March 26, 2019

CSRWire.com The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire

news by category

CSR News

The Latest Corporate Social Responsibility News - Banking on Sustainability

Submitted by: CSRwire Weekly News Alert

Categories: Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Aug 05, 2008 – 11:59 PM EST

 

Financial institutions promote positive social and environmental impacts.

The past decade has seen a radical shift from viewing banks as far-removed from social and environmental impacts, to recognizing banks as the fulcrum of financing, and thus a key lever for achieving sustainability. The 2003 launch of the Equator Principles and the granting of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize to microfinance pioneer Muhammad Yunus cemented this link. Now, banking best practice is shifting from minimizing negative impacts to advancing positive change.

For example, Citi is partnering with Ashoka, a nonprofit that supports social entrepreneurship, to launch the Changemakers Competition. The award program seeks to identify innovative finance projects that promote economic and social justice. Already, 18 entries from 10 countries on 4 continents have been submitted, such as Banking without Barriers, established in 2007 to lower the entry threshold to spread banking services to the non-affluent in India.

Similarly, the Wachovia NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance are distributing $8.25 million to the two most innovative community development financial institutions (CDFIs) serving low-income communities that are underserved by traditional banks. The program is co-sponsored by Opportunity Finance Network, the CDFI industry organization, and the MacArthur Foundation. Among the 10 semifinalist CDFIs are the Lower East Side People's Federal Credit Union in New York and the Low Income Investment Fund in San Francisco.

On the environmental side, Piraeus Bank is opening the first green banking branch in Athens, a first for Greece and the Balkans. The move fits into the broader context of the bank's environmental initiatives outlined in its recently released corporate social responsibility report, which follows the Global Reporting Initiative G3 guidelines. In addition to minimizing its own ecological footprint, the branch prioritizes financing clean technologies and environmentally beneficial services that help solve the climate crisis. For example, green banking encourages clients to explore the benefits of reducing energy consumption or building according to bioclimatic principles.

The Union Bank of California Foundation fuses promotion of green building with support for low-income families by contributing $5,000 to the first green home project for the Riverside, California chapter of Habitat for Humanity. The Suarez family contributed 500 hours of sweat equity in constructing the home, which features rooftop solar panels, radiant floor heating, and a grey-water system. The project, part of Habitat for Humanity International's effort to expand its use of green materials and building guidelines, was recently featured in a documentary airing on local TV.

This article was written by CSRwire contributor Bill Baue


CSRwire's Multimedia Picks of the Week

  • CSRwire is thrilled to be partnering with 1Sky and Brighter Planet in their newest national video message competition: Climate Matters: Inspire Your Next President! We'll be featuring the winners and finalists. Stay tuned!

  • We first found this amazing video on Alternet: a comprehensive run-through of the world's biggest problems and how they occurred set to some retro techno beats guaranteed to make you either want to jump off a bridge or take action NOW.

  • Marc Gunther has an interesting blog this week: The author analyzes the pros and cons of the celebrity-inspired Product(Red) in "Better (Red) Than Dead"

  • Corporate Watchdog Radio has a great interview with Melody Petersen, author of the "jaw-dropping" book Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs.

    To read the latest corporate social responsibility news from leading socially responsible organizations, visit http://www.csrwire.com/LastAlert.html.

    About CSRwire's Weekly News Alert

    CSRwire's free weekly News Alert is a summary of the latest and most important CSR news from the week, put into context with local and global news. The Alert highlights noteworthy initiatives and informs the CSR and Social Responsible Investing communities including professionals, analysts, academics activists, and consumers.

    Click Here to subscribe to the CSRwire Weekly News Alert.

    About CSRwire.com

    CSRwire is the leading source of corporate social responsibility and sustainability news, reports and information. CSRwire members are companies and NGOs, agencies and organizations interested in communicating their corporate citizenship, sustainability, and socially responsible initiatives to a global audience through CSRwire's syndication network and weekly News Alerts. CSRwire content covers issues of Diversity, Philanthropy, Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) Environment, Human Rights, Workplace Issues, Business Ethics, Community Development and Corporate Governance.

  • For more information, please contact:

    Phone: 802-251-0110

     

    Issuers of news releases and not csrwire are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content