New Report Provides Most Comprehensive Inventory to Date on “Green” Financial Products and Services
Key Study by ICF International for the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative Examines Environmental, Social, and Economic Benefits
Fairfax, Virginia, October 25, 2007 -
Financial institutions offering “green” financial products and services are in a position to realize widespread benefits—from monetary gain to an improved corporate image—while at the same time boosting their contributions to sustainable development.
Published in the report, Green Financial Products and Services: Current Trends and Future Opportunities in North America, the findings were presented earlier this week in Melbourne, Australia, at the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Global Roundtable, a summit to discuss the challenges and opportunities around sustainable development for the financial services sector. The report was prepared for the UNEP FI North American Task Force by ICF International, a leading global professional services firm with offices throughout North America and around the world.
“As the sustainability agenda begins to capture the public and corporate imagination, financial institutions are starting to recognize the value in delivering green products and services to their corporate and retail clients,” said Paul Clements-Hunt, head of UNEP FI. “This comprehensive study identifies best practices and lesson learning opportunities from around the globe, as well as key opportunities in North America to help companies build a greener business, satisfy customer demands, and potentially increase market share.”
This latest report is the most comprehensive study to date on green financial products and services. The report examines best practices around the globe and covers a number of financial sectors, including retail, corporate and investment banking, asset management, project finance, and insurance.
“As environmental understanding and awareness grows in North America, so does the demand for products and services that advance environmentally sustainable lives, livelihoods, and communities,” said Skip Willis, managing director of ICF’s operations in Toronto. “The European financial institutions have provided leadership in this area, and there are many lessons that can be learned in applying these practices in North America.”
Examples of green financial products and services examined in the report include: car loans for cars with low greenhouse gas emissions and/or high fuel efficiency; energy efficiency mortgages; alternative energy venture capital; eco-savings deposits; and climate credit cards that may offer to donate a small percentage of every purchase, balance transfer, or cash advance to emission reduction projects.
UNEP FI carries out its activities in North America through the North American Task Force. The task force is working to incorporate the principles of sustainable development as normal business practice throughout the North American financial sector.
About ICF International
ICF International (NASDAQ: ICFI) partners with government and commercial clients to deliver consulting services and technology solutions in the energy, climate change, environment, transportation, social programs, health, defense, and emergency management markets. The firm combines passion for its work with industry expertise and innovative analytics to produce compelling results throughout the entire program life cycle, from analysis and design through implementation and improvement. Since 1969, ICF has been serving government at all levels, major corporations, and multilateral institutions. More than 2,500 employees serve these clients worldwide. ICF’s Web site is www.icfi.com.
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