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Fixed assets that can be leased typically include light equipment (such as passenger cars, light duty trucks, office equipment, furniture, and appliances,) or heavy equipment (such as earth movers, large machines, industrial equipment, cargo vessels, heavy duty trucks, and airplanes). In some cases, Leasing Companies can own, maintain and operate the leased physical assets, known as operational leasing. In other cases, Leasing Companies simply provide the necessary financing to lessees, known as financial leasing.

The environmental and social risks associated with leasing activities are generally minimal for most transactions but will be more significant if the fixed asset involves the use of heavy equipment and as a function of the industry sector. Improper operation or maintenance of the equipment may impact community or worker safety and result in potential environmental contamination and pollution.

For financial leasing, Leasing Companies have limited exposure to the lessee’s environmental and social performance and also limited leverage over the lessee’s use of the fixed asset. However, the leasing company may be impacted by legal issues, disruption of lessee operations, and reputational concerns. Through operational leasing, a leasing company is linked to the operation of the leased asset and can be directly responsible for any environmental and social impacts.

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