Amalgamated Source
Image
Amalgamated logo on glass

News

Amalgamated Bank Launches Initiative to Measure and Reduce Climate Impact of Loan Portfolio
October 24, 2018

Amalgamated Bank Launches Initiative to Measure and Reduce Climate Impact of Loan Portfolio

Amalgamated becomes first US bank to commit to measuring, reporting, and reducing financed emissions.

When it comes to climate change, we know that we can’t say one thing and finance something else.

Keith Mestrich, President and CEO of Amalgamated Bank

NEW YORK — Amalgamated Bank (Nasdaq: AMAL) announced it will begin the process of measuring, reporting and aligning all of its lending with the Paris Climate Agreement and its underlying science.  To encourage others to follow suit, Amalgamated has also committed to leading the development of an open-source carbon accounting platform that can be used by North American banks to assess the volume of carbon emissions that are produced as a result of their financing activities.  This will allow Amalgamated and other banks to track, report and reduce financed emissions and to become full partners with the global agreements to combat climate change.

“Amalgamated Bank has a nearly 100-year track record of walking the talk and doing what is right. When it comes to climate change we know that we can’t say one thing and finance something else,” said Keith Mestrich, President and CEO of Amalgamated Bank. “We are committed to doing this work with other banks and believe it is incumbent on our industry to include financed emissions in the calculation of what impact we have as institutions.”

Amalgamated Bank and the Amalgamated Charitable Foundation are supporting the development of an accounting system for financed emissions similar to the Platform for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) developed by some European banks, many of whom are fellow members of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV).  Amalgamated will be working with other GABV members and other financial institutions to develop the accounting platform and to set long term targets for emissions reductions across the financial industry.  Amalgamated Bank is planning to work with Navigant, a leading global consulting company that works within the finance sector and that has supported the European banks that developed a similar carbon account platform.

Once the accounting standard for North American banks is resolved, Amalgamated Bank will begin the process of applying the system to its loan portfolio and measuring the carbon profile of its loans.

After gaining a baseline understanding of its financed emissions, Amalgamated Bank will set targets for future years and seek to align its lending with the science-based goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Two years ago, Amalgamated Bank was the first bank to join the Divest Invest Philanthropic Network, ending the financing of fossil fuel projects, and announced it would be moving to 100% renewable electricity and be net-zero carbon in its operations.  The bank accomplished both of those goals for 2017.

“Our clients are hard at work making the world more just and sustainable, and we understand the responsibility that we have to be the best stewards of their resources and their trust,” said Mestrich. “We also realize we cannot do this work alone and are excited to work with a community of financial institutions that understand how vital it is that we work jointly to address the threat of climate change.”

 

###

About Amalgamated Bank

For nearly a century, Amalgamated Bank has served as America’s socially responsible bank, supporting forward-thinking organizations, companies, and individuals across the country. We are an advocate for those working to make the world more just, compassionate and sustainable. Our extensive experience, financial knowledge and community of like-minded customers offer a unique set of financial tools to customers. Amalgamated is the country’s largest B Corp® bank and a proud member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. We don’t just have a mission. We are on a mission: to support those who support others, to invest in progressive and impactful causes and to advocate true financial opportunity for all.

How we're different

Image
Power plant
climate change

The U.S. federal government has announced its intention to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Bad idea, sure, but maybe not the monumental setback in the fight against climate change that is feared by so many.

Image
wind turbines
green energy

Sustainability and a commitment to protecting the environment are important to Amalgamated Bank and the communities we serve. So, it was natural for us to testify last month before the Council of the District of Columbia to support the Green Finance Authority Establishment Act, which would bolster financial support for sustainability programs in Washington D.C.

Image
Leaves on tree
environmental sustainability

Even as we have worked to address climate change over the past decade, it is clear that even our most ambitious goals are not enough to stop dangerous climate trends.