Research Methodology On Climate Change Assignment
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The world is getting destroyed due to the activities of humans which have led to issues of climate change and global warming among others that needs to be controlled with appropriate measures for sustainability. Different industries in this respect are adopting several environment friendly practices to reduce their carbon footprint on Earth and make it a better and greener place to live in. In order to solve these issues of planetary significance, the banking industry is also taking necessary measures to make sure that the future generations are not deprived of better living with access to necessary natural resources of the planet Earth. The banking industry of Switzerland for instance has done remarkable achievements in this regard by incorporating sustainability practices in their business operations to move towards having net zero carbon footprints on the concerned environment.
It is believed by the Swiss banking industry that it is a two way street where climate change could potentially have a bad impact on the business of banks as well which needs to be controlled. The banks of Switzerland work on a simple and clearly defined philosophy of ensuring price stability while maintaining the stability of financial systems that creates conditions that are favourable for its industrial growth in a balanced manner. The banking industry of the country has also taken an integrated approach towards sustainability of the environment by managing its reserves of foreign exchanges (Snb.ch, 2022). As they are a result of the existing monetary policies, they include all the climate risks and rigorous policy of exclusion while balancing their sheets to preserve their value and soundness. The association of a banking industry opposes any kind of interference from the government as they believe that regulation kills innovation and innovation is the need of the hour to make the banking process sustainable.
The whole banking industry of Switzerland can become carbon neutral by the end of 2050 if it just invests as much as 2% of its annual GDP. The banking sector of the country has been equally supported by the landscape that is present in Switzerland that allows early switching to renew bake form of electricity that is mainly being powered by hydroelectric power plants which gives it an edge over other peer countries. The energy sector of Switzerland contributes as much as 7% of the total CO2 emissions which is far less than what is present globally and Europe where it currently stands at 26%. When it comes to the banking sector, this data shows a completely different picture, as Swiss banks account for the release of as much as 1100 million tonnes of CO2 which is 22 times more than the total domestic emissions coming from the country. The industry understands that reducing CO2 emissions won't be enough, and investment is required for smooth transition and innovation (Wwf.ch, 2022). A CHF of 1163.3 billion has been invested for sustainable development of the banking sector. The banks of Switzerland that have been analysed for this purpose include Julius Baer Group, Vontobel, Pictet Group and Credit Suisse. These are carbon offset banks and have been working remarkably towards sustainability in the banking sector.
Figure 1: Bank Rankings on different attributes
(Source: Wwf.ch, 2022)
Carbon footprint is a term that refers to the total amount of hazardous gases that is presented to the environment. These gases are usually greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. These glasses are generated by human actions that have a bad impact on their environment. This carbon footprint affects the plant significantly because the levels of greenhouse gases are rapidly increasing in the environment. Ultimately, this carbon footprint is the main cause of global warming and climate change (Cnergy, 2022). Therefore, it becomes crucial to identify the current footprint calculator procedure. This procedure is evaluated in regard to some large firms in Switzerland. The procedure to identify carbon footprint is not estimated by calculating only Carbon dioxide instead of other greenhouse gases has also to be calculated to identify the main cause of it. The greenhouse gases including methane, nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide are also harmful to the environment. Some basic calculations also reveal a large portion of impact under firms by calculating their utility bills. In 1999, Switzerland adopted the act that is based on the reduction of CO2 enacted by the government (Edf.org, 2019). The Swiss National Bank conducts all the monetary related policies as an independent bank operated in the country. The aim to set up this central bank is to ensure price stability and develop the economy of the banking sector. The central banks understand the risk of climate change therefore, they are initiating to make carbon offset with the support of SNB. Climate change gives a negative effect on the activity of the banking industry that is mainly related to physical risk and transition risk.
The banks of Switzerland produce greenhouse gases directly in the environment by their activities. This can increase the risk that regulatory and transition risks shift continuously that can occur reprising of assets. The financial assets are mainly impacted by this crisis that is related to the wider economy and its financial system (Snb.ch, 2022). This riskier economy leads banks also to the risk path. It also makes all the banks fundamentally weaker. The SNB participates in both national and international level baking activities because it regulates all the policies related to environmental practices. The banks that mainly operate in this country are Julius Baer Group, Vontobel, Pictet Group and Credit Suisse and they are the 4 largest banks of Switzerland. The SNB regularly updates various tools and methods to analyse monetary developments and financial stability. From 1996, SNB applied various environmental management, which mainly aims to reduce energy consumption in the banking sector. The bonds portfolio of Julius Baer Group, Vontobel, Pictet Group and Credit Suisse accounted for 80% of foreign exchange reserves (Snb.ch, 2022). Therefore, the financial breakdown is harmful to managing portfolios that have to be converted into green bonds.
Figure 2: SNB Balance Sheet
(Source- Snb.ch, 2022)
It is displayed in the above figure from the SNB that it assists banks to reduce their energy consumption because most of the population is still deprived of electricity. It can be measured that 600 million people are without access in sub-Saharan areas. SNB operates through sub-Saharan areas to sustain all the banks to reduce their energy consumption. The monetary policy of SNB puts a professional and modern management system that assists banks to take initiative on energy consumption reduction.
Cutting Down Paper Usage
The printed documents have been reduced by Julius Baer Group, Vontobel, Pictet Group and Credit Suisse. The cut down of paper usage also reduced entry consumption that can save the energy that is provided to people that are deprived of electricity. The government of Africa does not have a fund for projects that can financially help the deprived people. The SNB also provides assistance to these areas for the betterment of its people's lives.
Measurement and Transparency
Banks of Switzerland struggle for the long term because footprints are actually giving a harsh impact on its financial sector. Julius Baer Group takes initiative to make an account of its management to reduce its carbon footprint. These banks adopted a holistic approach to making wealth and also done the responsibility of citizens in one by adopting energy sustainable management.
Figure 3: Holistic Approach of Julius Baer Group
(Source- Julius Baer, (2022)
Julius Baer’s approach to responsible wealth management involves sustainable investing to give philanthropic services. The ecosystem has to be balanced therefore; this bank takes an account in all its activity time to reduce its energy consumption (Julius Baer, (2022). In contrast, CNERGY operates within a vast area that includes sub-Saharan areas not only Switzerland (Cnergy, 2022). The blanks are only responsible to give support but it is reached to the needy people by these firms.
Vontobel raised the fund to help the people of Lebanon to reduce their energy scarcity issue for its people. This bank also raised its profile in the banking sector of Switzerland and became the leading provider of sustainable energy solution banks in this country. The 50 Sustainability & Leaders is an intuitive programme of this bank to help the hectic financial markets of the sub-Saharan region (Vontobel, 2022).The stakeholders of this bank have a future vision to give a better life to the people who are deprived of electricity in this digital era.
Sustainable practice and management are wider expanded in the banking sector of Switzerland.
Figure 4: Sustainable Development Path of Swiss Banks
(Source- Wwf.ch, 2022)
The displayed figure shows that the retail banking sector of Switzerland gives enormous support to the regions that are deprived of energy by reducing their own consumption of energy in their day to day operations. Pictet Group bank also takes initiative to offset the carbon footprint by initiating green activities in their operations (Pictet, 2022). This bank has a vision that is not only for the present generation as well as for the future generation. It also establishes a real economy that is accounted for by truly sustainable thinking. In contrast, CNERGY gives $220 billion for solar hybrids to not use renewable resources to produce energy (wwf.ch 2022). It also regulates 4,000 planned programs that can give adequate energy to the region by reducing the energy consumption from various banks of Switzerland.
While doing this project I went through a lot of different stages, such as identification of project objectives, background information of the banking sector of Switzerland and sustainability measures taken by them to become carbon neutral, data collection, defining the methodology of research and carrying out extensive analysis of collected data to form meaningful insights out of it. This project made me go through and experience a mixed set of emotions that tested me on the attributes of confidence, creativity and resilience. Some of the other attributes that were required for the execution of this project included emotional intelligence, enterprising, globally minded and credibility among others. Here I have reflected upon my overall experience and have given a detailed account of it in the form of a report on the basis of Kolb's reflective cycle. This reflection model based on Kolb's reflective cycle consists of the following four phases in the form of active experimentation, concrete experience, reflective observation and abstract conceptualisation which has been explained in detail below with respect to my experience in the conduction of concerned projects.
Figure 5: Kolb’s Reflective Cycle
(Source: Created by Author)
Confidence is one of the key attributes to have to work on any project which I realised too soon as initially I didn't have much confidence in myself whether I would be able to carry out the involved tasks of the project or not. The project required extensive research from different sources to present accurate data about the banking industry of Switzerland and the efforts that are taking to incorporate sustainability practices in its business operations to make it carbon neutral and delete its carbon footprints from the planet for which as much as four banks were analysed. I was not confident about my research skills and other relevant skill sets and knowledge that were required for the successful execution of the project. I also lacked confidence when it came to working in a group as I used to get conscious about myself and started doubting myself on the ways they would judge me, my behaviour and existing capabilities.
While working in a team on a project of such importance requiring different task and skill sets, it was obvious that there would be issues in project execution due to difference in opinion and lack of necessary attributes and crucial skill sets. None of us were much familiar with the concepts of data analytics and working with large sets of data to present them in a proper manner full of meaningful insights. There were many forms of data that required proper inferential analysis using tools such as Excel and SPSS which made the task even more challenging. This is where the attribute of resilience became important. I would say that it was the effort of the group as a whole and the willpower of the members that made us go through this challenging phase and face the situation with full grit and resilience without giving up. During the execution of the project, I as well as other members of the team enrolled for learning the critical software to attain necessary skill sets required for the successful execution of project requirements.
Another aspect or attribute that I lacked and needed improvement was emotional intelligence. I did not have prior experience of working in a team as I used to carry out my tasks on my own. My personality had been such that I never sugar coated my words and used to say whatever I felt directly in the face without thinking of the repercussions it would have and the ways it would affect their mental health, emotions and feelings as well as their perceptions about me. Soon we started quarrelling over each other due to differences of opinion, misunderstandings and cultural differences as team members came from different countries having different national languages. If I put it plainly then what I lacked was emotional intelligence of understanding others feelings and other dynamics to work harmoniously in a team without any issues of social manners and discipline. I liked working at my own pace and didn't like to be given orders by someone else. But in this project we had to divide our tasks and work together as a team in a synchronised manner to execute and achieve the project deliverables without any issues or errors as each of us were interdependent on each other.
This project required me to carry out multiple tasks and made me work within a team consisting of several members coming from different backgrounds having different ethnicities. This helped me acquire a lot of experience and contributed towards overall development of my personality by developing qualities of teamwork. To work with different sets of people and manage various tasks that are involved in the project and deliver it with maximum efficiency, there are some attributes which are extremely necessary which must be inculcated such as confidence, creativity, resilience, being globally minded, enterprising, credibility and emotional intelligence among others. The three of the main attributes that this project helped me to develop within myself were the attributes of confidence, resilience and emotional intelligence.
My overall experience of working on this project was quite enriching as I got to learn a lot. The team members, mentors as well as other members that were involved in the task were extremely supportive which helped me in carrying out the involved tasks and complete the project on time without facing any major issues whatsoever while taking care of the standards of project deliverables. I got to learn a lot about the banking sector of Switzerland and the way it operates to manage the financial stability without compromising on the aspects of environmental sustainability. I have realised from this project that incorporating sustainability measures in any industry is the need of the hour as the work is moving towards destruction in the firm of extensive exploitation of resources through its inappropriate usage.
I observed that most of my team members had a never say die attitude due to which they never got discouraged and gave up on themselves or task no matter what was happening to them despite the challenges and involved project consolidation. This got inculcated in me as well as I went about the project work. Now I also understand the situation of others and the feelings that they must be going through in a much better manner which has improved my emotional intelligence. I can now manage and express my feelings in a much better manner. This has helped me in working as a team and getting the members in our team to work together effectively. All these positive attributes soon got reflected in me as well as I learned from my observation and experience.
This project helped me in learning about working effectively in a team, managing the weaknesses present in one and making maximum use of the strengths that one has. After the completion of this project I became more confident about the skills that I had. Though I had many of the skills before this project as well, I did not have much idea about how to put them into proper implementation to extract positive results and outcome out of it. In this project, I applied my skills to execute the project requirements which made me understand my intrinsic capabilities. While doing this project I also learned different kinds of software that are used for inferential analysis which boosted my confidence further and helped me improve myself on overall aspects by making me realise my potential and the things that I could achieve in future if I wanted to and put my proper efforts and dedication into it. My team members were also very much instrumental in this journey and making me what I am today. This project and the team members that I worked with made me resilient.
During the conduction of this project, I learned a lot about the importance of having attributes of resilience, confidence and emotional intelligence among others. I learned that working in a team is not only limited to individual skill sets but also requires one to have management skills. Different individuals bring different knowledge, expertise and skills in their domain which needs to be appropriately used in order to make sure that the project requirements are appropriately achieved. I learned that initially I lacked confidence and had self doubt which stopped me from believing in me and my skill sets but now after having completed the project, I learned that I am capable of achieving much more in life If I put in the required effort and dedication. I also acquired resilience by facing multiple challenges that the project threw at me while developing the attributes of emotional intelligence to understand the situation of others and what they are going through physically or mentally, and treat them with utmost care and respect without any ulterior motives or personal benefits.
I also realised from the project that one should always give due consideration to the factors of sustainability while developing business operation plans which many of the banks in Switzerland are currently doing. The banks such as Julius Baer Group, Vontobel, Pictet Group and Credit Suisse are working extensively and putting all their efforts to minimise their carbon footprints on earth and make it carbon neutral. I have understood from the conduct of this project that greenhouse gases such as CO2 that are released in large amounts to the environment result in global warming, collimate change, ozone layer depletion and rise of sea level among other issues that need to be solved.
In the future projects I would be more confident as I have realised my true potential and the things that I am capable of doing. This project has helped me in inculcating leadership skills as well which would prove to be beneficial for me in the long run. In future I would be more confident in handling bigger teams and getting them to deliver on the desired objectives. I would try out new things and not shy away from the consequences. I would face the situation and the challenges that it would throw on me with full vigour and energy to extract the best possible outcome out of it. This project has made me resilient due to which I can recover from any setbacks quickly without wasting much time on the past. What has already happened cannot be reversed and it is important to worry about the controllable. I have become more focused in my approach which would help me accomplish difficult tasks with ease by managing the pressure and working as per the need of the moment under current circumstances.
In future I have also planned to articulate my values and strengths to do what would be best for the team rather than thinking about personal goals. I would respect my team members more and try to learn as much from them as possible to contribute towards my personal growth while working on the concerned project. I am now planning to participate in even greater projects in the future on a larger scale so that I get to learn even more about the complexities involved in different projects. I would try to diversify my skill set and research portfolio by working with different minds of projects belonging to different distinct domains. I also want to apply my learning from this project to treat my teammates in a better way by understanding their current state of mind, the problems that they are currently facing and situations they are going through with emotional intelligence. This would help me in proper delegation of tasks within the team and giving necessary support to those in need. I would also develop a fair idea of the strengths and weaknesses of my teammates as well in this respect to be able to work upon them by showing leadership attributes for the appropriate delivery and achievement of project deliverables.
Cnergy, (2022) About us, https://cnergyfund.com/
Edf.org , (2019) The World’s Carbon Markets: A Case Study Guide to Emissions Trading https://www.edf.org/sites/default/files/EDF_IETA_Switzerland_Case_Study_May_2013.pdf
Julius Baer , (2022) https://www.juliusbaer.com/en/about-us/our-approach-to-sustainability/
Pictet , (2022) About Ushttps://www.group.pictet/about
Snb.ch , (2022) Climate risks and central banks: an SNB perspectivehttps://www.snb.ch/en/mmr/speeches/id/ref_20191114_amrtmo/source/ref_20191114_amrtmo.en.pdf
Vontobel, (2022) Traditional and sustainablehttps://www.vontobel.com/en-int/about-vontobel/responsibility/
wwf.ch (2022) SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SWISS RETAIL BANKING SECTORhttps://www.wwf.ch/sites/default/files/doc-2021-09/Sustainability%20in%20the%20Swiss%20retail%20banking%20sector%20-%20ENG.pdf