Herding the Bankers Against Climate Change

    Stockholm (NordSIP) – Inspired by a need to speed up the reaction of the financial industry to remediate climate change, Anders Langworth, Deputy Head, Group Sustainable Finance at Nordea, launched “Bankers for Climate”, a call to action for employees in the global financial industry.

    “Everywhere, I meet co-workers or employees from other organisations who are sincerely interested in climate change,” Langworth explains. “They understand how crucial it is to act today to protect the future of our planet and they ask what they can do. Often, they believe that they can’t do anything at all, even if they would like to. My goal is to help those who don’t work within sustainability to do something to save the world through sustainable finance solutions. I also believe that we need to get everyone on board, as a “sustainability revolution” is underway, and all banks will need to meet their clients’ needs, which will be driven by that movement.”

    To get the movement started, Langworth has launched a website, where people who work in the financial industry can sign up to become a “Banker for Climate”. Once the movement has gathered 30,000 supporters, Langworth plans to send letters to the top executives at the largest financial institutions around the world.

    Having launched on March 6th, Langworth is happy to have already gathered over 300 supporters. “We are still far from the target of 30,000,” he continues. “But we need to start somewhere. I think that asking people to sign up on a website is more significant than gathering followers on Twitter or Facebook. There, it’s easy to click and follow a group, but when you have to fill in your name somewhere, it shows a higher level of commitment.”

    When it comes to the content of his future letter to CEOs, Langworth believes that encouraging concrete actions and following up will make a difference, if he can demonstrate that he is writing on behalf of a large number of employees. “I’m currently reaching out to climate change advocates and specialists to help formulate the targets we will present to the bank leaders,” he says.

    Climate for Bankers is registered as a not-for-profit organisation in Sweden. “This is purely a personal project. I think it is important to underline that Bankers for Climate is a completely independent initiative, which should never become a public relations tool for any financial organisation,” Langworth specifies.

    Picture ©  NordSIP

    Aline Reichenberg Gustafsson, CFA
    Aline Reichenberg Gustafsson, CFA
    Aline Reichenberg Gustafsson, CFA is Editor-in-Chief for NordSIP and Managing Director for Big Green Tree Media. She has 18 years of experience in the asset management industry in Stockholm, London and Geneva, including as a long/short equity hedge fund portfolio manager, and buy-side analyst, but also as CFO and COO in several asset management firms. Aline holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a License in Economic Sciences from the University of Geneva.

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