Financed Emissions and Socio-economic Sustainability Metrics in the Financial Services Industry (2015)
The financial services industry is facing the challenge of accounting for the environmental and sustainability impacts of its lending and investment and activities. Two main areas are of particular importance: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or so called "financed emissions," and socioeconomic sustainability impacts. Currently, there is no set definitive methodology for measuring either aspect. With sponsorship from Comerica Bank, this project seeks to research and analyze existing reporting standards and trends and the specific needs and challenges faced by the financial services industry. The final objective is to create a summary and analysis of methods and frameworks for determining GHG emissions and socioeconomic sustainability metrics associated with specific financial services offerings. This document and accompanying model will serve as a new potential reference for sustainability accounting standards across the financial services industry, as well as a practical guide specific to Comerica's operations. Meanwhile, the methodology used in the study must be easily replicable and efficient in terms of time and effort required.
David Nowak, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems
Li Zeng, MUP/MS Environmental Policy and Planning