A new IFC report “Banking on Sustainability,” has been released. It provides practical examples of 14 financial institutions in 12 countries that have taken concrete steps to integrate sustainability into their policies, practices, products, and services.
“While detailing the evidence of potential benefits for banks in integrating sustainability into their business strategy, the report reveals a dramatic shift in banks’ awareness of these benefits,” said Rachel Kyte, IFC Director of Environment and Social Development.
In a 2005 IFC survey, 86 percent of 120 financial institutions interviewed reported positive changes as a result of steps they had taken to integrate social and environmental issues in their business.The report shows evidence of the potential benefits of adopting sustainability as a business strategy. It also shows a dramatic shift in banks’ awareness of these benefits. Banks can tap vast benefits by reassessing their business practices and engaging in sustainability-oriented risk management and product development.
It is notoriously difficult to quantify the financial benefits of adopting sustainable business practices, however this report demonstrates some clear business benefits from adopting and integrating environmental and social considerations into core business strategies.