MADISON, Wis. (1/19/11)--The Filene Research Institute and Hall Associates Consulting LLC are collaborating to assess credit union green lending. Filene encourages all credit unions to complete the survey, regardless of their current green-lending profile. The results will be published this year with a guide that outlines the opportunities, variables and challenges of sustainable lending. Surveys are due by Jan. 28. “This research builds on significant work we’ve done to identify sustainability opportunities for credit unions,” says Filene Chief Research Officer George Hofheimer. “This will provide the first real baseline report of how credit unions are lending around green initiatives.” Large banks are increasingly focused on environmental initiatives, according to research by Hall Associates Consulting LLC, a credit union-focused consulting firm. Bank of America has earmarked $20 billion for a 10-year environmental initiative addressing climate change, including energy efficiency and clean-energy investments and services. Citi is aiming $50 billion over 10 years at alternative energy, “clean technology” and carbon reduction. A new commercial banking group at Wells Fargo is designed specifically for businesses that manufacture, market or develop clean technology products and services. Even without the scale of these banks, credit unions are beginning to act more locally with products such as energy-efficient mortgages and loans for fuel-efficient vehicles and remodeling projects. “The volume of household-level green lending in the U.S. could be as much as $100 billion, even if only 10% of households participate,” said W. Robert Hall, president of Hall Associates Consulting. Credit unions that participate will be asked about the specific components and financial performance of their loan products. Data submitted for the survey will be reported in aggregate, and individual credit union data will be kept confidential, Filene said.