This comprehensive addition to the debate on sustainable development has been produced in order to take a global pulse on how the financial services sector is responding to the growing challenge of shareholder and stakeholder expectations on social and environmental performance. In the opinion of many commentators in this new book, given the intermediary role banks play within economies, their potential contribution toward sustainable development is enormous. Indeed, for banks, the conclusion that corporate sustainability has become an investable concept that increases long-term shareholder value is becoming difficult to deny.To date, banks have been relatively slow to examine their exposure to risk (the environmental and social performance of their clients) and the business opportunities of sustainable development (the products and services they offer). Not before time, Sustainable Banking concludes that this is beginning to change, with both risk and opportunity becoming established elements in banking policies towards environmental sustainability. In addition, banks have now begun to take notice of and address their own environmental performance. Through the use of case studies and detailed analysis, the book examines the environmental policies of banks, the importance of transparency and communication with their stakeholders, environmental and ethical investment funds, current practice by the providers of financial services with regard to environmental risk management and, finally, the key role of government, NGOs and multilateral banks in delivering sustainability.Sustainable banking has not, however, been achieved and nor will it be in the immediate future. As globalisation proceeds apace, Sustainable Banking argues that improvements are necessary in banks' attitudes toward transparency and accountability with regard to their lending policies. In addition, in order to promote best practice, the leading banks need to start measuring their customers' environmental performance in order to persuade polluting clients that minimum compliance to regulations will no longer suffice. The book finds many shining examples in the co-operative, mutual and social sectors for the big players to emulate. Environmental and ethical considerations in such loan portfolios have proven to be profitable and "best-in-class" larger banks are now also reaping benefits.The unprecedented scope of the book has attracted contributors from four continents including Deloitte & Touche, Rabobank, The World Bank, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, The United Nations Environment Programme, The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, UBS, Henderson Investors, KPMG, The World Resources Institute and SAM Sustainability.
... an informative and authoritative book which provides insight into the practices of a range (both in terms of size and geography) of banking organisations ... The contributing authors (as well as editors) are well known and highly regarded, so the excellent overall standard is no surprise and it is a book that one can dip into, without the need to read from cover to cover. - Corporate Environmental Strategy || ... essential for all those in the financial service sector and the academic community. For local authorities the book can be relevant in their role as bank owners and in authority/bank co-operations in local economic development. - International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives || ... contains 32 chapters and touches on many aspects of banking and sustainable development. As such, it provides a comprehensive overview of the topic and brings together many examples that illustrate what is being done and can be done. - International Institute for Sustainable Development || The book is packed with ideas and suggestions for differing options, policies, models and approaches which make it a superb potential tool for change. Corporate strategists and scenario planners will find this book particularly useful ... recommended for those needing full information on the actions of the sector and its developing policy direction ... - Eagle Bulletin || ... provides a valuable snapshot of where sustainable banking is ... and more importantly, it offers insight into where sustainable banking just might be headed. - SocialFunds.com || Sustainable Banking is an instructive and useful book for everyone who is professionally or personally interested in practices to reduce the burden of the economy on the environment, especially by bankers. Within a few years, the pioneering work described in this book might have become common property. - Ethics and Society || ... the book is well organised and provides a wealth of valuable and thought provoking information. - Tomorrow || The broad coverage including financial institutions and issues in Bangladesh, China, USA, Thailand and many European countries is commendable and increases the value of it. - Social and Environmental Accounting