Why It Matters
Sustainability is a Business Issue
Consumers are increasingly seeking to purchase goods and services from companies that operate sustainably and transparently. However, this position has not always translated into action when it comes to the financial services industry. By attaching sustainability criteria to their lending and investment conditions, financial institutions are now helping to raise the standards in critical markets. These standards have a real and positive impact on the lives of people in developing countries – from creating safer working conditions, to cleaner water, to more effective community engagement. The standards that WWF has helped to develop demonstrate that companies now recognize sustainability as a business issue – one that can positively transform entire sectors operations, protect habitats and prevent biodiversity loss.
Financial Performance and the Environment
There’s also a strong correlation between financial performance and performance on environmental and social issues. The International Finance Corporation has found there’s an 11% higher return from companies that demonstrate high environmental and social standards. Sustainable finance can also be a cross-selling tool to serve clients with a more sophisticated product package, supporting both client retention and new client acquisition.