YOU CAN now bank on the environment -- at least at the nine Punjab National Bank (PNB) branches that will underwrite projects friendly to both customers and the environment. In a trend-setting move, PNB branches will encourage ecologically safe projects such as organic farms, fruit and vegetable cooperatives for the under-privileged and school projects for waste-recycling. The nine branches earmarked for the PNB's green drive are in Kurukshetra, Karnal, Hissar and Ambala, Haryana; Solan and Dharmsala, Himachal Pradesh; Nagrota in Jammu and Kashmir, and Chandigarh. The new environmental norms have already been sent to these branches with instructions to prepare action plans.
Within bank premises, hygiene will be accorded top priority and plants will add a dash of green. Clean drinking water will be provided and paper and cardboard waste will be recycled. The bank staff has been asked to participate in eco-conservation activities such as tree-planting and environment-related competitions for students. Bank offices will becoming no-smoking zones and employees will be encouraged to cycle to work and avoid using air-conditioners as they emit chlorofluorocarbons that harm the atmosphere.
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