Green Microfinance: Characteristics of Microfinance Institutions Involved in Environmental Management

Journal of Business Ethics 126 (3):395-414 (2015)
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Abstract

In recent years, development practice has seen that microfinance institutions are starting to consider their environmental bottom line in addition to their financial and social objectives. Yet, little is known about the characteristics of institutions involved in environmental management. This paper empirically identifies the characteristics of these MFIs for the first time using a sample of 160 microfinance institutions worldwide. Basing our analysis on various econometric tests, we find that larger MFIs and MFIs registered as banks tend to perform better in environmental policy and environmental risk assessment. Furthermore, more mature MFIs tend to have better environmental performances, in particular in providing green microcredit and environmental non-financial services. On the other hand, financial performance is not significantly related to environmental performance, suggesting that ‘green’ MFIs are not more or less profitable than other microfinance institutions

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