[SocialFunds.com]: JPMorgan Chase Environmental Policy Triggers Tipping Point for US Bank Sustainability

JPMorgan Chase (ticker: JPM) released a comprehensive environmental policy that follows in the footsteps of Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) and even takesfurther strides. For example, JPMC not only adopts the Equator Principles
(as did Citi and BofA), but alsoextends them beyond project finance to
cover all loans, debt and equity underwriting, and evenfinancial
advisories, among other areas. And while the Principles apply to $50
million projects andup, JPMC will apply the principles starting at $10
million for financing of the extractiveindustries, such as oil and gas,
forestry, and mining. In some areas, however, JPMC’s
policy fallsshort of commitments in Citi and BofA environmental
policies…

‘JPMorgan Chase’s move represents a tipping point in the private
financial sector, where the three largest banks have now publicly
recognized that a sound long-term economic strategy relies on embracing
environmental sustainability,’ said Ilyse Hogue, global finance
campaigner for Rainforest Action Network (RAN),
a nongovernmental organization (NGO). ‘The rest of the commercial and
investment banks need to taker larger strides to confront their role in
the environmental crisis facing us.’

From the policy:

Protecting the natural systems upon which all life depends while
lifting people out of poverty and advancing economic development are
among the greatest challenges confronting humanity. These three pillars
of sustainable development are central to the UN Millennium Development
Goals adopted in 2000. We recognize that the policies and practices we
adopt today will shape not only our lives but also those of future
generations. We therefore have an opportunity to make a positive
contribution to environmental and social concerns by enacting policies
designed so that our business operations do not degrade the environment
or cause social harm. Such policies not only indicate positive
environmental stewardship, but also present business opportunities such
as innovative financial products and investments in sustainable
forestry and renewable energy. This will help us better manage our
risks, attract and retain critical talent, develop expertise, and
provide clients with solutions to evolving exposures.

Coming on the heels of General Electric’s Ecomagination
announcement, this is a hopful sign of a tipping point extending even
beyond the financial services sector — a sign that more business
leaders are beginning to grasp the new risk/reward equation that so
many of us have been talking about for so long.

It’s a pretty nice sixth birthday present for Natural Logic. 🙂


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