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Ecology based conditions in the banking system at providing loans

A Switzerland based bank – which is a significant financial institute providing private banking services – introduced a new system for providing government annuities, which changes the thinking of the investors and at the same time it changes the thinking of the governments on the balance of their private ecological resources. The method is based on that very simple but in the financial sector new assumption that in line with the present ecological trends the volume of the used natural resources as well as the speed of this usage together with the available natural resources will play an important role in the ability of a country to pay back the loans provided.

The bank developed a Sustainability Country Matrix which evaluates the given country's efficiency in utilizing the resources as well as the available natural resources, based on an index number. The government annuities of those countries which reach a certain level in this evaluation - such as Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, Chile, Australia - mean good "destination" for the investments. While those countries which do not reach the sustainability level - such as the USA, China, Russia and other Southern European countries as well as the rich oil countries in the Middle East - can not get into the portfolio of the Swiss bank although they have other good financial indicators.

„Nowadays, when the availability of the ecological resources is tighter and tighter, we have to calculate with risks regarding the countries who are using their natural resources prodigally or who do not have natural resources. The analysis made by the bank improves the efficiency of the country evaluations, or at least decreases the risk” – says one of the analysts at the bank.

The natural resources shall be available in volume and in quality to help the continuous improvement of the economy, but on a global scale sustainability can be realized if - with different measures - the resource efficiency is improved significantly. Basically there are two types of countries who perform well on the basis of the bank analysis: those countries which are rich in natural resources, such as Brazil, Australia; or those ones who utilize their not so rich resources on a very efficient way, such as Japan, Germany. Sweden performs well in both evaluation structures.

The chart below shows the sustainability matrix defined by the bank for the different countries.

WBCSD and the carbon footprint

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) published its report at the beginning of 2010 with the title "Vision 2050 – The new agenda for business". The report was prepared by the representatives of 29 leading companies from 14 different industry branches and the main discussion point was how to provide good quality life for the population of the Earth in 2050 - the expected number of people will be 9 billion - within the limits of the Globe. Furthermore they tried to rethink the role of the business sphere for the upcoming decades to realize this and to be able to set up a society which sustains itself.

From the above it can be seen that the main issues are strongly related to the ecological footprint concept which realizes and intends to implement and change the economic processes on a way that takes into consideration the limitation of the Globe. But the WBCSD report uses the ecological footprint not only academically, but it refers to it several times on an explicit way as well as to the carbon footprint and to the need for decreasing these. With the help of a chart the report shows how the global ecological footprint could decrease - after the climax in the 2020s - due to the planned efforts by 2050 to the value of 1.1, compared to the sustainer capability of the Earth. From the chart it can be seen that if the business sector is carrying on with its activities on a business-as-usual base, the ecological footprint might increase to 2.3 by 2050; theoretically, as the degradation of the ecosystem would be too high, it could reach a level which undermines numerous economical activities.


In June we took part on the Footprint Forum in Italy

Dandelion Ltd., topic responsible of the ecological footprint, took part on the Footprint Forum in Colle di Val d’Elsa-ban (Siena) Italy, in June 2010; the event was organized by the Global Footprint Network. This 5-day event included several programs, such as: Footprint Policy Seminar, Forum Round Table Discussion, Academic Conference, Technical Training and Open Day. Our objective was to take part on the two-day Technical Training, with the help of which we could develop our knowledge on methodology; we would utilize this in favor of our Clients in Hungary, furthermore we widened our personal contacts on international level.

Presenters of the Footprint Forum were representatives of companies playing an important role and of national or international organizations:

  • Vice- president of Nestlé
  • Chief Officer of Camfed International
  • Chief Representative of "Great Britain Sustainable Development Committee"
  • Chief Officer of the Institute of Integrated Economic Researches
  • Chief Representative of the World Food Programme
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