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AIB looking at carbon impact of borrowers

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Pedestrians pass a branch of the Allied Irish Bank (AIB) in Dublin, Ireland

Pedestrians pass a branch of the Allied Irish Bank (AIB) in Dublin, Ireland

Bloomberg

Pedestrians pass a branch of the Allied Irish Bank (AIB) in Dublin, Ireland

AIB will begin examining the link between the carbon impact of business borrowers, and their loan performance.

A new, sustainable business unit led by Ray O'Neill has been tasked with integrating ­environmental sustainability into the bank's lending approach.

The initiative is only in its infancy. Speaking at a ­climate-change event in Dublin yesterday, Mr O'Neill outlined the concept of a "triple bottom line", where the social and ­environmental impact of ­lending will be considered alongside ­financial return.

Also speaking at the event - hosted by the French Embassy, KPMG and the ISI Centre - was Virginie Pelletier of BNP Paribas. The lender keeps a private list of about 100 companies it will not lend to based on environmental and ethical concerns, she said.

France's Ambassador to ­Ireland, Jean-Pierre Thébault, called on Irish businesses to prioritise energy efficiency and said climate change should become an important element of Ireland and France's bilateral co-operation. This year's Paris Climate Conference aims to secure the first binding universal agreement on climate change in 20 years of UN negotiations.

Irish Independent