An Evaluation on Carbon Footprint Indicators in Turkey Located Banks and Worldwide Banks

An Evaluation on Carbon Footprint Indicators in Turkey Located Banks and Worldwide Banks

Özlem Yurtsever (Department of Industrial Engineering Department, Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey) and Seniye Umit Firat (Department of Industrial Engineering Department, Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/IJBAN.2019100106

Abstract

Global warming has become one of the most critical issues in the recent years. There is a great debate, centered on greenhouse gas emissions of countries, companies, and institutions. Not only the manufacturing sector but also service sector has begun to be questioned in terms of the need for controlling greenhouse gases. Thus, banks deserve an attention on the basis of sustainability and environmental impact. Besides the operational activities of this enormous sector, its investing and lending choices have considerable influence on sustainability. The carbon footprint measurement indicators have to be standardized in order to estimate the contributions of the banks in the global climate change precisely. In this study, carbon footprint measurement indicators, extracted from the sustainability reports and/or websites of the banks in Turkey are examined. The findings have been comparatively discussed with the measurements used by the international banks and addressed in the literature.
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Introduction

The rays of the sun pass through the atmosphere and then heat Earth. The atmosphere stands like a greenhouse. Most of the thermal radiation reaching Earth from the Sun, are reflected. The atmosphere is composed of several gases mostly nitrogen and oxygen. Some gases in the atmosphere block the reflecting thermal radiation. Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor and ozone are the main gases considered as greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the Earth’s atmosphere (IPCC, 2007). The rate of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere began to increase after the industrial revolution in the early 1800s. The consumption of natural resources has increased to a point that mankind consumes resources of Earth faster than Earth can regenerate (Wackernagel et al., 2002). Quick growth of greenhouse gas emissions in the world is one of the result of this overconsumption (Arto, Genty, Rueda-Cantuche, Villanueva, & Andreoni, 2012) Rapid increase of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causes climate system change leading to potential negative effects on the ecosystem (Butchart et al., 2010). The term “global warming” is used to describe an ongoing increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and its oceans. According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC (2007), the main cause of global climate change is the greenhouse gas emissions created by human activities in the atmosphere which lead to the rise in global average temperatures. Deforestation and excessive use of fossil fuels are regarded as the main reasons of the increasing concentrations of GHGs in the atmosphere.

According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, developed countries are mostly responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions as a result of their industrial activities in the last century (United Nations, 1994). Future generations may face some difficulties due to the radical climate change. Strict environmental considerations should be taken in to account in order to avoid such catastrophic events.

The global risks classified risks that threaten the world as; Economic Risks, Environmental Risks, Geopolitical Risks, Social Risks and Technical Risks. Environmental risks include risks such as extreme weather events, natural disasters, human-induced environmental disasters, and failure to reduce climate change (Oktay Fırat, Yurtsever, İleri & Kıvılcım, 2017). The supply chain has become increasingly important in the business sector, both in manufacturing and service. Additionally, sustainable supply chain has become one of the important subjects in the supply chain management system (Er Kara, Yurtsever & Oktay Fırat, 2016; Er Kara & Oktay Fırat, 2016). From this aspect, carbon footprint calculations are becoming increasingly important in terms of reducing environmental risks and sustainable supply chain management.

According to the World Commission on Environment and Development Report (Brundtland, 1987) also known as Brundtland Report, sustainable development is the cooperation between today and the future. For sustainable development, the progress must satisfy the current demands without risking the future generations’ ability to meet their own needs. As the climate change and global warming issues attract more and more attention, sustainability has become one of the most important topics of concern and research. Sustainable growth and sustainable development is based on environmental, social and economic perspectives. Morelli (2011) has defined environmental sustainability as a balance between preserving the ecosystem and biological diversity while allowing generations to satisfy their needs.

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