This report has looked at some of the key areas that shareholders are interested in when considering how Banks are managing their environmental risks. While having a plethora of environmental policies is place is not the only indication of how well a bank is performing environmentally, it is clear that having robust policies in place can reassure shareholders.
Friends of the Earth France published a new report today claiming that there is an absence of effective environmental policy within eight of the biggest French banks. As a consequence, Friends of the Earth is asking for a reinforcement of the Reporting Law and the implementation of specific environmental policies within banks, especially regarding their indirect environmental impacts.
“Banques françaises et environnement: Presque tout à faire” analyses banks environmental policies according to four main criteria: environmental management system, environmental policy evaluation system, direct environmental impacts and indirect environmental impacts (investment and finance policies).
The report emphasizes four major elements:
- Secrecy is the rule, transparency the exception: An uncompromising law is highly needed.
- The most worrying findings are with the finance and investment policies, which are in general very weak though their environmental impacts are high.
- Environmental objectives are hazy and not ambitious enough.
- Finally, in-house environmental training is scarce.