An estimated $5-7 trillion a year until 2030 are needed to realize the Sustainable Development Goals worldwide, including investments into infrastructure, clean energy, water and sanitation and agriculture.

The Positive Impact Finance Initiative seeks to address the SDGs financing gap.

“Positive Impact Finance is that which verifiably produces a positive impact on the economy, society or the environment once any potential negative impacts have been duly identified and mitigated.”

Positive Impact Manifesto (May 2017)

The Positive Impact Working Group (PIWG)

The Positive Impact Working Group (PIWG) involves banks and investors that seek to address two key challenges to the financing of the SDGs:

The lack of market clarity: multiple definitions and objectives are being communicated to date on impact. The Positive Impact Finance Initiative seek to create an overarching, holistic and impact-based framework that includes the environment, social and economic development and that allows the current methodologies and definitions to meet under one umbrella: the Principles for Positive Impact Finance. The Principles aim provide a common language that can guide providers of financial services and all relevant stakeholders in their efforts to contribute achieving the SDGs.

The lack of business (supply of bankable assets): projects, entities and individuals which need to be financed do not seem able to comply with the risk/return profiles that make the markets.. Moreover, business and financing models do not reach the level of funding and scale demanded to achieve the SDGs. In partnership with PWC and the WBCSD, the PIWG is producing a Grounding Paper that will assess the SDG financing needs and will identify innovative business and financing models.

See more information about the Positive Impact Finance Initiative and sign up for the Positive Impact Newsletter.

  • Webinar: From TCFD to SDG Finance – Next Steps in Sustainable Finance

    UNEP FI has pioneered work on Positive Impact finance, and TCFD implementation for investors, banks and insurers. Join this webinar to hear from the leaders at UNEP FI about the next steps in financing the Sustainable Development Goals, TCFD implementation, and how the bigger picture in sustainable finance is evolving.

  • Webinar: Listen to a conversation about “Rethinking Impact to Finance the SDGs” and learn more about the Positive Impact paper

    A conversation about “Rethinking Impact to Finance the SDGs”, a Position Paper and Call to Action prepared by UNEP FI’s Positive Impact Initiative, now out for consultation. This paper argues that the cost of achieving the SDGs can be significantly reduced and that private sector solutions can be significantly stepped up, via a new approach […]

  • Webinar: Positive Impact – Real Estate Investment Framework

    The UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and collaborators (RICS, PRI, Global Investor Coalition) is developing an impact-based investment framework for real estate to address the SDG financing gap. UNEP FI’s Property Working Group has issued a discussion paper which introduces a positive impact investment framework and requests feedback on the opportunities and challenges in investing […]

  • Webinar: Finance mechanisms to achieve the SDGs

    Watch the recording of a webinar held on 6 December which addressed the issues of assessing needs, set processes developing innovative financial mechanisms and adapting existing instruments for funding the SDGs. It gathered several influential representatives from the finance community and the corporate sector to discuss the challenges of the financing the SDGs. The webinar was organised by Climate Action and Sustainable Investment Forum Europe and featured UNEP FI’s Careen Abb from the Positive Impact Initiative.

  • Presentation and Launch of the Positive Impact Initiative

    UNEP FI is pleased to announce the upcoming presentation and regional launch of its Positive Impact Initiative in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 29th November 2017, which will be hosted by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the oldest and largest stock exchange in Africa.

  • Presentation and launch of the Positive Impact Initiative

    UNEP FI is pleased to announce the upcoming presentation and launch of its Positive Impact Initiative in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on 23rd November 2017, which will be hosted by Dutch Central Bank De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), in partnership with the Dutch members of the Positive Impact Initiative: ABN AMRO, ING Bank and Triodos Bank.

  • Societe Generale’s Sustainable and Positive Impact Finance Conference

    Societe Generale organised the Sustainable and Positive Impact Finance Conference in Paris on November 9th 2017, which gathered nearly 200 Corporates & Financial Institutions to discuss the stakes of inaction on climate change and the essential role of the private sector in this shift to sustainable development.

  • Webinar: How can financial services innovate to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

    From gender parity to inequality and climate action, the SDGs present an opportunity to transform the impact that the financial services industry has on society.  In order to achieve the goals by 2030, an additional $2.5tr is needed annually. Join EY and practitioners from BNP Paribas, Aviva, CDC Impact investors and UNEP FI to explore how financial services can play a key role in plugging the gap.

  • Positive Impact Initiative African Launch

    UNEP FI and Casablanca Finance City are pleased to anounce the regional launch of the Positive Impact initiative and the Principles for Positive Impact Finance, held in Casablanca on July 6th 2017.

  • Brazilian Launch of the Principles for Positive Impact Finance

    The Brazilian launch of the Principles for Positive Impact Finance will take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 6th, 2017.

  • Webinar: The Next Steps for the Principles for Positive Impact Finance

    Positive Impact Initiative The Positive Impact Initiative is driven by a group of UNEP FI members seeking to establish a new financing paradigm based on a holistic appraisal of impacts to the three pillars of sustainable development. This is seen as the key to the twin challenges of future-proofing business and achieving the Sustainable Development […]

  • Launch of the Principles for Positive Impact Finance

    The Principles for Positive Impact Finance were launched 19 leading banks and investors totaling $6.6 trillion in assets in Paris on January 30th 2017. The programme of the event is available here.

    Read the press release in English and in French.

  • Rethinking Impact to Finance the SDGs: A Position Paper and Call to Action

    In Rethinking Impact to Finance the SDGs, we explore new ways to significantly decrease the cost of achieving the SDGs and stimulate business and financing solutions at scale. Social, economic and environmental impacts have an as-yet under explored potential to generate financial revenues: impact-based business models can be developed, with the delivery of positive impacts […]

  • The Impact Radar

    The Impact Radar aims to offer a credible and comprehensive set of impact categories that can be integrated with the tools developed to deliver PI finance and contribute to a common frame for the assessment of PI products in the industry. The radar captures the core elements of the SDGs in a way that is […]

  • Model Framework for Financial Products for Corporates with unspecified use of funds

    This Model Framework covers Financial Products for Corporates with unspecified use of funds, i.e. where the funds raised or guarantees issued are used at the Corporate’s discretion, without any specified use. For example: General corporate purpose (GCP) Loans/Overdraft, Corporate Bonds with GCP use of proceeds, Equity (primary & secondary issuance), Off-balance sheet corporate products (e.g. […]

  • Model Framework for specified use of proceeds

    This Positive Impact Initiative Model Framework covers Financial Products where the funds raised or guarantees issued are used for a specific purpose, in this case Project-related finance within the scope of the Equator Principles. For example: project finance transactions, Project-related corporate loans, bridge loans to project finance, project-related transactions supported by Export Credit Agencies (Products […]

  • Financing the UN Development System: Pathways to Reposition for Agenda 2030

    Financing the UN Development System: Pathways to Reposition for Agenda 2030 September 8th, 2017 This new report, a collaboration between the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office, looks at the major trends, opportunities and challenges around financing the UN and the 2030 Agenda more broadly. UNEP FI, through initiatives such as […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]