Research Institute for Environmental Finance (RIEF), formerly known as Finance GreenWatch, was launched in spring 2011 to monitor and gather information on Japanese financial institutions. The project looks at whether Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors are taken into consideration by companies in the screening and evaluation process, when providing loans and investing money in various economic activities.
This initiative was borne out of our respect and regard for the important function of financial institutions in society. Finance is said to be like the blood stream of society and the economy: it provides the money necessary for people and companies to develop and sustain their activities. In addition to this role, they can also assess and encourage adherence to ESG factors through their transactions in society.
We would like to support these adhering financial activities, but at the same time, if the institutions are to disregard their primary funciton. we would send them a warning signal through information collected by this website. We, therefore, undetake the role of a financial watchdog in Japan.
Can financial institutions keep on being green both for their customers and themselves? We put this question to financiers from the point of view of citizens and markets. We not only monitor banks but also other financial institutions that deal with brokerage, insurance, asset management, pension funds etc. We coordinate with several NGO and NPO supporters both domestic and international as well to collect information. You are also invited to join us in putting information about financial institutions through to the public and markets via this website. Please contact us for more details.