Financial Services

The financial services industry is rooted in risk management, trust and transparency, and experiencing rapid transformation in the digital age. Online banking, ‘robo-advice,’ and new pay technologies, like PayPal or Venmo, are leading to the closure of brick-and-mortar branches. Evolving investor preferences also demand sustainable investing options and increased transparency of sustainability issues. According to The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, assets under management using sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) strategies grew from $8.7 trillion at the start of 2016 to $12.0 trillion at the start of 2018. Financial institutions can turn to resource management solutions and sustainability planning to increase transparency, satisfy investors and reduce risk.

What challenges are finance companies facing today?

The financial industry is rooted in understanding and accounting for risk to minimize liability in its policies, loans, or investments. It is also subject to heavy regulation. To protect consumer rights, extensive regulations exist with the intent to create market transparency between banking institutions and individuals, protect sensitive customer information, and minimize risk of major bank failures. Companies may also manage a complex portfolio of disparate sites but have little control or visibility into resource costs and consumption, which challenges their ability to gather and analyze data to inform sustainability strategies. In addition, returns on real estate investments are dependent on the proportion of net operating income relative to current market value. While significant efficiency improvements can reduce operating costs, driving increases to NOI and capitalization rates, there’s a disconnect with tenants of those properties on the commitment to sustainability goals, leading to unrealized opportunities.

What finance trends support the sustainability transformation?

What should finance companies be thinking about?

Some of the following actions can help finance companies address current trends and external pressures while maximizing savings and resource efficiency.

58%

of finance companies report to CDP

1 in 4

dollars under professional management is responsibly invested

11,176

net bank branch closures since 2012

38%

growth in sustainable investing in last 2 years

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