Team DAH2 contributes to an UN Sustainability Development Goal while empowering Digital Education
In September 2015, the United Nations announced 17 Sustainable Development Goals that all countries must adopt to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities, and tackle climate change over the next 15 years. Also known as Global Goals, they address a wide-range of issues from hunger, health and education to energy, infrastructure and industry; recognizing that economic growth needs to go hand-in-hand with environmental protection. The unique initiative was officially adopted by 195 world leaders on 12 December, 2015 at the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.
Closer home, the efforts to meet the energy needs of a rapidly-developing country through traditional power generation is not only proving to be increasingly difficult but practically impossible. Providentially, India has unlimited potential and great incentive to shift to alternate sources of energy, particularly solar. Tapping into such non-polluting, renewable sources will provide us long-term economic growth in the form of millions of jobs and monetary stimulus, while also enabling affordable energy to reach the rural population and empower those at the grassroots level.
At DBS, Sustainability equals Responsible Banking, Responsible Corporate Citizenship, and Creating Social Impact. We formed the DBS Sustainability Council in March 2017 to outline the Bank's Strategic Agenda for Sustainability as referring to the areas of Sustainable Operations, Clean Energy Consumption, and Energy Efficiency. Accordingly, we have chosen to focus on four of the UN's SDGs, where we believe we can contribute the most while keeping in line with our own sustainability objectives, unique heritage, strategy, markets of operations, and businesses. These specifically include:
DBS’ commitment: Promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology through green financing initiatives
DBS’ commitment: Encourage and expand access to banking, insurance, and financial services for all through financial inclusion initiatives
DBS’ commitment: Influence our customers towards sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources through responsible financing
DBS’ commitment: Improve education, awareness-raising, and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation and impact reduction through responsible financing and green banking products
By aligning its Strategic Agenda for Sustainability to four of the seventeen SDGs outlined by the UN, the DBS Sustainability Council has unarguably taken a big step in the right direction. The next step would be contributing towards the implementation of these goals.
DBS Asia Hub 2 (DAH2), DBS Bank’s technology development centre based in Hyderabad, is already doing its bit at a Government School in Rajendra Nagar, Telangana by installing a Solar Power Plant to provide clean, green energy while also powering up the school's computer lab that had been left unused due to frequent electricity cuts.
The 2KW Solar Plant installed by the team put the 12 computers in the school's lab and its 2 digital rooms back in business. Power bills went down and students' interest in the digital world went up. As one of the students said, "Comparatively we are able to learn more subjects than before because of the solar power which is playing a big role of power back up for our uninterrupted digital education. Digital study is helping us in remembering the content (better) than manual teaching." The team succeeded in meeting the school's requirements as well as contributing towards Global Goals.
Inspired by the success of this project, the DAH2 team will be sending their engineers to teach the children at the Rajendra Nagar school; installing a larger solar plant in another school and, is aiming to expand this initiative of using sustainable energy to empower digital education to as many as 30 more schools in the next financial year. This is a small step by DBS, towards a large Global goal.
All, to be a greater force for good.
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