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Have banks taken thought leadership on climate change?

Hello there

A chief sustainability officer yesterday told Greenbang about some of the meetings he’s been having with his peers from other companies.

He, who shall remain nameless, said while all the FTSE companies are looking at climate change, the big question for everyone is how they are structuring their staff.

Many of the tech companies, HP for example, are employing people to ensure the supply chain is in order. HP has someone to audit its supplier factories, working conditions and for things like where metals are mined and how hazardous chemicals are disposed of.

From Greenbang’s point of view, many of the big UK PLC companies seem to be looking internally at what they can do. Some are just a bit scared of saying anything for fear of blowing open holes they don’t want us journos poking around in.

But the most interesting point this chap made was how it’s the financial companies taking the biggest steps towards carbon neutrality and better transparency.

Greenbang’s been banging on for ages about how he hopes that tech companies will lead the way in combating climate change. He’s really wanted Bill Gates or someone similar to stand up and give it the attention it deserves.

Tech companies are the biggest innovators with some of the best resources on the planet. But what Greenbang hears is that it’s the financial companies who are trying the gain ground on thought leadership.

This is odd. For institutions that have long histories of avoiding risk and change, such quick, dramatic steps, such as HSBC’s to go carbon neutral and employ Nick Stern, writer of that big report that hit the headlines last year.

So Greenbang’s conclusion is this isn’t just a PR stunt. There’s either a lot of money to be made here or the banks have seen much bigger risks to their business in failing to act.

That act could be a cost-cutting exercise. It could be a genuine love of the world (?) or it could be something we’ve yet to see – perhaps it’s linked to the new energy and technology indexes the banks are pushing…

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