Linking Carbon Strategy & Financial Performance

Auf einen Blick

Projektleiter/in: Prof. Dr. Bettina Furrer

Projektfinanzierung: KTI

Projektbeginn: 01.07.2007


In depth analysis of the banking sector


Climate change is arguably one of the most important societal issues globally and thus has also become a significant topic for companies. However, corporate strategies to manage carbon constraints differ widely. Some companies generate new business opportunities, while others have to cope with new risks for profitability. As a consequence, it is crucial for actors in financial markets to investigate and understand the effects of climate change and carbon management on business. Thus, the objective of this project was to develop a methodology for analyzing climate change related business risks and opportunities and collect corresponding data through a global survey. Based on this, the project’s business partner obtained new data for assessments of companies. The scientific partners used the data for several analyses and scientific reports.

The in-depth analysis of the banking sector deepens the understanding of how companies respond to climate change. The results are based on data from 114 banks worldwide. A conceptual framework for banks’ climate change strategies was developed and tested. It serves as the basis for ranking banks’ climate change activities that are material for financial performance. Furthermore, a typology of banks’ climate change strategies was derived. The results illustrate that most banks in the sample focus on emission reduction and only very few have fully integrated climate change related aspects into their business processes. In conclusion, the research identified four generic clusters that can be interpreted as cumulative stages in an evolutionary process from a reactive to a proactive management approach towards climate change. This indicates that many banks now concentrating on internal operations are likely to move towards integrating climate change in their core-business in the future.