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On the World Water Day, Industrial Bank and Alxa SEE Jointly Called for Protection of Water Resources

On March 22, the “World Water Day”, Alxa SEE public benefit organization and Industrial Bank (IB), the first Equator bank in China and the “pioneer” in the area of environment finance, jointly held the forum of “Water and Sustainable Development” in Shanghai. At the forum, More than 300 representatives from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Department of Water Resources of China Institute of Water Resources & Hydropower Research, Shanghai Water Resources Foundation and environmental protection organizations and enterprises both from home and abroad were invited to discuss about the protection of water resources and sustainable development, calling on more people to pay attention to the problem of water resources which is becoming increasingly severe.

At the same time, IB announced the launch of the first bank card based on the concepts of public benefit and charity in China on the same day. Cardholders may make voluntary donations specially for supporting the project of “One Hundred Million Haloxylon Trees” sponsored by Alxa SEE public benefit organization.

Promoting socialized protection of water resources

As revealed by data, there are pollutant-discharging enterprises within 1km from the homes of 110 million residents in China; the water in less than half of the 197 rivers can be used for drinking, swimming or aquiculture; 2/3 of cities are lack of water and ground water has been seriously polluted in about half of cities… The water pollution prevention action plan (ten measures for water) appeared in the Report on the Work of the Government at the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) this year for the first time, which has drawn great attention. While we impose “iron-handed” control over the water pollution problem, we also need the joint attention and concerted support of all social groups.

As an important part to the large environmental protection and public benefit activity for the World Water Day on the theme of “Protect Mother River and Retain the Beauty of China” in 2015, the forum of “Water and Sustainable Development” on that day was, besides Ren Zhiqiang, the incumbent president of Alxa SEE public benefit organization, Wang Shi, the second president, and Chen Jinguang, Vice President of IB, also attended by a number of experts in the areas of environment and water resource protection both at home and abroad, including representatives from the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Shanghai Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Shanghai Water Authority, UNESCO, WWF, the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), CAE, CAS, Department of Water Resources of China Institute of Water Resources & Hydropower Research, Shanghai Water Resources Foundation, and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and other organizations.

Attendees held joint discussions on the control of water pollution, protection of water resources and sustainable development from different perspectives such as Chinese policies on the administration of water resources, sustainable development of water and enterprises, the current situation and prospect of PPP in the management of water resources, water strategies of enterprises, and enterprises and water for public benefit, calling for intensifying transboundary cooperation in the protection of water resources.

Alxa SEE public benefit organization, established initially for the control of desertification, is the first public benefit organization for environmental protection mainly consisting of well-known entrepreneurs in China. With more than 380 members now, the organization has invested nearly RMB 200 million for public benefit over the past 10 years. It has gradually extended its actions to a number of other fields such as the protection of water resources and lent sustained support to the non-governmental protection network for monitoring of water pollution which essentially consists of six environmental protection organization including IPE.

Ren Zhiqiang said: “SEE hopes to build a platform based on its own advantages, which can be used to promote the involvement of non-governmental forces in environmental protection and facilitate the transboundary exchange, cooperation and sharing of all social circles in the protection and management of water resources. Meanwhile, it hopes to help enterprises to get actively involved in the protection and management of water resources, achieve green transformation and sustainable development, and make contribution to retaining the clean water and blue sky of China.”

IB, which also pays great attention to clean water and blue sky, is the first and only “Equator Bank” in China now. Over many years, the Bank has released a range of green financing products based on constant innovation, committing itself to promoting the utilization and protection of water resources with market-oriented means. By the end of December 2014, IB has granted a financing volume of RMB 103.7 billion in total in the utilization and protection of water resources and supported 879 projects across China in various areas such as construction, upgrading and transformation of sewage plants, industrial water conservation, seawater desalination, and water area control. For instance, the Bank provided financing of more than RMB 20 billion for the comprehensive water regulation project of Zhejiang Province (treatment of sewage, prevention of flood, discharge of waterlog, water supply and water conservation), and credit line of RMB 7.5 billion for transfer of water from Hanshui River to Weihe River in Shaanxi… It is estimated that all these projects can reduce 1.23 million tons of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and 35,800 tons of ammonia nitrogen a year, and save 262 million tons of water a year.

Vice President Chen Jinguang of IB indicated at the forum that it is the indispensable responsibilities of commercial banks to promote sustainable development and environmental protection, and that in jointly holding the forum, IB hopes to arouse more attention from the whole society to ecological environment and green economy and make more contribution to the sustainable development of economy, protection of earth environment and building of Beautiful China.

Greening the origin of sand dust with the card of public benefit donation

A special link was set at this forum of "Water and Sustainable Development", namely the issue ceremony of “IB SEE Private Banking Card”, which is the first bank card based on the concepts of public benefit and charity targeting at private banking customers in China. Cardholders may make voluntary donations specially for supporting the project of “One Hundred Million Haloxylon Trees” sponsored by Alxa SEE public benefit organization. As representative cardholders of “IB SEE Private Banking Card”, Feng Lun, Wang Shi and Ren Zhiqiang were present at the launch ceremony together.

It is learnt that, in order to improve the ecological environment of Alxa region of Inner Mongolia, the largest origin of sand dust in China, characterized by drought and infrequent rainfall, strong wind and prevailing sand, Alxa SEE initiated the project of “One Hundred Million Haloxylon Trees”, planning to plant 100 million haloxylon trees, which boast extremely high resistance to sand wind, in Alxa region in ten years to recover the vegetation for the vast desert of 2 million mu in the region so as to improve the local ecological environment, reduce the impact of sandstorm originating from and passing by Alex to neighboring regions and check the tendency of desertification. In the meantime, the project also aims to improve the living standard of herders with the derivative economic value of haloxylon trees.

Since 2013, IB Private Banking and Alxa SEE public benefit organization have worked in collaboration to support the public benefit project. In 2014, IB and Alxa jointly held the large parent-kid program – Elite Growth Club Alex Public Benefit Travel, in which private banking customers of the Bank were organized to enter Alex from Ningxia by hiking to raise funds for the project of “One Hundred Million Haloxylon Trees”. Moreover, the Bank also made donation to plant a parcel of “IB Forest”. The funds raised with the “IB SEE Private Banking Card” issued this time will also be used exclusively as imbursement for the project of “One Hundred Million Haloxylon Trees”.

According to the introduction of IB, the exceptional requirements are set for holding the “IB SEE Private Banking Card”. Cardholders must recognize the public benefit concept of IB and “Alxa SEE”, and make public benefit donations for Alxa SEE environmental protection project voluntarily. In other words, only customers identifying themselves with the public benefit concept and the project can have their cards activated. Nevertheless, cardholders can easily support charity with public benefit donations. After activating the “scheduled transfer” function via counter or internet banking of the Bank, they can decide the donation frequency and amount in the unit of month or year by themselves. In this way, they can lend support to the public benefit cause on a regular basis.

Now, the Bank has more than 18,000 private banking customers, with a total of nearly RMB 200 billion assets. The launch of “IB SEE Private Banking Card” is another innovation to support the causes of charity and pubic benefit that the Bank made tallying with the trend that an increasing number of HNWIs are paying attention to “Spiritual Investment” while focusing on accumulation of wealth.

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