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Defining green banking is relatively easy.

It means promoting environmental-friendly practices and reducing your carbon footprint from your banking activities. This comes in many forms. Using online banking instead of branch banking. Paying bills online instead of mailing them. Opening up CDs and money market accounts at online banks, instead of large multi-branch banks. Or finding the local bank in your area that is taking the biggest steps to support local green initiatives. Any combination of the above personal banking practices can help the environment. So this leads to the question, which banks are green. In general, online banks and smaller community banks have better track record than larger banks. For instance, take a look at the banks that British Petroleum has been reported to seek lines of credit from this past summer after the oil spill.

Different stakeholders can minimise the degradation of environment by "green practice." In Bangladesh, as one of the key stakeholders, banks can play a vital role in development and response to the environment through "Green Banking" practice. Green banking considers social factors with environmental aspects. It has already started working well in the developed countries. Fundamentally, green banking keeps away from as much paper work as possible and relies on electronic transactions for processing. Green banks adopt and implement environmental standards for lending. The interest of loan of green banks is comparatively less with those from normal banks. Natural resources conservation is an underlying principle in here in assessing capital and operating loans to extracting and industrial business sector. In other words, green banking refers to the attempt of the banking sector to consider social, ecological and environmental factors with an aim to protect the environment. In Bangladesh Bank's Recent Reform Initiatives, it has been written that green banking products are those that help create a favourable impact on environment. From green banking operations four key stakeholders namely customers, management, employees and shareholders can be benefited. The banking sector can play a significant role in protecting the environment by financing support to high impact environmentally sensitive sectors. As part of the Rio+20 Summit, Bangladesh and Vietnam jointly organised a side event on June 19, 2012, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to discuss how to ensure green development in the backdrop of rapidly changing climate. In this summit the Governor of the Bangladesh Bank Dr. Atiur Rahman drew a presentation on green banking informing his audience on the development of green banking in Bangladesh. He pointed out that banks have entered the 2nd phase of green banking policy guideline. According to their reports, as of May 2012, 40 banks have formed Green Banking Units, 29 banks have introduced Green Office Guides, Environmental Risk Rating has been done for 4,394 projects; 4,315 rated projects have been financed, Tk.271.0 billion has been disbursed for rated projects, 171 branches have been powered by solar energy and 2,567 branches have been facilitated with online coverage. On February 27, 2011, Banking Regulation and Policy Department of the Bangladesh Bank issued a circular to all scheduled banks to take necessary steps towards initiating and implementation of green banking in each bank. The entire implementation process is divided into three years sessions as Phase 1 contains policy formulation, incorporation of environment, initiating in-house environmental management, introducing green finance, creation of climate risk fund, introducing green marketing, on-line banking, supporting employees training, consumer awareness and green event, and reporting green banking practice. Phase 2 involves sector-specific environmental policies, green strategic planning, setting up green branches; improve in-house environment management, formulation of bank specific environmental risk management plan and guidelines, rigorous programs to educate clients and disclosure and reporting of green banking activities. All these must be implemented within the end of December.

In Phase 3, whose deadline is on December 31, 2013, banks will accomplish Designing and Introducing Innovative Products and Reporting in Standard Format with External Verification. Banks that comply with green banking practice will have the several preferential treatments like points will be awarded by the Bangladesh Bank to banks on management component while computing CAMELS rating, where there will ultimately be a positive impact on overall rating of a bank. Top ten names of banks will be declared by the Bangladesh Bank for their overall performance in green banking activities in the BB websites and the Bangladesh Bank will enthusiastically consider green banking activities of a bank while granting permission for opening new branch of bank. In such banking, green financial products and services are categorised as Retail Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking and Asset Management. Retail banking will include green mortgage, home equity loans, green commercial building loans, green car loans and green cards. Under corporate and investment banking banks can offer green project finance, green securitisation, green venture capital and private equity, Green Indices and Carbon Commodities and finally banks can deal with green fiscal funds, green investment fund and carbon fund under asset management. To minimise the environmental degradation, green banking can contribute significantly with other environmentconcerned organisations since it can protect the environment and conserve the resources. This idea is in the nascent-stage through the world. In Bangladesh, this concept starts its journey through circulation of policy guidelines by the Bangladesh Bank. At present, green banking practice exists in the second phase after ending of the first phase keeping in mind that the third phase of policy guidelines will be implemented within December 2013. Banks should set environmental standards for lending and disburse loans to environmental project at a lower interest rate compared to traditional banks. To implement green banking in Bangladesh, scheduled banks must follow the policy guideline issued by the Bangladesh Bank. Specific deadline should be followed mentioned in the policy guidelines for effective implementation of green banking. Deadline of Phase I has been executed. As part of the green banking strategies, banks in Bangladesh should come forward to take the initiative for a number of social responsibility services like tree plantation campaign, park development, pollution check up camps and so on.

The writer is Assistant Professor of Hamdard University Bangladesh; member of TIB (Transparency International Bangladesh), Bangladesh Economic Association and Sujan (Susasanar Jonno Nagorik).

green banking Web definitions An ethical bank, also known as social, alternative, civic, or sustainable bank, is a bank concerned with the social and environmental...

Green banking as a term covers several different areas, but in general refers to how environmentally friendly your bank is, and how committed to green and ethical policies they are. In this article, we're taking a look at green banking in more detail, including how you can find out exactly how green your bank or building society is.

Green Banking: Environmental Policy


Ask your bank or building society if they have an environmental policy in place, and what it covers. Most banks usually include green and ethical commitments in their manifestos - but there is a lot of difference in these commitments from bank to bank. The first bank to set this precedent was the CoOperative bank, whose lead has set an example to the rest of the banking world. Their environmental policy document is readily available for view, and includes sections on human rights, the arms trade, ecological impact, corporate responsibility, animal welfare and carbon neutrality.

Ethical Investments
A key aspect to green banking is the commitment that your bank will put your money into ethical, good natured sections of investment. In the past, it's been unclear where the money you put into a bank actually goes - and less than reputable destinations, such as those that fund the purchasing of weapons and war related activities could well have received funds from your bank, or even from your money without you knowing it. Using a green bank gives you the reassurance of knowing where your money is - and isn't - going to when you go to deposit your cash.

Carbon Neutral Banks


Given the global nature of the banking industry, it would be reassuring to know that your chosen bank operates as a carbon neutral business. Well, more and more businesses, including banks, are turning themselves into carbon neutral operations, meaning that the amount of CO2 emitted during the day to day activities of that bank is neutralised by another activity that utilises or uses CO2. The first high street carbon neutral bank in the UK was HSBC, though smaller banks such as the Norwich and Peterborough building society have been commended for pioneering the carbon neutral campaign

Putting Your Money To Better Use


Rather than committing not to put your money to bad or unethical use, some banks are also committed to specifically putting your money to good use. This includes projects funding renewable energy technology, regeneration in the developing word and investments to worldwide organisations for aid, environmentalism and human rights. Ask your bank if they can offer you an ethical account or investment plan. They will be able to explain which investments they will be supporting with your money, and give you a progress report on how it is going.

The Concept of the Green Bank


The term Green Bank is a term that has taken on a variety of uses. At the most simple level it has been selected as the trading name of several private commercial banks, for example, the Green Bank of Houston, Texas, and the Green Bank of Greenville, Tennessee; although in the latter example it seems

the name is probably drawn from the locality rather than suggested by contemporary connotations.
In the context of political economy, it has become fashionable to add the prefix green as a way to show that a policy or institution is pursuing schemes that contribute to improving the environment. In a banking context, green can be applied to a range of bank strategies and activities that could be as simple as encouraging customers to accept e-statements instead of the traditional printed notifications or as involved as actively participation in financing alternative energy projects. While these applications of the Green Bank idea fit in well with the programs now being pursued by many leading American commercial banks, the concept is also now used in relation to public projects. Thus the Green Bank title has been appropriated for organizations set up at the federal or state level to finance schemes designed to enhance citizens quality of life and save on the consumption of precious natural resources. The Green Bank Act In March 2009 Congressman Chris Van Hollen introduced a Green Bank Act with the aim of establishing a Green Bank under the ownership of the United States government with the objectives of offering financial support to efforts to increase energy usage efficiency, and to reduce carbon emissions and other environmental pollution resulting from energy creation. In addition, it is envisaged that this institution is going to work towards reducing the countrys dependence on foreign energy sources, fighting climate change and creating additional jobs through the provision of healthier energy generation facilities. The Congressman proposed establishing the Green Bank with an initial capital of ten billion dollars to be raised by a US Treasury Green Bonds issue with a maximum of fifty billion dollars in bonds outstanding at any one time. Although some analysts have criticized the idea of financing this Green Bank through an additional bond issue in the current financial crisis, the proposal has been broadly welcomed by a group of investors, energy industry experts and manufacturers organized under the banner of the Coalition for Green Bank. Supporters of the scheme argue that the countrys present economic difficulties provide additional reasons for this initiative since the prospects of private capital investment to create new energy capacity have greatly diminished. State Local Initiative

While the proposal to establish a national Green Bank remains under discussion, at a state level practical steps are being taken. The government recently announced the setting aside of close to twenty million dollars for a new Green Bank of Kentucky loan fund to make energy usage more efficient in that states public buildings. Low interest loans are going to be made available to qualifying state projects with loan repayments financed from the anticipated energy savings. Private Sector Local Initiative a New Green Bank With so many banks having closed or under the threat of closure it is hard to imagine a more difficult time confronting a newly established bank but the First Green Bank of Eustis, Florida has got off to a promising start since its opening six months ago. The bank describes itself as the first bank of its kind to promote positive environmental and social responsibility while operating as a traditional bank providing excellent service to investors and clients. Its announced aim is to give a fifth of its loans to developers of commercial projects that satisfy the US Green Building Councils Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating (based on various energy saving criterion). Employees of the bank who qualify for LEED certification also receive increased salaries. Within a few days of opening the bank had received $2.1 million in deposits and $51 million was waiting in its loan pipeline. This significant achievement within such a short time shows how influential the green idea has become and all current indications suggest its appeal is continuing to strengthen.
Products Personal checkinh
Keep on top of account balances by using our no-cost online banking system or by calling our 24-hour telephone banking system. Transfers between accounts can be completed (at no charge) by using one of these services as well. Why complicate things? At Green Bank, we offer two checking account choices Green Choice Checking or Eco Checking. Simplicity makes both spectacular. Either way, VISA Debit Cards are available, plus there is no charge for Online Banking, Online Bill Pay or our 24-hour phone banking system. And with the Green Choice Checking Account, we will refund the surcharge that other banks charge for using their ATM machines in the US.

GREEN CHOICE CHECKING


Our interest-bearing Green Choice Checking includes all the basics, and then some. Like no-cost ATM usage at any machine. Either unlimited check writing (with paper statements) or all-electronic banking, including electronic statements. Its your choice.

GREEN CHOICE CHECKING BENEFITS INCLUDE:


$100 minimum to open Monthly service charge of $10.00 is waived if the average daily balance for the monthly statement cycle exceeds $5,000.00 in this account or any combination of deposit accounts with us.

TIER BALANCES:
$0.00 $24,999.99 $25,000.00 99,999.99 $100,000 and above

LIMITATIONS: NONE FEATURES: FREE:


Online Banking Bill Pay E-Statements or Paper Statements Visa Debit Card Available ATM Transactions No Charge Any Green Bank ATM Auto Refund We automatically refund outrageous fees other banks charge

ECO CHECKING
Designed with ecology in mindthe Eco Checking account includes online banking at no cost and monthly electronic statements. Its also designed with economy in mindthe $5.00 monthly service charge will not apply if you maintain a $500 average ledger balance. Features: $100 minimum to open Online Banking Bill Pay o E-Statements or Paper Statements o Visa Debit Card available o ATM Transactions o $1 charge for using a non-Green Bank ATM; other banks surcharge also applies

OVERDRAFT SERVICES
Link your checking account to another account--checking, savings or money market account. Transfers from savings or money markets are subject to transaction limitations. There is no fee for the transfer between accounts and no NSF fee charged. Apply for Check Plus Line of Credit there is no fee unless the Check Plus LOC is used; NSF fee is not charged. Keep on top of account balances by using our no-cost online banking system or by calling our 24 hour telephone banking system. Transfers between accounts can be completed (at no charge) by using one of these services as well.

Commercial

BUSINESS CHECKING ACCOUNTS


Some banks try to cram your business checking needs into one of their offerings. And some banks have so many choices, you never find the one that fits because of the restrictive parameters. Green Bank has figured out a balanced approach that is consistent with our philosophy - stick with the basics but include the extras. And we think we've got it nailed. Business Checking Account (TREMENDOUS Earnings Credit Rate for an analyzed account) Business Checking with Interest (300 no-cost transactions per month and Remote Deposit Capture available) Eco Business Checking Account (200 no-cost transactions per month and a great rate) Business Money Market (up to 6 transactions a month with a compelling rate)