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Your Financial Institution and the Environment

We live in an era where the environment is recognized as an important part of virtually everything we do. Nowhere is the direct impact felt more than in the business community. Whether it is mining, manufacturing, transportation or energy, the business community can be targeted as the primary cause of pollution and other negative impacts on our air, water, open space, and natural resources. There is a strong connection between finance and the environment. The environmental risks that confront a financial institution’s clients such as violation of laws, responsibility for cleaning up contamination or loss of franchise and brand reputation have an impact on their bottom line and, in turn, can pose risks to your institution. On the other hand, these same environmental issues can also present opportunities to finance new products, to learn how to build environmentally-based efficiencies into your own operations and to enhance the reputation of your institution.

The Environmental Bankers Association (EBA) has provided the forum for financial institutions to address environmental issues for the past decade. One of the founding principles of the EBA is that the environment should not be a factor in financial transaction competition. We believe that a healthy environment is one key to a strong economy and that we all benefit far more from a collective strong economy than by individually cutting corners at the expense of the environment. In this spirit we have prepared this booklet. EBA believes strongly in proactively addressing environmental issues, especially environmental risks to the bottom line of our respective financial institutions. This booklet provides you with an introduction to the approaches we’ve developed from our years of experience and draws on what we have learned in collaboration with other groups including the United Nations Environment Programme Financial Institutions Initiative (UNEP FII).

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