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Green, the Colour of Future Banking

This piece is especially for those who believe that sustainability looks good in a mission statement but not on a balance sheet. CFS, U.K., which claims to be the world’s most sustainable bank, turned out stellar results in the first half of 2010, when others were still overcoming the crisis blues.

Is sustainability sustainable? Let me answer that by saying that our current unsustainable behaviour certainly isn’t. Going green is no longer optional for banks, nor a CSR footnote. More like a burning necessity.

Like all enterprises and individuals, banks are bound by an unwritten social contract to undo the ecologically hazardous excesses of the past or face terrible consequences. This means cutting back on resources particularly energy and water, reducing waste and going beyond carbon neutrality. Many banks are doing business more conscientiously, refusing to lend to companies which violate the environment, culture and social welfare, and all are thriving. They’re also focusing on green innovation to create products, processes and services which can contribute to sustainable development.
 
The use of green IT is an essential part of this agenda. For a while now, modern systems have provided an efficient alternative to energy guzzling legacy hardware even as online channels saved paper and fuel. Now, new business models based on shared sourcing and cloud computing are helping companies cut down on in-house infrastructure and technologies like Smart Grid and Green Logistics are increasing the sustainability quotient of all types of operations.

An recent commercial on Indian television with celebrities asking if we’ve ‘done our bit’ for the environment, caught my attention. So much so, that I’m urging you to tell us about your bank’s sustainability agenda. Write in please (but not on paper, of course!).

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.


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