Barclays Bank announces a new environmental protection policy as a WWF poll shows that 7 in 10 consumers would consider ditching banks that fund environmentally damaging projects, which would endanger World Heritage sites. The new policy states that the bank has “no appetite” for funding the development or expansion of environmentally damaging projects in World Heritage sites or internationally important wetland areas.” This public policy statement says that Barclays will have its environmental risk management team screen all of the proposed projects and financial transactions to check for the location of the project against UNESCO’s World Heritage lists of important sites.
The new policy covers corporate banking and investment banking activities. The focus is specifically geared toward mining, oil, gas, and other major infrastructure industries. The bank released the following statement, “Barclays’ success and prosperity is closely linked to the success and prosperity of the communities in which we live and work.” Additionally, the policy states that, “This principle guides the way we do business and drives our commitment to play a leading role in the transition towards a sustainable environment and a low carbon global economy.”
Duke Energy Holding Company is a fortune 125 company that is making significant changes to their portfolio holdings by increasing its renewable energy capacity by almost 20 % in 2017. According to the company’s newly posted Sustainability Report, one of the company’s goals is to own (or have under contract) 8,000 megawatts of wind, solar and biomass capacity by 2020. The company’s carbon dioxide emissions continue to drop, down 31%, from 2005 levels. Their projected goal is to lower total emissions down 40% by 2030. A highly ambitious goal that they have accomplished in the past year is to recycle 80% of its solid waste!
As conscious consumers, we must applaud these companies and encourage them to continue to divest their portfolios of unsustainable products. There are several ways to promote companies making the switch:
1) Share this post– companies love good publicity, especially when it is on an individual (word of mouth) level. The best thing is that this action takes 1 second (press the share button), and doesn’t cost a dime!
2) Buy shares in their stock– this is an opportunity for you and the company. Renewable energy is a growing sector, it’s like time traveling back to the 1990’s and knowing that cell phones are going to change the world and impact everyone in it. Wouldn’t you invest?!? Duke Energy is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. Here is your opportunity to get in on the action. Oil is a finite resource. The planet will definitively run out of fossil fuels at some point in the future. Oil makes us more dependent on foreign countries (political leverage), and it is polluting our air. The switch to renewable energy is inevitable! Be a part of the force that causes the change!!!
3) When making a purchasing decision– perform a bit of research and consider the company’s environmental impact.
Are these actions due to consumer pressure or a general turn in policy due to companies realizing that they can have an impact on the environment and lead the way into a more sustainable future? What do you think? Comment below!