Green Rankings 2012: Financials

Companies in this sector include banks, diversified financial services, and insurance companies.

In recent years, the Financial industry has made notable improvements in managing its direct environmental footprint through energy-efficiency initiatives and reductions in waste and water consumption. An emerging trend among large Financial companies is to set quantitative commitments for financing sustainable projects and activities, such as “green mortgages” or loans for home energy improvements. Companies leading in this area are setting “sustainable financing” targets over a 10-year period, and are exceeding their own commitments. However, a lack of transparency remains a challenge in the industry. Roughly half of the Financial companies covered do not disclose environmental policies and standards, environmental programs, or environmental management systems. This is particularly concerning as the industry is widely criticized for lending to and/or investing in companies or projects with negative environmental impacts.

 

Key Industry Impacts

 

• The investment holdings of Financial companies are often the dominant source of their total environmental footprint.

• Water, greenhouse-gas emissions, and general waste together account for more than 83 percent of the sector’s total environmental footprint.

• Approximately 22 percent of the total environmental impact of ranked companies comes from this sector.

 

Critical Issue Profile: Lending to “Dirty” Industries

 

While Financial companies are increasing their involvement in sustainability-related services and projects, their relationships with companies engaged in environmentally sensitive activities overshadow commitments to mitigate climate change. Companies implicated in financing “dirty” industries such as coal projects, hydropower dams, palm oil, and nuclear power face the greatest risk of “greenwashing” accusations, especially without meaningful disclosure. Many companies insist that these activities are balanced by financing high-impact sustainable projects such as renewable energy. However, there is little available evidence to prove this argument. Financial firms can demonstrate a genuine commitment to mitigating the sector’s environmental impact through increased transparency on sustainability-related lending, combined with a decrease in lending to environmentally sensitive industries.

 

 

Industry Ranking: How U.S. Financial Companies Stack Up

 

Industry RankCompanyOverall RankIndustry SectorImpactManagementDisclosureGreen Score2011 Green Score
1Hartford Financial Services Grp.14Financials77.770.063.872.871.7
2Citigroup17Financials68.275.979.072.769.5
3American Express24Financials82.862.855.271.169.4
4Bank of America27Financials63.672.387.469.965.6
5Unum Group34Financials84.654.365.769.162.4
6Allstate52Financials80.755.059.767.066.1
7ACE59Financials87.149.847.266.364.1
8U.S. Bancorp61Financials83.349.763.566.264.0
9Travelers68Financials86.944.561.265.263.5
10Aflac69Financials87.346.848.865.263.1
11Capital One Financial80Financials81.149.450.363.856.6
12JPMorgan Chase110Financials51.170.764.361.254.6
13Progressive114Financials85.439.250.061.057.1
14Discover Financial Services123Financials82.950.31.760.154.4
15Wells Fargo124Financials58.857.577.560.157.7
16Willis131Financials83.049.20.059.558.0
17Aon150Financials83.042.020.858.357.0
18MetLife166Financials62.658.529.257.461.0
19Assurant169Financials87.039.34.257.357.2
20American International Group178Financials77.737.650.756.954.7
21XL Group180Financials87.434.916.756.756.5
22Genworth Financial183Financials78.143.519.256.756.8
23Chubb189Financials82.339.216.756.357.1
24Marsh & McLennan196Financials81.038.720.856.055.7
25Goldman Sachs Group219Financials40.766.065.454.654.4
26Fidelity National Financial220Financials87.433.80.054.554.3
27W.R. Berkley221Financials87.433.80.054.5N/A
28Prudential Financial223Financials52.754.461.854.452.4
29TD AMERITRADE233Financials83.935.40.053.751.8
30SLM245Financials82.935.40.053.253.0
31BNY Mellon275Financials28.770.371.751.743.5
32State Street280Financials5.388.991.151.548.5
33Morgan Stanley286Financials41.760.355.051.446.3
34Lincoln National306Financials65.638.633.250.2N/A
35PNC Financial Services Group308Financials50.846.264.750.149.7
36Principal Financial Group356Financials45.850.544.647.849.2
37Northern Trust357Financials12.275.583.147.838.8
38Fifth Third Bancorp367Financials66.134.518.347.146.8
39Comerica372Financials40.749.265.647.0N/A
40Huntington Bancshares413Financials63.431.716.744.544.3
41SunTrust Banks416Financials60.334.516.744.344.2
42BB&T424Financials62.734.10.043.645.5
43Regions Financial433Financials60.932.94.242.744.5
44KeyCorp441Financials37.340.367.141.633.1
45Franklin Resources455Financials26.748.660.840.034.5
46M&T Bank458Financials51.036.34.239.738.7
47Loews459Financials53.234.90.439.739.4
48Charles Schwab469Financials38.238.633.037.833.2
49Berkshire Hathaway472Financials50.832.10.037.338.1
50Ameriprise Financial488Financials27.341.30.030.930.3
51Invesco495Financials6.247.616.725.923.2
52T. Rowe Price Group497Financials0.045.547.825.019.9
53BlackRock500Financials0.046.74.221.420.7