Tax & Accounting Blog

Banks Are Going Green

Tax Information Reporting, Trust Tax June 2, 2011

Following the national trend in businesses across the country, banks are turning to more eco-friendly solutions. Implementing these new methods for reducing, reusing and recycling sometimes includes technology changes. 

Changes in technology purchases that support a paperless office environment allow banks to significantly reduce paper output by offering workflow and document management solutions. With Workflow Management tools, banks can save time and energy spent on manual paper-based processes. These workflow solutions allow documents to be scanned into a system and kept indefinitely for retrieval at any time. By implementing more energy-efficient operational procedures in bank functions, such as trust administration — notoriously document intensive because of strict compliance regulations — online document management can significantly reduce the bank’s overall paper output. Ultimately, technology software choices can not only help reduce errors and improve version control, but eliminate the costs of producing, storing and shipping paper documents.

 As the banking industry tightens its belt, green banks are emerging both as a result of the eco-friendly movement and as a key driver for reducing overall costs. In addition, creating a strong socially responsible image in the community seems to be another benefit emerging for these green banks.

PNC Bank is a good example of how banks are becoming more socially responsible. With 42 green buildings, PNC Bank has more green buildings than any other industry. Fifty percent of each building is made from recycled material and energy consumption is 50 percent less than a typical bank branch. In April 2011, they hosted a webcast, “How to Incorporate Sustainability into your Manufacturing Operations.”

As trending towards eco-friendly work environments continues, green businesses will continue to benefit from being more socially responsible. It is interesting to note that PNC bank recently partnered with HNW to conduct a survey of high-net-worth individuals. The study, conducted in January 2009, indicated that 39 percent of high net-worth Americans do business with companies that practice social responsibility. A solid 56 percent of the respondents stated that they choose paperless options when offered by companies that they do business with. 

For the banking industry… Going green is, well…money in the bank.