2013 Global Roundtable
12-13 November 2013, Beijing, China
The Global Roundtable (GRT) is the flagship biennial event of UNEP FI that brings together high-level representatives from financial institutions, governments, regulators, civil society, academia and the scientific community to galvanize action on sustainable finance. Since 1994, the GRT has been held in 12 cities, including Cambridge, Cape Town, Chicago, Frankfurt, Geneva, London, Melbourne, New York, Oslo, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Washington, D.C.
As a prominent emerging economy, China plays a pivotal role in sustainable development. The Chinese Government’s firm resolution to mainstream sustainable development at national and international levels will accelerate deeper understanding by financial institutions regarding sustainability practices.
Themed, Financing the Future We Want: China, Emerging Markets and the World Economy, the 2013 GRT will raise the following questions:
- How can we accelerate the integration of long-term, sustainable thinking into the financial sector’s decision-making processes?
- Who are the key stakeholders and partners for sustainable finance and how can dialogue and collaboration be stepped up between them?
- How can we help players learn from each other and how can we share the rich body of knowledge and experience that is crystallizing in emerging economies?
- What ultimately is the underlying purpose and raison-d’être of finance and financial institutions and can these deliver the financing of the future we want?
- To promote sustainable finance as the logical way forward for the finance industry.
- To raise awareness that sustainable finance is an important part of Sustainable Development.
- To engage all relevant stakeholders in the sustainable finance agenda.
- To share best practice.
- To facilitate the networking of stakeholders.
- Building the "Future we want" includes a rethink of the global architecture of the financial system.
- Embedding long-term, sustainable thinking into the financial sector’s decision-making processes is essential to ensuring that FIs are "fit for purpose".
- Sustainable finance cannot be achieved in isolation: dialogue is needed with the broader policy and private sector scene
- Emerging economies are building capacity and are potentially key drivers of sustainable finance
To prepare for this event we utilized the 2012 UNEP Sustainable Conference Guide and as such this event features the following green practices:
- Planned a paperless event.
- Encouraged guests to practice sustainable habits, such as using sheets for more than one day.
- Served water in glasses rather than bottles.
- Avoided the use of disposable items.
- Encouraged participants to stay at the venue.
- Encouraged guests to carpool and take public transit.
- Organized buses between side events.
- Provided many vegetarian options.
- Produced conference dressings locally.
- Provided local, organic and seasonal foods provided by Organic and Beyond.
- Served Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified seafood.
- Separated waste streams.
- Invited a diverse pool of guests and speakers.
- Hosted a socially inclusive and accessible event.
- This conference will be a carbon neutral event and the China Beijing Environmental Exchange and Bank of China have sponsored CDM Certified Emission Reductions.
Since the success of the first Global Roundtable edition, held in 1994 in Geneva, Switzerland, Global Roundtables have matured into major global agenda-setting events.
Global Roundtables offer an opportunity for leaders of the financial world and environmental experts to come together to discuss and exchange views on sustainability issues and responsible financing. They have significantly contributed with ideas on how to address emerging environmental, social and governance challenges that relate to the global financial industry. In addition, the summit has been one of UNEP FI’s foremost advocacy instruments.
Nineteen years on, Global Roundtables carry-on a well-established tradition that has spanned the globe covering 12 cities, including Cambridge, Cape Town, Chicago, Frankfurt, Geneva, London, Melbourne, New York, Oslo, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Washington, D.C.
2011: Washington, D.C., USA - The Tipping Point: Sustained stability in the next economy
2009: Cape Town, South Africa - Financing change. Changing finance.
2007: Melbourne, Australia - Awareness to Action
2005: New York, USA - A World of Risk. A world of Opportunities?
2003: Tokyo, Japan - Sustaining Value. A Meeting on Finance and Sustainability
2002: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Financing a Sustainable Future - Strategies, Partnerships, and Opportunities
2000: Frankfurt, Germany
1999: Chicago, USA
1998: Cambridge, UK - Profitability and Responsibility in the 21st Century
1997: New York, USA - Third UNEP International Roundtable Meeting on Finance and the Environment
1995: London, UK - Investing in the Environment
1994: Geneva, Switzerland
Founded in 1992 in the context of the Earth Summit in Rio, and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) was established as a platform associating the United Nations and the financial sector globally. The need for this unique United Nations partnership arose from the growing recognition of the links between finance and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) challenges, and the role financial institutions could play for a more sustainable world.
UNEP FI is continuously building its membership, and works closely with over 200 members, who have signed the UNEP FI Statement of Commitment. The membership is made up of public and private financial institutions from around the world and is balanced between developed and developing countries. They recognize sustainability as part of a collective responsibility and support approaches to anticipate and prevent potential negative impacts on the environment and society.
Banking, insurance and investment, the three main sectors of finance, are represented and brought together in this unique partnership. In addition, UNEP FI develops selective collaborations, UN-driven and finance sector-driven, with other partner organizations, in order to increase awareness and raise support for critical activities. UNEP FI contributes the perspectives of financial institutions to the various United Nations and global activities on sustainable finance.
The Initiative's work includes:
• Capacity building and the sharing of best practices;
• Pioneering research and tools;
• Setting global standards and principles;
• Engaging stakeholders, both public and private;
• Facilitating the networking of members and stakeholders through global events and regional activities.
UNEP's cross-cutting themes are embedded throughout UNEP FI's activities, specifically in its thematic work areas of Climate Change, Ecosystems Management, Energy Efficiency and Social Issues.
UNEP FI has contributed to the launch of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and has developed the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI).
UNEP FI’s mission is to bring about systemic change in finance to support a sustainable world, and is highlighted in its motto, Changing finance, financing change.
Its motto Changing finance, financing change reflects a vision of a sustainable world economy that needs to be supported by a sustainable financial system.
Changing finance: promoting the integration of sustainability concerns into mainstream financial system, and financial institutions’ operations and decisions in all markets, as well as in their general business and governance.
Financing change: mobilizing finance to foster a more sustainable economy.