Report claims the biggest French banks are behind on their Environmental Policies

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.

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