Environmental record of Australian financial institutions: Report reveals large differences in performance

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Article
27 April 2006

Finance sector reaping ‘false profits’ [Australia]

Author: Australian Conservation Foundation

The finance sector in Australia is not measuring or adequately considering how environmental impacts affect long-term financial performance and risk, according to a new report issued today by the Australian Conservation Foundation [AFC]. The report, False Profits: how Australia's finance sector undervalues the environment and what we can do about it, provides the first quantitative analysis and comparison of the environmental impacts of the large-scale corporate lending activities of different banks..."It's not all bad news. The report shows how some financial institutions are adopting innovative strategies to improve the environmental sustainability of their core financial decision-making and public policy activities. However, these companies remain in the minority..." [said ACF executive director Don Henry]

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Article
27 April 2006

[PDF] False Profits: how Australia's finance sector undervalues the environment and what we can do about it

Author: Australian Conservation Foundation

This Report is about the financial decision-making processes that lead to false profits, and how we can reform them. By drawing lessons from ten successful innovations in the finance sector, and supplementing them with a set of public policy reforms to address structural defects in the financial system, this report describes a possible pathway towards a sustainable finance sector in Australia. By false profits, we mean financial returns earned by imposing unsustainable burdens on the natural environment. These narrow financial returns are illusory; they can be regarded as “profits” only if one disregards their collateral environmental and financial costs, and the long-term erosion of environmental health and the societies and economies that depend on it. [refers to ANZ, Westpac, NAB, CBA, Citigroup, ABN AMRO, JP Morgan Chase, BNP Paribas, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Societe Generale, BOS/ Bank West, WestLB, Royal Bank of Scotland, CSFB, Mizuho, Rabobank, Bank of America, Credit Agricole, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (part of Mitsubishi UFJ), Sumitomo Mitsui, Toronto-Dominion, UBS Warburg]

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