The win-win of sustainable banking

For all the talk about sustainability these days, it’s a concept that continues to be frequently maligned or misunderstood. What exactly is it? Why does it matter? And how can you turn it into a differentiator and profit generator?

Baseline assumption: money talks louder than good intentions.

OK, I have to admit, until six months ago, I rolled my eyes when I heard the term sustainability in the context of business. Sure, I get the point of “green construction” and recycling. But banking has a specific role to play in the economy. Your responsibility is to keep the money moving. Layering on a do-gooder ethos—and working to make the world a better place—is only a distraction from maximizing shareholder value. Isn’t it?

Apparently not. Academic literature and research now abounds indicating that companies dedicated to sustainability outperform their rivals.

And so do their share prices.

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