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Monday, September 28, 2015

Strategic CSR - Finance

The article in the url below reports the latest success for environmental activists campaigning against banks that finance companies involved in strip coal mining:
"Last week, with little fanfare, PNC Financial, the nation's seventh-largest bank, disclosed a significant strategic shift. The bank said it would no longer finance coal-mining companies that pursue mountaintop removal of coal in Appalachia, an environmentally devastating practice that has long drawn opposition."
It seems that PNC was one of the few remaining banks willing to finance this industry:
"PNC had been a holdout; Bank of America, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Credit Suisse and others had already distanced themselves from coal companies involved in mountaintop removal."
As such, future options for the industry are running out:
"GE Capital and UBS appear to be the only large financial institutions in the country still willing to lend money to companies involved in this mountaintop mining, and even they are scrutinizing such activities."
The article suggests that this strategy of trying to cut-off supplies of finance is more effective for campaigners instead of trying to force investors to divest from carbon energy stocks:
"It's one thing for large investors like the Rockefeller family or Stanford University's endowment to pull out of fossil fuel companies. The result, maybe, is a marginally lower stock price for the big oil players. But it's quite another when the nation's banks decide, independently or collectively, to effectively shut off the financing for projects that require considerable capital. It has the effect of killing the business."
Take care
David Chandler & Bill Werther
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A New Tack in the War on Mining Mountains
By Andrew Ross Sorkin
March 10, 2015
The New York Times
Late Edition – Final