METHODOLOGY

The Coal Policy Tool rates the coal sector policies of financial institutions on a consistent and transparent scoring grid built upon five key criteria

Criteria

Coal policies are rated according to 5 criteria:

  • The first criteria covers the exclusion of coal mines, coal plants, and coal infrastructure.
  • The second criteria addresses the exclusion of all financial services to companies planning new coal mines, coal plants or coal infrastructure projects.
  • The third criteria covers the exclusion of companies which are most exposed to the coal sector, based on their share of revenues or electricity production from coal.
  • The fourth criteria covers the exclusion of the largest coal producers and largest coal plant operators.
  • The fifth criteria addresses the quality of the coal phase-out strategy.

Our analysis focuses on thermal coal and not metallurgical coal.

Read more about the five criteria.

An easy and public scoring system:

For the first four criteria, the rating logic is simple: the more coal companies excluded by the policy, the higher the score. For the fifth criteria, the more elements of a good coal phase-out strategy the policy takes on board, the higher the score.

Many policies allow exceptions, use inappropriate metrics or weaken the impact of criteria by limiting their application to certain activities. In these cases, a malus of one or two points is applied for each criteria to sanction these limitations and loopholes.

Policies only applying to SRI/ESG funds are not considered in this analysis, except if they are the only ones proposed by the financial player.

The analysis grid is available below the Coal Policy Tool.

The tool

It presents a visual and quantitative analysis of the policies for each of the 5 criteria.

The scoring system is simple: It is based on a score from 0 to 10 and a traditional color code (red, orange, yellow, green), to quickly identify the quality of the policies with regard to the assessed criteria.

A paragraph summarizes the content of each policy per criteria, the source used (policy, press release, web page…), and a brief analysis by Reclaim Finance.

Filters allow you to limit the selection to either banks, insurers or investors so that you can better compare financial players to their peers.

Two special marks-up make it easy to identify in the tool:

Financial players with best practices and a robust coal phase-out strategy are identified by a star next to their name.

Financial players which are preparing a new coal policy, or an update of their current coal policy, are identified by this icon next to their name.

Two other indicators are sometimes used in place of the scoring from one to ten:

[NA] Criteria not applicable to this type of financial player.

Reclaim Finance could not give a definite score and have contacted the financial institution for clarification.

Financial institutions

The Coal Policy Tool covers all the biggest banks, (re)insurers, asset owners and asset managers globally, as well as those identified to have a coal policy, in 30 countries, from Australia to the United States. Are included in the tool:

  • The top 20 banks/asset owners/asset managers in global rankings (Standard & Poor’s for banks, Willis Towers Watson plc for asset owners and asset managers), and insurers covered in the 2019 Scorecard on Insurance (Insure Our Future), whether they have a coal policy, or not;
  • All financial institutions in the top 100 of those rankings, which were assessed systematically, for which Reclaim Finance could find a coal policy;
  • Financial institutions above a minimum threshold of 10 billion USD of assets for which Reclaim Finance could find a coal policy through research and from partners worldwide, without conducting a systematic assessment;
  • and some other financial institutions added at the request of our partners.

Policies for which we were only able to find press articles, but not a direct public source were not considered. Only coal policies publicly available directly on financial players websites were taken into account.

This allows us to find:

  1. 214 financial institutions with a coal policy. 214 is the number of institutions left once duplicates have been removed as insurers are graded both for their insurance as well as their investment policies.
  2. 216 top financial institutions have no coal policies. Excluding duplicates, these 216 are the financial institutions in the top 100 global rankings mentioned above of banks (Standard & Poor’s), asset owners and asset managers (Willis Towers Watson plc), and insurers in the 2019 Scorecard on Insurance (Insure Our Future) that do not have a coal policy.

All financial players mentioned in the Coal Policy Tool were contacted and had an opportunity to comment on their ratings before publication, except a dozen for whom Reclaim Finance were unable to find relevant contacts. These messages led to exchanges with the majority of financial institutions covered in the tool.

The Coal Policy Tool will be continuously updated whenever new policies are adopted or existing policies are upgraded.

There are more than 1500 scores in the tool so despite our best efforts, an error is possible but our goal is for the tool to be up to date as much as possible.

Reclaim Finance welcome feedback from financial institutions, especially if we missed an existing coal policy.

Go to the Coal Policy Tool