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Morgan Stanley to Become First US Bank to Publicly Disclose How Much Its Loans and Investments Contribute to Climate Change

(Credit: Pixabay)

Morgan Stanley will become the first US-based global bank to join the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) and its Steering Committee as part of the firm’s commitment to measuring and disclosing its approach to climate change risk and opportunity. PCAF includes financial institutions from around the world and represent more than $5.3 trillion in assets.

As You Sow filed a 2020 shareholder resolution with Morgan Stanley, which was withdrawn earlier this year after reaching an agreement in which the company agreed to evaluate emissions measurement methodologies like PCAF. As You Sow reached similar agreements with Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America — all three recently joined Rocky Mountain Institute’s new Center for Climate-Aligned Finance. JP Morgan also joined after As You Sow’s 2020 shareholder resolution nearly received a majority vote. The banks are under growing pressure as investors are increasingly concerned about the impacts of a warming planet.

Last month, As You Sow released its “Waste & Opportunity 2020: Searching for Corporate Leadership” report analyzing the actions, or inactions, of 50 of the largest US consumer-facing companies to reduce plastic pollution. The report concludes that companies are far too slow in adopting responsive actions and promoting reusability, recyclability, or compostability in their packaging, and failing to shift away from wasteful packaging, toward circular models that prioritize absolute reduction.

Out of the 50 companies in the beverage, quick-service restaurant, consumer packaged goods, and retail sectors, the highest grade was a B- for Unilever. Twelve companies received C grades, 22 received D grades, and 15 received F grades. The six lowest ranked companies by size of revenue were Walmart, Kroger, PepsiCo, Tyson Foods, Kraft Heinz, and Mondelez International. The report says the high number of poor and failing grades reflects a lack of basic goal setting, strategy, and planning which must be developed to effectively address the plastic pollution crisis.

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