Green talk just hot air

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When attending green finance events Euromoney has been amused and astounded by the inventive ways conference organisers can support the cause.

When attending green finance events Euromoney has been amused and astounded by the inventive ways conference organisers can support the cause.

LED bulbs, limited printed handouts, with weblinks instead sent in advance, no plastic bottles or coffee cups, natural heating systems (we didn’t ask) and even 'reclaimed’ food for lunches (food that would otherwise have been sent to the skip.) We’ve seen it all. But then you come to the issue of hand-drying.

The most energy efficient way of drying one’s hands is apparently to use heated air. Some hand-drying machines are more efficient than others naturally, but on the whole, these are the most environmentally friendly option, we are told. They are not however, the bankers’ favourite, or so it would seem.

At a recent investor-focused event Euromoney was stunned to walk into the washroom to be greeted by a shouting match. Picture an irate, smartly dressed person waving wet hands around and shouting abuse. On the receiving end was the poor bathroom attendant who had the miserable task of explaining that, at the request of conference organisers, the paper towels had been removed to limit waste.

This was not the first time Euromoney has witnessed a fracas over hand-drying. In December we overheard one leading financier mocking a note that had been left on a hand-towel dispenser at the COP21 meetings requesting people only use one towel. (Presumably the temporary structure for the event meant hand-driers could not be installed.)

It seems those in charge of funding the low-carbon future of our planet are all for green, just not when it comes to hand hygiene.