Though there is a loooong way to go, banks are starting to give greater weight to environmental risks in evaluating credit requests. There has always been a level of scrutiny given to certain environmental risks in real estate lending projects, primarily around the area of potential pollutants specific to the site: asbestos, toxic chemicals and other ground contaminants. In today's environment, with more groups advocating for improved corporate social responsibility, increased sensitivity of consumers to environmentally-correct choices and investors showing greater concerns for the risks inherent in specific environmental practices, banks are slowing realizing that these are issues that need to be considered in weighing the profitability of specific types of financing. Wells Fargo is the most recent U.S. bank to reduce it's exposures to companies engaging in the environmentally damaging practice of mountain top removal of coal. Read here to see if your bank is among the other large financial institutions that have taken this stance.