Les Amis de la Terre / Friends of the Earth France
Tel : 33.1 48 51 18 92 / 33.6 68 98 83 41
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Friends of the Earth France published a new report today highlighting the absence of effective environmental policy within eight of the biggest French banks. As a consequence, Friends of the Earth is asking for a reinforcement of the Reporting Law and the implementation of specific environmental policies within banks, especially regarding their indirect environmental impacts.
“Banques françaises et environnement: Presque tout à faire” is the first report of its kind being launched in . It analyses banks environmental policies according to four main criteria: environmental management system, environmental policy evaluation system, direct environmental impacts and indirect environmental impacts (investment and finance policies).
The report emphasizes four major elements:
- Secrecy is the rule, transparency the exception: An uncompromising law is highly needed
- The most worrying findings are with the finance and investment policies, which are in general very weak though their environmental impacts are high.
- Environmental objectives are hazy and not ambitious enough
- Finally, in-house environmental training is scarce
Sebastien Godinot of Friends of the Earth says “At the end of the day, one cannot really tell which banks are the best regarding environmental policies, but rather which banks are better than others, when referring to their own practices and commitments ”
On a scale ranging from 1 to 10, 4 bank groups distinguish themselves: HSBC, Dexia and Groupe Banque Populaire (2.6 to 2.9/10), then Sociéte Générale, Crédit Agricole and BNP-Paribas (1.7 to 2), followed by Caisse d’Epargne (1.3) and Crédit Mutuel-CIC (0.2).
Sebastien Godinot adds: “Our report introduces many good practices, both from French and international financial institutions and emphasizes the best international norms banks should follow. If banks really wish to improve, they should be inspired by this report and implement the norms as of this year. We will follow up on that closely.”