Developing and Updating An Environmental Risk Policy

It’s time for bankers to assess and manage environmental risk in a consistent and effective way. The best approach is to develop and implement an environmental risk policy.

“Environmental risk is now an element of credit risk; a borrower’s cash flow and resources are vulnerable to the liabilities of environmental pollution and degradation. It’s time for bankers to assess and manage environmental risk and ensure that they do so consistently and effectively. They can accomplish this by developing and implementing
an environmental risk policy.While the process of creating a complex document like an environmental policy may seem daunting, the job is quite manageable once you know what to include.”

This article, co-authored by Jamie Haberlen and Derek Pollard, originally appeared in The RMA Journal‘s March 2009 edition. In it, you will find guidelines for writing an environmental policy, drawn from the trial-and-error experiences of many banks. Take advantage of their efforts, and you’ll soon be on your way to having a clear, effective environmental policy of your own.

About the Authors

Jamie Haberlen is national account manager, Lender Services, Environmental Data Resources. Contact him by e-mail at

Derek P. Pollard is first vice president and commercial real estate credit policy officer, Credit Risk Management, SunTrust Banks, Atlanta, Georgia. Contact him by e-mail at