Banks are increasingly viewed as a bane to a healthy economy. But done right, banks can play a key role in the shift to sustainability. Today, Sea Change presents three perspectives on futures for banking. Peter Blom, CEO of Triodos Bank in the Netherlands, proposes a shift in the mission of banks, from maximizing profit to maximizing sustainability. Doug Rushkoff, author of [amazon-product text=”LIFE INC” type=”text”]1400066891[/amazon-product], discusses how a surplus of debt that banks needed to sell triggered the financial meltdown. And Lyle Estill describes the role a chapter in his book [amazon-product text=”SMALL IS POSSIBLE” type=”text”]086571603X[/amazon-product] played in a local currency in North Carolina, The Plenty, being carried by a local bank.
The World Bank Group’s mission is to reduce poverty. The Bank also works toward environmental sustainability. What’s the link between them, and does its practice on the ground promote both priorities? That’s the question posed by the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group or IEG in a recent audit of the Bank’s funding projects. The results? Disappointing. CWR co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue speak with Vinod Thomas, Director-General of the IEG about the report. The IEG is producing a follow-up report focusing directly on the effectiveness of the the World Bank Group’s environmental and social sustainability safeguards and standards.
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Steve Herz comments on how International Finance Corporation social standards fail to protect against human rights abuses. Herz recently co-authored a report on the human rights performance of the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards and the Equator Principles. The analysis was conducted in partnership with the World Resources Institute, the Center for International Environmental Law, the Bank Information Center, BankTrack, and Oxfam Australia. Herz practices international, environmental, and human rights law in Oakland, CA.