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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

15 May 2001

STUDY OF SUSTAINABILITY IN THE FINANCE SECTOR


Sustainability in the finance sector comes under the spotlight with a new study announced by Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill today.

"The study by PricewaterhouseCoopers will examine how banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions are incorporating sustainability into their business practices, and how this can contribute to Australia as a whole," Senator Hill said.

"There are many ways in which financial institutions can make economic, environmental and social sustainability part of their decision making, ranging from the development of socially responsible investment products to building it into credit and insurance policy and through their land management practices.

"A recent example is the release of AMP's Sustainable Future Funds.

"Other Australian financial institutions to have made progress in this field include Westpac, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Rothschild Asset Management.

"The sector has a key role to play in encouraging industry as a whole towards sustainability, and this study will provide a greater understanding of how it is responding to the risks and opportunities it presents.

"The study will compare sub-sectors of Australia's finance sector to experience in Europe and North America, and identify key issues for the integration of sustainability issues into normal business practice.

The report will form the basis of a Ministerial round table both the finance and general industry sectors.

To make a submission to the study, which will conclude at the end of this month, contact Mark Lyster of PricewaterhouseCoopers on 02 82661862 or Corinne Proske on 03 8603 3809.

May 15, 2001

Media contact:
Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill's office): 08 82377920 or 0419 258364

Commonwealth of Australia