Shinhan Financial Group announced on Sep. 1 an ambitious plan to push for green finance.
The plan was released by CEO Shin Sang-hoon at a ceremony in Seoul to celebrate the 8th anniversary of the group's launch.
Encouraging the hard work of about 20,000 staff members across the Shinhan network, Shin said, "All employees should get ready to excel in the new field of green finance, which is emerging as new growth engine for the future."
Shinhan group said at the ceremony it would implement green administration to keep abreast of Lee Myung-bak administration's Low Carbon Green Growth policy.
Shinhan's plan for green finance will be driven according to three guidelines -- financial transactions supporting low carbon and green growth, contribution to corporate changes toward eco-friendly green industry, and minimizing environmentally hazardous elements in all steps of business operation.
Specifically, Shinhan announced it would lead the development of a green deposit bank account and provide privileges for environmentally-friendly companies when they apply for loans or ask for investment. It also pledged to introduce a system to decrease CO2 gas emissions and replace all lighting with LED lights.
Shinhan Group is currently holding annual events of eco-friendly volunteer activities such as tree planting.
In the long term, Shinhan plans to realize a Carbon Offset, which refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset.
At the ceremony, Mr. Shin emphasized that Shinhan would create various measures to support eco-friendly enterprises and lead the financial sector's efforts to develop green finance products.
Shinhan Financial Group is a financial holding company. Shinhan Bank and its affiliates were a major financial group in the country throughout the 1990s. In 2001, Shinhan Group was established to change Shinhan into a holding company, a system which had been newly introduced into the country.
In 2002, Shinhan bought Jeju Bank and Shinhan Securities merged with Good Morning Securities. Shinhan acquired CHB Bank in 2003, and combined it with Shinhan Bank in 2006. The group bought LG Card in 2006, and next year merged it with smaller Shinhan Card.
In September this year, Goodmorning Shinhan Securities Co., a unit of Shinhan Financial Group, lost its name to take Shinhan Investment Corp., as part of its efforts to diversify its investment services.