ceremony.
On receiving the Award Dr. R. Seetharaman Doha Bank CEO said” The Global Good Governance Award recognizes the measures undertaken on corporate governance and sustainable development by Doha Bank across its global operations. Doha Bank had realigned its risk management and corporate governance framework in line with the regulatory reforms which have come after the global financial crisis. Economies, institutions and individuals need to follow governance. It can be called corporate governance for institutions, and global governance for economies. Individuals are affected by corporate governance and global governance due to the links with institutions and economies, respectively. Doha Bank advocates and practices Green Banking, which is one of the core business philosophies that would support the sustainability into the future. It has also conducted and participated in knowledge sharing events relating to climate change mitigation. Doha Bank also believes in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which into force from beginning of 2016 after adoption of the same at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015. Doha Bank has produced Governance reports and Sustainable development reports consistently for many years. Sustainability is the key for long-term growth.”
Doha Bank won the “Best Bank Governance – Qatar 2017”
Doha Bank won the “Best Bank Governance – Qatar 2017” at Capital Finance International (CFI) co Awards 2017 in Second week of May 2017 at London. In recognition of the award, Dr. R. Seetharaman Doha Bank CEO said “The Best Bank Governance award is a recognition for Doha Bank Board for its active involvement in promoting excellence in Corporate Governance.It reviews and provide guidance about the alignment of corporate strategy with risk appetite and the internal risk management structure. Doha Bank is recognized as one of the few ‘Domestic Systemically Important Bank’ (DSIB) in Qatar. The Bank is committed to adhering to and promoting good corporate governance at every level within the Bank from the Board of Directors and Senior Management down to branch and divisional management and operational employees working throughout the organization in Qatar and the other cross-border and international locations where the Bank operates. Doha Bank has one of the largest international network among Qatari banks with presence in 16 countries. In particular, the Bank is committed to complying in full with its obligations under the various regulatory regimes applicable to it. The Bank has in place a set of formal and rigorous policies designed to promote good corporate governance and prevent, detect and rectify any infringements. The excellence in Corporate Governance has contributed to sustainable development of Doha Bank. Doha Bank advocates and practices Green Banking, which is one of the core business philosophies that would support the sustainability into the future. Doha Bank’s long-term local and foreign currency rating was assessed at A2 / A- / A+ / A+ by Moody’s, S&P, Fitch and Capital Intelligence respectively. Doha Bank has a consistent financial performance in the last one decade. It has also conducted and participated in knowledge sharing events relating to climate change mitigation. Doha Bank also believes in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which into force from beginning of 2016 after adoption of the same at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015. Doha Bank has produced Governance reports and Sustainable development reports consistently for many years. Sustainability is the key for long-term growth.”
Innovative Financing can give Impetus to Renewable Energy Sector- Dr.R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank Honoured with “Energy and Environment Foundation 2017 Global Excellence Award in Renewable Energy”
Dr. Seetharaman receiving the prestigious Energy And Environment Foundation Global Excellence Award 2017 in Renewable Energy Sector from Hon’ble Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (I/C), Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Government of India on 21st August 2017 in New Delhi, India
Dr. Seetharaman with Hon’ble Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (I/C), Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Government of India and other dignitaries at the 8th World Renewable Energy Technology Congress -2017 on 21st August 2017 in New Delhi, India after receiving the prestigious Energy And Environment Foundation Global Excellence Award 2017 in Renewable Energy Sector
The Energy and Environment Foundation organized the 8th World Renewable Energy Technology Congress & Expo-2017 from 21st to 23rd August, 2017 at the Convention Centre- NDCC, New Delhi, India. The theme of the event was “Renewable Energy: Global Cooperation for Sustainability”. The event witnessed participants from Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, UK and USA apart from the key executives of many renewable energy companies. The Awards Committee of the Energy and Environment Foundation gave Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank the “Energy and Environment Foundation 2017 Global Excellence Award in Renewable energy “on 21st August 2017 for his vision, leadership, outstanding contribution and for demonstrating excellence in the Renewable energy sector. Dr. R. Seetharaman received the Award from Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines in the Government of India and stated that this award is an acknowledgement for the efforts undertaken by him through Doha Bank in various renewable energy projects as part of sustainable development philosophy. The other recipients of the Global excellence award include Dr. Martin Keller, Director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, US Department of Energy, USA, Mr. Dolf Gielen, Director, Innovation and technology Centre, International Renewable Energy Agency, Germany, Dr. Lawrence E. Jones, Vice President, International Programs, Edison Electric Institute, USA and Mr. Pranav R. Mehta, Chairman, National Solar Energy Federation of India respectively.
Dr. R. Seetharaman also participated in the plenary session “Panel Discussion on Innovative Financing of RE Projects” on 21st August 2017. He highlighted on Global Warming. He said “The main causes of global warming include Increasing Population relying on limited resources, increased Energy Needs, increased Industrial Pollutants and Low use of renewable and less polluting energy resources. China is the world’s biggest emitter, responsible for 29% of global emissions in 2015. As the second biggest emitter, the US is responsible for 15% of global emissions in 2015. The EU is the world’s third largest emitter, responsible for 10% of global CO2 emissions in 2015 and India contributes 6.3% of global emissions. The hurricanes and typhoons in recent years due to adverse climate change include Hurricane Bertha, Hurricane kathe, Typhoon Goni and Typhoon Sarika and the Abnormal El Nino in Peru this year.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on Global renewable energy investment. He said “Global investment in renewable energy dropped by 18 percent in 2016 due to sharp falls in equipment prices and a slowdown in China and Japan. After reaching record levels in 2015, investment fell last year to $287.5 billion, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).Chinese investment was $87.8 billion, Japan investment was $22.8 billion, United States $58.6 billion, Europe $70.9 billion and India at $9.6 billion.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on renewable energy trends in Qatar. He said “Chevron launched Chevron’s Centre for Sustainable Energy Efficiency (CSEE) at Qatar Science & Technology Park. In April 2011 the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) have signed a MOU for clean energy technologies. In May 2012 Qatar Solar Technologies has signed agreement with the Qatar Electricity & Water Company (QEWC) to explore the possibilities of developing power generation using solar energy in Qatar.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on innovative ways of financing renewable energy. He said “Green Banking, Green Bonds, Carbon Finance, Global environmental facility, clean technology fund, Feed in tariff and PPP models are some of the ways of financing renewable energy. A green bank finances the deployment of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other clean infrastructure projects. Green bonds are bonds just like any other that raise capital, but for green projects. Carbon finance provides a means of leveraging new private and public investment into projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Global Environmental Facility requires that co-finance from other public agencies is provided for Global Environmental Facility projects as it expands the resources available to finance environmental objectives. Clean technology fund concessional financing focuses on large-scale, country-initiated projects in power sector, transport sector and energy efficiency. Feed-In Tariffs are payments to ordinary energy users for the renewable energy they generate. PPP are also emerging as a successful business model within the clean technology to create scale and mobilize necessary funding. On the whole innovative financing can give impetus to renewable energy sector.”
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
EARNING PERSONAL APPRECIATION FROM THE UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL DR. BAN KI MOON
GREEN VIEWS SHARED WITH THE MEDIA
"Another Green World" Dr. R Seetharaman shares his vision