Environmental Concerns and Banking Sector in Sweden
This study concentrates on two questions – “Should banks take environmental concerns?”and “What is the attitude of Swedish banks towards sustainability?” The theory related to environmental concerns in the financial sector is presented and further on the empirical datadescribing the situation within the Swedish banking sector is discussed. The empirical data was collected with the aid of a semi-structured interview and offers a real-life example of actions and attitudes of two case banks in Sweden – SEB and Handelsbanken. The aim of this paper is not restricted to presenting and discussing the collected theoretical and empirical data but also to involve the reader in the environmental way of thinking. This text is based onthe idea that banks are liable for the indirect impact on the environment and need to acknowledge that some borrowers involve in environmentally harmful businesses. The research method used for this study is of a qualitative nature, more precisely it is an exploratory research which aims to explain. The semi-structured interview used to study the attitudes of the chosen Swedish case banks, was composed of two types of questions – closed- and open-ended. Special characteristics of a semi-structured interview are the prompts and probes in its structure. These are the approaches to guide the respondent to reach broader coverage and greater depth in his/her answers.Through the interview results, it became evident that the environmental issues have gained certain visibility within the Swedish banking sector. The given answers pointed towards the impression that maintaining a sound corporate image is the prior concern of a bank andindicated that banking sector in Sweden undergoes external pressure to pursue environmentally friendly activities. It is clear that banks play a major role by financing the continuous damage to our planet, and it is comforting to know the banking sector is undergoing the pressure of becoming more involved in sustainable development. Theconclusions and the empirical evidence presented in this study are hoped to give a simplified view on environmental concerns within banking sector.
School:Högskolan i Skövde
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:indirect environmental impact sustainable banking risks
Date of Publication:05/15/2008