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28 Oct 2010 12:10:31

Energy efficiency for banks to save

As Barclays, together with HSBC and Standard Chartered, have begun to look at the possibility of relocating offshore, the need for saving costs by introducing energy efficiency measures within the banking sector has become more urgent.

Last month, the banking industry launched its campaign to fight off global regulatory proposals that could force the largest banks to hold more capital against potential losses than their smaller competitors. The launch of this campaign has been followed by recent news saying that banks such as Barclays, together with HSBC and Standard Chartered, looking at the possibility of relocating offshore due to the increasing regulatory and taxation burden in the UK that has followed the banking crisis.

This seems to be the time in which the banking sector seriously considers sustainability and energy efficiency to grasp substantial energy savings. As an example The Bank of America recently released its Environmental Progress Report according to which the bank has decided to focus in two critical areas: renewable and energy efficiency. In the report The Bank of America has shown that it understands the role that financial institutions can play to build a low-carbon economy, and revealed a 10 years, $20 billion commitment to address climate change through its lending, investing, products and services and our own operations.

By gaining a clear understanding of where they can improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, banks can make significant energy savings

The banking sector should pay attention to the critical role they can play in helping to create the economies of scale required to build a low-carbon economy. However, building a low-carbon economy is a complex endeavor that requires choices and actions by all stakeholders - individuals, communities, businesses, governments and non-governmental organizations.

The banking sector, like any other company or industry, can make an impact by reducing its own carbon footprint and through philanthropy and community involvement, reflected in its corporate social responsibility. But, at the very core of what financial institutions do - lend, invest and create market activity - lies the power to mobilize intellectual and financial capital to commercialize and implement renewable and low-carbon energy and promote energy efficiency.

Banks can create new businesses, technologies and jobs while building healthier communities when they lend, invest and introduce new products and services. However, tackling climate change is more than doing right for its own sake. Instead, it has proven a long-term and highly compelling business opportunity both for banks and the clients and communities they serve. Moreover, by gaining a clear understanding of where they can improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, banks can make significant energy savings.

It seems that the banking industry has much work to do before the transition to a low-carbon economy can be regarded as an irreversible reality. Leaving the government and regulatory actions aside, banks should recognize that the financial services sector has a critical long-term role to play in the low-carbon economy that can also bring them significant savings, so needed in the current economic situation.

Discussion Thread  

M Blowman wrote:

11 Nov 2010

The problem for any business with ideas that would help cut carbon emissions, reduce energy consumption is finding the right people to approach in large organisations.
Unfortunately the larger the Company the more difficult is the task because so many filters are put in the way of establishing a dialogue and one has to relay on "chance"
If Companies and Banks are serious about reducing Energy Consumption they should open portals on their websites where prospective partners with expertise/ and or information can at least both provide information and open a dialogue with the relevant personnel

Discussion Thread  


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