Strategically linking the so-called real economy and the capital markets, the banking sector is in a critically unique position to contribute to the transition to a greener and more inclusive economy.

With a membership of over 120 leading banks across the world, including the main international banks, regional leaders as well as development banks and specialized environmental banks, UNEP FI gathers together the largest group of banks on matters of sustainability and sustainable development. The work of the governance body, the Banking Committee, is steered by a Board of Commission representatives made up of senior executives from global banks.

UNEP FI’s banking related activities fall under the following broad categories.

  • Awareness-raising
  • Providing technical research and guidance
  • Promoting policy dialogue and engagement

Climate Risk & Performance
Climate Change is one of UNEP FI’s core themes. The key areas of focus for banking practitioners include:

  • Understanding portfolio carbon risk
  • Defining and measuring climate performance
  • A dedicated training programme on climate change risks and opportunities

Natural Capital Valuation
Ecosystems Management is one of UNEP FI’s core themes. This theme is organized first and foremost through the Natural Capital Declaration, a partnership with the Global Canopy Programme. Key areas of focus for banking practitioners include:

  • Mapping of natural capital risks
  • Environmental stress-testing
  • Soft commodity supply chains

Banking & Human Rights
Over the years, UNEP FI has developed guidance on human rights and broader social issues and is actively supporting the exploration of the links between environmental issues such as climate change and human rights / social issues. Key resources for banking practitioners include:

  • Human Rights Guidance Tool
  • Legal Analysis of Banking & Human Rights

Training and professional development
UNEP FI has a range of training offerings, both online and in workshop format, covering several themes. For further information on each of these services, please visit the Sustainable Finance Training section.


Simone Dettling

  • Principles for Positive Impact Finance

    The Principles for Positive Impact Finance provide guidance for financiers and investors to analyse, monitor and disclose the social, environmental and economic impacts of the financial products and services they deliver. They provide a global framework applicable across different business lines, including retail and wholesale lending, corporate and investment lending, and asset management. The Principles require […]

  • Guide to Banking and Sustainability – Edition 2

    The Guide to Banking and Sustainability (“Guide”) is a high-level, functional overview of what a sustainable bank looks like from inside and to the outside. Who and what is it meant for? The Guide is first and foremost a tool for banking practitioners themselves. It is meant as an awareness-raising, integration and outreach tool for: […]

  • Positive Impact Manifesto

    The Positive Impact Manifesto invites banks and other financial sector players to think more holistically about their role in the economy, society and the broader environment, and proposes a ‘Roadmap’ to establishing a new, impact-based and market-driven paradigm: positive impact finance. Positive Impact finance is defined in the Manifesto as “that which verifiably produces a […]

  • Banking & Sustainability: Time for Convergence

    A Policy Briefing on the links between Financial Stability and Environmental Sustainability
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  • Stability & Sustainability in Banking Reform: Are Environmental Risks Missing in Basel III?

    Analyses whether and how Basel III addresses systemic environmental risks.
    Executive Briefing French Portuguese Spanish Japanese version

  • UNEP FI Guide to Banking & Sustainability

    Understanding and Implementing Sustainability in your Bank based on the UNEP Statement of Commitment by Financial Institutions on Sustainable Development