| CSR activities in brief
Promoting Inclusive Growth
Carrying forward its long history of working for India’s development, the ICICI Group is working to create conditions for the empowerment of the socially and economically disadvantaged. We strive to make a difference to our customers, society and the nation’s development directly through our products, services and business operations, as well as through outreach with civil society in the communities we serve.
ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth
In January 2008, the ICICI Group established the ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth (ICICI Foundation). ICICI Foundation’s mission is to create and support strong independent organisations that work towards empowering the poor to participate in and benefit from the Indian growth process. Since its inception, ICICI Foundation has taken forward the ICICI Group’s existing initiatives in the areas of primary health, elementary education and access to finance and supported new initiatives in the areas of civil society and environmental sustainability. ICICI Bank and its subsidiaries have, till year-end fiscal 2010, provided grants aggregating Rs. 854.0 million to ICICI Foundation.
i. Areas of focus
a) Primary health: Through the ICICI Centre for Child Health and Nutrition (ICICI Child Health) (www.icchn.org.in) in Pune, ICICI Foundation seeks to support mothers and children in the poorest communities across India through improvements in government health systems.
In Ranchi district, Jharkhand, ICICI Child Health has worked in partnership with Krishi Gram Vikas Kendra, Child in Need Institute and the Government of Jharkhand to reduce the number of babies born with low birth weight. Village Health Committees (VHCs) and voluntary health workers (Sahiyyas) were developed that work together to help improve access to health services and the functioning of health centres, through organising medical camps, awareness campaigns and building roads to ensure reach of mobile medical vans to remote areas. This five-year initiative has covered 200,000 women, newborns up to one year of age and adolescents in two blocks of Ranchi district. The VHC and Sahiyya models have been adopted by the State Government for larger health sector reforms.
In Bihar, ICICI Child Health has worked with the Public Health Resource Network and the National Health Systems Resource Centre to support preparation of District Health Action Plans in all 38 districts of the state for fiscal 2011. ICICI Child Health has also conducted extensive capacity building training right up to the block level in Bhagalpur district.
Through the City Initiative for Child Health in Mumbai, ICICI Child Health partnered with Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) to improve antenatal, postnatal and neonatal care in public health facilities in eight wards of the city and improved the quality of service accessed by 400,000 households in 48 slum communities. BMC has subsequently replicated the project across the city’s western suburbs.
b) Elementary education: Through the ICICI Centre for Elementary Education (ICICI Elementary Education) (www.icee.org.in) in Pune, ICICI Foundation seeks to support the transformation of student learning by focusing on quality of learning at government-run pre-schools and elementary schools across India. Among other activities, ICICI Elementary Education works to improve the support available to teachers, to accurately measure performance of schools and students and strengthen capabilities of state and district functionaries.
In partnership with the State of Chhattisgarh since it was constituted in 2002, ICICI Elementary Education has taken on the task of developing school curriculum and textbooks, teacher training and issues relating to the improvement of quality of school education. In the district of Baran, Rajasthan, ICICI Elementary Education has worked with the Vidya Bhawan Education Resource Centre and the Government of Rajasthan to strengthen and improve the quality of the government system of elementary education. ICICI Elementary Education is strengthening the capacity of district level institutions and providing training and in-classroom support for teachers in 78 schools, aiming to improve the quality of education for 450,000 children.
ICICI Elementary Education has supported the development of the MA Education (Elementary) course at the Tata Institute for Social Sciences, Mumbai, aiming to enhance knowledge and skills that are relevant to strengthening elementary education. Since the inception of the programme, two batches of 25 students each have been admitted.
c) Access to finance: In addition to the ICICI Group’s direct work in the area of financial inclusion, which is described subsequently, ICICI Foundation has supported the IFMR Finance Foundation ( www.ifmrfoundation.org.in ) in projects to develop models for enhancing access to financial services among low-income communities in rural and urban areas. IFMR Finance Foundation works with partners like Aajeevika Bureau (for migrants) and Kshetriya Gramin Financial Services (for remote rural geographies). It has also participated in product development and training efforts for local financial institutions covering micro money market mutual funds, livestock insurance, emergency loans and weather insurance. It also works on strengthening risk management capabilities of local financial institutions and has currently focused on access to debt securitisation markets for Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs). IFMR Finance Foundation has worked with partners to develop recommendations to strengthen the policy environment for financial inclusion in India.
d) Civil society: Through its support to CSO Partners ( www.csopartners.org.in ) in Chennai, ICICI Foundation supports civil society organisations across India by enabling them to tap into new resources and networks of support. CSO Partners provides human and financial resources to NGOs and creates platforms for individuals, corporates and government to engage with NGOs.
Corporate Disaster Resource Network (CDRN): CDRN is a web-based supply chain management system that enables relief agencies, first responders and local governments to highlight their immediate resource needs and access response offers from potential product suppliers, donors and volunteers. Currently, it has 300 NGOs and 5,000 corporate organisations as members. CDRN is a joint initiative of CSO Partners, the National Disaster Management Authority and Aidmatrix.
NGO Marketplace: NGO Marketplace is an online portal providing national networking opportunities for the social sector in India. The intent is to facilitate collaborative work and networking by NGOs with other civil society organisations as well as donors, social contributors, researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders.
The ICICI Group has supported GiveIndia ( www.GiveIndia.org ), an online platform to enable individuals to support social causes and in turn garner funds for India’s social sector. GiveIndia has cumulatively raised over Rs.800.0 million for over 200 NGOs; last year alone it raised approximately Rs.270.0 million. GiveIndia eventually aims to raise Rs. 3.00 billion annually to support NGOs across India.
e) Environmental sustainability: ICICI Foundation has supported the Environmentally Sustainable Finance group at the Centre for Development Finance at IFMR ( http://ifmr-cdf.in ), in Chennai. One example of the group’s work is the Environmental Sustainability Index (www.greenindiastandards.com), an index ranking the environmental performances of Indian states, which policymakers are using as a diagnostic tool for planning better environmental policies.
In addition, ICICI Foundation works with ICICI Bank and its subsidiaries in the formulation and execution of their social responsibility activities.
Serving communities in partnership with civil society
i. Read to Lead
Launched in 2008, ICICI Bank’s Read to Lead programme invests in India’s future by facilitating access to elementary education for 100,000 underprivileged children from 6-14 years of age. Read to Lead is an initiative across 14 states - Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. To ensure effective programme design and implementation, ICICI Bank has partnered with 30 NGOs chosen on the basis of their experience in the field of education, ideologies, sustainability of their models and outreach. Read to Lead provides materials such as uniforms, bags, books and stationery for students, supports workshops and training programmes for teachers, offers health and nutritional support for children and supports bridge schools to re-enrol school drop-outs in mainstream education.
ii. ICICI Fellows
‘ICICI Fellows’ (www.icicifellows.org), launched in November 2009, aims to create a cadre of socially responsible leaders for India. It is a two-year fellowship that includes experiential learning in semi-rural or semi-urban India, as well as management training and leadership development through personalised coaching and mentorship.
iii. Payroll giving
Since 2003, ICICI Bank has facilitated employee donations to social causes through GiveIndia (www.Giveindia.org). Currently, close to 5,000 Bank employees participate in the payroll-giving programme, which allows them to donate a part of their salary every month to a cause of their choice.
iv. Employee volunteering
Given that there are a number of civil society organisations that could benefit from the skills of ICICI Bank’s employees, the Bank has been working with iVolunteer ( www.ivolunteer.in ) to offer a number of options for the Bank’s employees to volunteer with NGOs.
v. Disaster relief and rehabilitation
a) Flood rehabilitation in Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal
Following the floods that affected districts of Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa in 2008, ICICI Bank’s online appeal mobilised Rs. 31.7 million from more than 55,000 Internet banking customers. ICICI Group companies and their employees contributed an additional Rs.106.5 million. The Group programme includes interventions to strengthen communities’ capacity to deal with future disasters by setting up sustainable livelihood systems and promoting a culture of disaster preparedness that will enable communities to recover more rapidly and successfully from disasters. In addition, initiatives have been tailored to protect and nurture the children of the community, as they are the most vulnerable. The programme covered 425 villages and over 66,500 households in three states (Bihar, Orissa, and West Bengal), with 160 children’s groups formed, providing over 3,200 children with training on community-based disaster risk reduction. In Bihar, 170 Village Disaster and Risk Management Teams (VDRMT) have been formed, which are frontline teams in charge of developing and establishing community-based disaster preparedness plans and leading rehabilitation and restoration measures when disaster strikes. Other aspects of the programme include building 11 Child Friendly Flood Shelters (CFFS) that can accommodate at least 1,000 people with water and sanitation systems and a first aid emergency medical room.
b) Flood relief in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka
Following the devastating floods in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in October 2009, ICICI Bank’s employees contributed one day’s salary towards the cause, a total of Rs. 18.7 million. This was further matched by the Bank for a total of Rs. 37.4 million, which was given to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Relief Fund and the Karnataka Chief Ministers’ Relief Fund.
Improving access to financial services
To provide access to financial services for low-income and other under-served customer, the ICICI Group has undertaken a range of initiatives. For ICICI Bank, financial inclusion initiatives have been a part of its core business strategy, being achieved through different channels and technologies. Financial Innovation & Network Operations (FINO), a company sponsored by the ICICI Group, is working with a number of players in the financial sector for customer acquisition and servicing using the smart card model. Total enrolments of FINO have crossed 14 million covering 233 districts in 21 states, through tie-up with 21 banks, three insurance companies, seven government entities and 20 MFIs. ICICI Bank’s Self Help Group (SHG) and-micro lending programmes facilitate access to financial services for low-income rural households. With a micro lending book of Rs. 34.17 billion, ICICI Bank’s micro lending initiative reached more than 4.0 million low-income households in India this year. The Bank’s Small Enterprises Group reaches out to nearly a million small and medium enterprises across the country, offering solutions using multiple low cost channels like the Internet, dedicated call center teams, mobile banking, ATMs, debit and credit cards, as well as branch networks. The Bank met its priority sector lending and direct agriculture lending targets for fiscal 2010, and at March 26, 2010, total priority sector lending advances of Rs. 626.98 billion were 51.3% of the residual adjusted net bank credit (RANBC) against the regulatory target of 50.0% of RANBC, while direct agriculture advances at Rs. 173.29 billion represented 14.2% of RANBC, higher than the regulatory target of 13.5%.
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company (ICICI Life) provides micro-insurance to low-income population. Its micro insurance product for rural population, Sarv Jana Suraksha, provides insurance for a minimal premium of Rs. 50 per annum. More than 330,000 policies have been issued during fiscal 2010. In collaboration with the Micro Insurance Innovation Facility of the International Labour Organisation, ICICI Life has adopted a multi-pronged approach to address financial inclusion among the tea labour community in Assam. It developed and launched Anmol Nivesh, a unique savings cum insurance debt linked product with special features like flexibility in premiums, a customised delivery model and innovative consumer education.
ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company (ICICI General) has partnered with various central and state government ministries/agencies to offer insurance coverage under schemes like the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) for below poverty line workers in the unorganised sector; insurance scheme for weavers; and the Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swasthya Bima Yojana for handicraft artisans. The company has covered over 8.0 million families under these schemes. ICICI General has pioneered the introduction of weather insurance in India and works with a number of financial intermediaries to deliver weather insurance in 14 states.
Protecting the environment
i. Clean technology initiatives
ICICI Bank’s Technology Finance Group (TFG) implements programmes for multilateral agencies in areas of collaborative research and development (R&D), energy, environment and healthcare. TFG’s initiatives include efforts to attract and channel private financing into cleaner technologies, to create public-private partnerships to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency and to promote sustainable development.
TFG assisted in the introduction of codes of environmental management (ISO 14000) to the country. It also supported clean coal concepts like coal washeries and coal bed methane for the first time in the country. TFG supported the first passenger electric car in India (Reva), currently being exported to the UK and 17 other countries. It also supported the introduction of municipal shared savings concept through the energy service company (ESCO) route, which help save expenditure for street lighting and water pumping. Another significant initiative was the introduction of green rating of buildings through setting up of CII’s Green Business Centre (GBC). The GBC now has 350 million square feet of floor space registered for green rating that will save energy, water and emissions.
Other prominent projects assisted include waste heat recovery at smelting operations, power distribution reforms to reduce transmission and distribution losses in utilities and biomass cogeneration. TFG has also partnered with the Indian Army to assist 25 resource conservation and biodiversity protection projects in different geographies of the country.
ii. Go Green
ICICI Bank’s ‘Go Green’ initiative aims to move processes and customers to environment friendly, cost-efficient operational platforms and build awareness about the environment among customers and employees.
a) Reducing energy and paper consumption: Through ‘Go Green’, ICICI Bank has significantly reduced consumption of energy and paper by encouraging paperless transactions and communication, using CFL lighting and regulating AC temperatures across all our offices and branches.
b) Green products and services: ICICI Bank offers discounts in processing fees for customers opting for energy-efficient vehicles. Processing fees are reduced for those who purchase homes in ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’ certified buildings.
c) Engaging and educating employees and customers: As part of ‘Go Green,’ ICICI Bank has conducted green-themed events and contests to spread awareness about environment friendly practices. ‘Chlorophyll’ is ICICI Bank’s monthly internal newsletter launched in September 2009 covering perspectives of senior management, initiatives within the ICICI Group, updates on global environmental developments and tips to help employees contribute towards environmental conservation. ICICI Bank has pledged its support to the World Wildlife Federation-led Earth Hour by switching of all lights in its premises, branches and ATMs for one hour. ICICI Bank also celebrated World Environment Day on June 5, 2009, an occasion when branch staff and customers took the green pledge, planted and distributed saplings and conducted other events.
Other initiatives by ICICI Group companies
Project Dignity Millions is an initiative of ICICI Life that aims to expand the reach of the Dignity Foundation, an NGO serving senior citizens, with a target to have one million members across India by 2019. ICICI Life has provided capacity building support, including strengthening infrastructure and technology to the Dignity Foundation to facilitate user-friendly services and help senior citizens lead an active and productive life.
“Healthy Lokshakti” is an initiative by ICICI General to enhance the health of mothers and children (0-1 year) in partnership with the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS). The programme is being piloted in two tribal blocks in Nasik district of Maharasthra and is implemented by Vachan, an NGO, with support from Bhavishya Alliance. A health helpline and transportation facilities for emergency care are being set up to link the communities, grassroots health workers and healthcare institutions.
ICICI Securities supports the Muktangan Education Initiative, a partnership begun in 2003 by the Paragon Charitable Trust and the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM). Muktangan is seeking to create a sustainable community based, child-centred, inclusive and low cost model. ICICI Securities has also supported the School Partnership Project of Doorstep School, which imparts age-appropriate literacy skills for out-ofschool children in the age group of 4 to 18 years and facilitates their entry and continuance in mainstream education.
-- Pg 46 - 50 of Annual Report
ICICI Foundation's Focus Areas
We believe that child survival and development is one of the most urgent and significant challenges to India’s long-term growth, requiring immediate attention.
High levels of preventable child deaths and infant and child under nutrition persist in many parts of India, rooted in and mirroring the poor health and nutritional status of Indian girls and women. The nation’s indicators of child survival and development are some of the poorest in the world.
Such sub-optimal child development has implications for children’s ability to survive, resist infections and learn, often with an irreversibly negative impact on adult productivity and health.
Existing health and nutrition programmes in India suffer from gaps in quality and usually do not reach poor and high-risk populations. The public health system and the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) – collectively mandated to provide key promotive, preventive and primary care to poor communities – face multiple constraints in planning, finance, human resource capacity and community participation.
Learn more about ICICI Group's CSR in the area - http://www.icicifoundation.org/icici-lombard-17.htm.
ICICI Elementary Education
As a result of substantial efforts on the part of the Indian government, more than 200 million children from 6 to 14 years old are now enrolled in schools, with more than 70 percent of these estimated to be in government schools. Significant improvements have been made to school equipment and infrastructure, the number of teachers hired and trained, and the number of schools in rural areas. Yet the number of children who are not in school remains high and more than 50 percent leave elementary school before completion.
In addition, despite significant expenditure by the government on schooling, the achievement levels of children in both government and non-government schools are extremely low. We believe that in order to prepare our young people for participation in a modernising India, we must ensure that they receive the quality of education they deserve.
IFMR Finance Foundation
Access to Finance
Access to financial services enables individuals and enterprises to smooth consumption and allocate resources most productively, for example, by allowing them to better manage risk (e.g. insurance) and take advantage of opportunities at different points in time (e.g. saving today to build capital for tomorrow, or taking a loan for an opportunity today). A well-functioning financial system and access to financial services can also enable households to engage with the larger economy by providing payment and settlement systems (e.g. electronic payment systems) and by transmitting price information through the economy. Access to comprehensive financial services is therefore an essential part of the development process and of inclusive growth.
Despite many steps made in the direction of financial access for more Indians over the last five decades (e.g. the nationalisation of the commercial banking system, the introduction of Local Area Banks, Regional Rural Banks and Cooperative Banks) and evidence that financial access can lead to a sharp reduction in poverty, the majority of the Indian population remains without even minimal access to financial services.
In our view, lack of access to financial services represents the most serious impediment to the ability of rural households to attain their full income potential and to smooth their lifetime consumption. Lack of financial access for low-income households sharply reduces their ability to invest in skill building and education, to make optimal occupational choices and to benefit from and contribute to the national growth process.
Not all sectors of Indian society have been able to participate and benefit equally from the development process. Civil society organisations (CSOs) including local government bodies at the grassroots level and local media can play a critical role in making this process more inclusive.
It is our belief that effective Gram Panchayats can play a pivotal role in enabling equitable participation in the political process so that marginalised communities are able to both reap benefits from and play an active and participatory role in development. Outside the statutory federal structure, grassroots-level NGOs and local media can be instrumental in mobilising and building the capacities of people to participate in the development process in an empowered manner.
There are more than 1.2 million NGOs, foundations and associations and more than 250,000 Gram Panchayats in India, working across the country to mobilise action and raise citizens' awareness and interest about issues that affect their lives. But despite the preponderance of active groups and the introduction of government and NGO initiatives designed to benefit low-income and marginalised communities, challenges persist in the face of resource shortages and suboptimal implementation of these initiatives.
Enabling CSOs to more effectively integrate marginalised communities into the development process requires urgent attention.
Environmentally Sustainable Finance Group
The high rate of growth required for India to lift the standards of living of her people has already led to pressures on the availability and quality of key resources including water and energy as well as increased pollution and environmental degradation. ICICI Foundation's environmental sustainability work is centred on enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of India's current and future energy use.
Energy is essential for development. The challenge is to ensure that we can achieve maximum development impact with minimal emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and that we can ensure the cleanest possible energy use, minimising black carbon, ozone, and other air pollutants.
The environmental and development consequences of climate change and pollution touch on public health, quality of life, and agricultural productivity. In addition, public resources and systems are facing increasing strain as some of the effects of climate changes such as extreme weather and monsoon disruption become more apparent.
Ensuring that efficient energy is available to fuel India’s growth remains a significant challenge, particularly in rural areas of the country. We believe that it is critical to ensure that India’s growth path accelerates it towards the trend of energy efficiency. We are also committed to creating policies and practices that ensure that environmental quality is appropriately valued in firms and households decisions.