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News & Media

 

Finance sector to address key sustainability opportunities at UNEP FI Global Roundtable

25 October, 2016

The new 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Climate Agreement have made it more clear than ever that the finance sector now has a vital role to play in driving sustainable development. This increasing role opens doors to new opportunities for finance institutions, governments and other sustainability players in business and in catalyzing change. The UNEP FI 2016 Global Roundtable (GRT) and Annual General Meeting, to be held in Dubai between 25 – 27 October, will be the ideal opportunity for the finance sector to answer some of the most pressing questions facing the finance world today. Both events are to be hosted by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment of the UAE with the support of the Central Bank of the UAE.
More details

 

Introductory Training Workshop on Environmental and Social Risk Analysis

19 August, 2016


UNEP FI/Ecobanking are organizing an Introductory Environmental and Social Risk Analysis training workshop, in collaboration with the Sustainable Finance Table of Paraguay (“Mesa de Finanzas Sostenibles de Paraguay”) . This training session will take place on the 2nd of September in Asuncion.
We are convening this workshop with the aim of sensitizing bankers, risk & credit managers and other relevant parties across the financial sector, on the importance, effective techniques and consequential benefits of incorporating environmental and social considerations into their investment and risk management decision-making.

 

Five Chinese banks endorse the Energy Efficiency Finance Statement under the Chinese G20 Presidency

19 August, 2016

Facing acute environmental challenges, China has made the greening of its economy a priority and has embraced sustainable finance with a remarkable leap in the green bond market in 2016. Energy efficiency is recognized a key measure to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas and other pollutants. In 2015, financial authorities issued credit guidelines to stimulate banks’ financing of energy efficiency. Under China’s G20 Presidency, G20 nations have adopted a new long term strategy to catalyze energy efficiency and its financing. In this context, five Chinese banks (Industrial Bank, ICBC, Bank of Jiangsu, Agricultural Development Bank of China and Huaxia Bank) have joined the global mobilization of over 115 banks led by UNEP FI and EBRD and promoted by the G20 Energy Efficiency Finance Task Group. This unique initiative was presented to G20 delegates in Beijing in June 2016, sending a strong message to policy makers on the readiness of the banking sector to scale-up energy efficiency financing and the need for supportive and investment-enabling policies.

 

Environmental & Social Risk Analysis (ESRA) online course: Impact survey results

15 August, 2016


The ESRA Online Course has been held in English, French and Spanish since its inception in 2006. UNEP FI and its programme partners INCAE Business School, Ecobanking Project and GIZ wished to evaluate the impact and influence of the ESRA Online Courses in the financial activities of the former participating institutions who had taken the course six months or more since they participated in the ESRA Course. To measure this impact and influence, the partners created a survey that could be completed online. Please see the results.

 

Introductory Training Workshop on Environmental and Social Risk Analysis

1 July, 2016

15 July 2016 | Lima, Peru

UNEP FI/Ecobanking are organizing in Peru an Introductory Environmental and Social Risk Analysis training workshop, in collaboration with GIZ Peru. This training session will take place on the 15th of July in Lima.
We are convening this workshop with the aim of sensitizing bankers, risk & credit managers and other relevant parties across the financial sector, on the importance, effective techniques and consequential benefits of incorporating environmental and social considerations into their investment and risk management decision-making, mainly focused on the housing sector.
Read more

 

Launch: Global Statement on Investor obligations and duties

29 June, 2016

UNEP FI and its partners PRI and The Generation Foundation launched the Statement as a way to address many of the misconceptions that still exist around investor duties and obligations. It points to weaknesses in international and national policy frameworks as a barrier for investors to take account of ESG issues in their investment processes, in their dialogue with companies, and in their engagement with policymakers.
“Meeting Paris agreement’s goals will require the full mobilization of all stakeholders, including financial sector actors. I fully support PRI and UNEP FIs efforts to make financial flows consistent with the needed limitation of greenhouse emissions and the financing of climate resilient development” - Mr. Michel Sapin, Minister of Finance, France.
Investors are invited to sign the Statement.
More information www.fiduciaryduty21.org
Press Release
The Statement

 

VfU, UAB and BASA join as UNEP FI Supporting Institutions

2 June, 2016

UNEP FI has launched a new Supporting Institutions status for players within the financial system who are not financial institutions but nonetheless have a key role in delivering sustainable finance, and who wish to work with UNEP FI to pursue this agenda. UNEP FI is delighted to be welcoming its first three Supporting Institutions from three different regions in the world. The VfU (the leading sustainable finance network for German-speaking financial institutions), the Union of Arab Banks (UAB), and the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) have formally joined UNEP FI as Supporting Institutions.
View more information about Supporting Institutions.

 

New Publication: ERISC Phase II: How food prices link environmental constraints to sovereign credit risk

23 May, 2016

The ERISC project, short for Environmental Risk Integration in Sovereign Credit Analysis, aims to help financial institutions to integrate environmental risks in their risk assessments and investment decisions by identifying and quantifying how they can affect countries’ economic performance and thereby their cost of credit in the sovereign debt market. The project’s premise is that sovereign credit risk can be materially affected by environmental risks such as climate change, ecosystem degradation, water scarcity, and deforestation.
Phase I showed that environmental risks are material, and quantified this for five countries. In his second phase of research, we focus on food prices as one of the key transmission mechanisms between environmental risks and economic impacts and quantify these impacts for 110 countries. The global food system is vulnerable to changing environmental conditions. Climate change along with land and water scarcity will increasingly affect food production on the supply side. At the same time, demand for food will increase as a result of global population and income growth. The growing imbalance between rising demand for food and the capacity to supply it, will lead to greater variability in food production, higher and more volatile food commodity prices, and a higher likelihood of price shocks.
The results can inform bond investors and credit rating agencies, but also governments looking for ways to reduce economic impacts from environmental risks.

 

UNEP FI co-convenes kick-off meeting of Mongolian Green Credit Fund Working Group

23 May, 2016

UNEP FI, together with the Mongolian Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism (MEGDT), the Mongolian Bankers Association (MBA), Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and German International Cooperation (GIZ), recently convened the kick-off meeting of the Mongolian Green Credit Fund Working Group. This working group, comprised of representatives from the government, banking sector, local enterprises and development agencies, will serve as the platform for the inclusive development of a national financing framework that spurs lending into green projects. UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) President and Mongolian Parliament member Ms. Oyun Sanjaasuren, in her welcome speech, supported the vision of the working group, saying that a green financing framework will promote investments in environmental protection and human development and finance a green economy - two core objectives of the national Green Development Policy. The kick-off meeting is one of the agreed outcomes of the 2015 Mongolian Sustainable Finance Forum.

 

UNEP appoints Eric Usher as the new Head of UNEP FI

13 May, 2016

We are delighted to announce that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has appointed Eric Usher as the new Head of the UNEP Finance Initiative. After serving in an interim capacity since 2015, he is stepping into the role permanently to lead the UNEP partnership with over 200 financial institutions world wide with a combined asset size of over USD 63 trillion.
 
Eric brings twenty five years of experience in the sustainable energy and finance sectors, including an entrepreneurial venture in Morocco, financial sector development across emerging markets and responsible investment uptake globally. Please see his bio.

 

UNEP FI and Global Investor Groups Urge World Leaders to Sign and Accede to the Paris Climate Agreement Rapidly

20 April, 2016

48 hours before more than 130 world leaders are expected to travel to New York to sign the Paris Agreement, organisations that collectively represent more than 400 institutional investors with USD 24 trillion of assets under management have called on world leaders to not only sign but accede to the Paris Agreement and implement it into national law as a matter of urgency.
Download a copy of the letter.

 

Workshop in China: Enhancing Financial Flows for Energy Efficiency in the Building Sector

20 April, 2016

Under the Chinese presidency and in the context of its work in the G20 Energy Efficiency Finance Task Group Secretariat, UNEP FI organized a workshop on Enhancing Financial Flows for Energy Efficiency in the Building Sector in China, with the support of SWITCH-Asia.
Held on April 15th back to back to the G20 meeting on energy and sustainability, this workshop gathered around 60 participants and allowed for an exchange of experience, best practices and innovative financing solutions between Chinese banks, international development banks, Chinese policy makers and experts.
As part of the workshop, Chinese banks were invited to join the first global mobilization of the financial sector on energy efficiency presented at the Paris Climate Conference by endorsing the Statement by Financial Institutions on Energy Efficiency.

 

China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) 2016 Roundtable on Promoting Green Finance and Supporting Local Development

29 March, 2016

CCICED organized a roundtable on Green Finance and Local Government Development at the China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (CELAP) in Shanghai, China on 29 March 2016. The event brought together over 100 participants from China’s central and local governments, financial institutions, academia, and international organizations.
Among the prominent speakers, the Vice-Minister of China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and CCICED Secretary General, Mr. Li Ganjie, spoke about China’s 13th Five-Year-Plan and its implications for China’s sustainability agenda. Dr. Jun Ma, the Chief Economist of the Research Bureau of the People’s Bank of China, recommended policies to advance green finance in China, based off CELAP’s green finance research.
UNEP FI was represented by its country coordinator for South Korea, Mr. Dae-Woong Lim. He presented on trends in the green finance sector globally and shared UNEP FI’s work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
For more info on the event, please visit its website.

 

New UN report demonstrates renewables now dominate investment flows into new power generation

24 March, 2016

Coal and gas-fired electricity generation last year drew less than half the record investment made in solar, wind and other renewables capacity -- one of several important firsts for green energy announced today in a UNEP-partnered report. Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016, the 10th edition of UNEP's annual report, launched today by the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), says the annual global investment in new renewables capacity, at $266 billion, was more than double the estimated $130 billion invested in coal and gas power stations in 2015. And for the first time, the majority of investment is being made in developing countries.
Read the report
Read the press release

 

UNEP FI to Highlight Sustainable Finance at UNEA 2

24 March, 2016

As part of the second United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 2), UNEP FI will co-host a symposium on Mobilizing Resources for Sustainable Investment. This symposium, scheduled to take place on Wednesday May 25th, will showcase that the financial system both globally and nationally is at an exciting nexus for playing an active role in sustainable development and in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The first part of the symposium focuses on the efforts made so far in aligning the financial system towards sustainable development. The second part is designed to showcase initiatives by financial institutions to demonstrate the huge potential to work with the finance industry in mobilizing private financing for the SDGs. Speakers will include representatives from finance institutions, central banks, ministries of environment, stock exchanges, and industry associations.
See further details on the symposium.

 

Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century: UNEP FI announces a three year programme with PRI and The Generation Foundation to integrate sustainability into investors' fiduciary duties

22 February, 2016

The project will engage asset owners, asset managers and policy makers across national and international jurisdictions to harmonise a global understanding of fiduciary duty which incorporates sustainability. The project will focus on three primary objectives:

  • To encourage governments and regulatory agencies in the eight jurisdictions covered in the 2015 report (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Africa, the UK and US) to clarify the scope of fiduciary duty such that investors must take explicit account of environmental, social and governance issues in their investment practices and proactively engage with companies on these issues
  • To extend the original report’s analysis to key Asian markets: China (including Hong Kong), India, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea
  • To develop an international statement on fiduciary duty and sustainable development which would create a cohort of signatories committed to integrating sustainability into their fiduciary duties

More details about the project
More details about the Asia focus
Press release

 

UNEP FI makes series of key recommendations to FSB’s Climate Disclosures Task Force

11 February, 2016

UNEP FI has presented a series of key recommendations to the International Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, recently established by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to enhance climate disclosure practice in line with the requirements of financial actors.
Informed by its extensive track record with the financial sector and its expertise on disclosure-related issues, UNEP FI’s key points to the Task Force were:

  • Not only corporate but finance sector disclosure should be included in the scope of its work;
  • There should be distinguished approaches between real economy corporates, investors and other financial institutions;
  • Not only climate risk disclosure should be considered, (“managing the brown”) but also climate performance disclosure (“scaling up the green”), and the latter included in its scope of work
  • To highlight the importance of integrated reporting by engaging the financial accounting and audit community

The TCFD is currently mapping the disclosure landscape by compiling a scoping report to prioritise issues for a full report.
Read UNEP FI’s presentation.

 

UNEP FI and partners publish new action framework on sustainable real estate

8 February, 2016

Set in the context of both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris climate talks at the end of 2015, UNEP FI and partners have today published a new practical guide for real estate investors and their professional advisors to address climate risk and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from property portfolios. The guide sets out the measures to improve returns and better protect the future value of real estate investments through engagement with climate agendas and environmental, social and governance issues.
More details
Press release

 

Results of UNEP FI and government survey demonstrate that UAE is already well on the way to green financing

25 January, 2016

Following a recent survey undertaken by UNEP FI and the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water, there is clear evidence not only that many of the UAE’s financial institutions are already investing in green products, but that that investment is on the rise.
Nearly half of the respondent institutions already provide a green finance product or service, while 41% are planning to introduce new products/services in the near future. Nearly a quarter of the respondent institutions from the banking and investment sectors have invested in green projects – including 75 domestic projects – from their assets. Furthermore, at least 0.27% of GDP was invested in domestic green projects.
Some institutions are already realizing substantial benefits from green finance through cost savings, additional revenues and increased share values. The most profitable cases reach as much as USD 20 million and 2% of total profits. If the entire UAE banking sector gained 2% of total profits from green finance, the total benefits would amount to USD 210 million a year.
Read the report in full.

 

New UNEP FI - Foley Hoag LLP research paper contributes to a better understanding of banking and human rights

18 December, 2015

A collaboration between Foley Hoag LLP and UNEP FI, this research paper offers a legal analysis of the current banking and human rights landscape. The paper provides an overview of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and explores their implications for the banking sector. It examines both hard law and soft law related to banking and human rights, as well as the relationship between the two. The paper contributes to wider thinking on how banks can address human rights issues.

 

New report outlines options for portfolio decarbonization - across asset classes, investor strategies, and metric families

10 December, 2015

As the world transitions to a low-carbon future, institutional investors are increasingly motivated to contribute to greenhouse gas emissions reductions by starting to align their core portfolios with the financial requirements of the low-carbon economy; by starting to decarbonize their portfolios. Many investors recognize that the “climate friendliness” of their portfolios will affect their long-term success in a changing economy. The final version of the report Climate Strategies and Metrics: Exploring Options for Institutional Investors is a useful guide for investors who wish to help facilitate low-carbon change. Read more...

 

Global Market Leaders Gather in Paris to Support UN Climate Talks

7 December, 2015

As political leaders from around the world gather in Paris for COP2, global capital market leaders also came together to discuss how stock exchanges, investors and regulators can support the global climate agenda. The group was brought together by the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE), a coalition co-organised by UNEP FI, which announced that Euronext Group, and the National Exchange of India joined the initiative today.
In 2015 as a whole, the SSE grew by 30 new partner exchanges to a total of 47 partner exchanges today.
Read the press release
Event page

 

UNEP FI and partners mobilise over 140 financial institutions to scale up global investment in energy efficiency

7 December, 2015

The unprecedented mobilisation of over 100 banks from 42 countries and investors managing close to USD 4 trillion supporting two specific Statements to increase energy efficiency finance was presented today at the Paris Climate Conference. It highlights the fast growing awareness of the relevance of energy efficiency to remain under a 2°C Scenario, while also serving sustainable development goals.
The topic is relevant for all countries, and benefits from the first G20 dedicated work led by the G20 Energy Efficiency Finance Task Group which proposed investment principles for countries to provide more investment-enabling conditions that were welcomed by the G20 energy ministers.
Committed to promote the topic over the last 3 years, UNEP FI has joined forces with other initiatives to enable the broadest mobilization of financial institutions and bring their positive contribution to the COP.

 

Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition announces two new members

7 December, 2015

Today at COP 21, the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC) announces its latest members, two of the world's largest institutional investors, Allianz and ABP. PDC now convenes 25 investors overseeing the decarbonization of $600 billion in Assets under Management, surpassing the PDC target of $100bn. The PDC is also launching its first annual report which describes the decarbonization strategies of its members.
Read the press release.
Watch the press conference.

 

UNEP FI to lead research into adaptation of private finance for climate change

7 December, 2015

Climate change will increasingly impact economies around the world, forcing them to adapt. In response, governments have begun to expend considerable effort in order to identify and plan measures to cope with these impacts – measures to adapt.
To inform and support the climate agenda, UNEP FI, with partners, have launched a major research effort focused on Demystifying private climate finance. Its aim is to deliver answers to three questions: 1. What does the private financial landscape look like? 2. Where and how does it connect with climate change mitigation and adaptation? 3. And how can it be best mobilised by public actors?
The first issue, largely focused on mitigation, was launched at COP20 in Lima in 2015.
Read a one-page summary of the approach to the adaptation report.

 

Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition now overseeing decarbonization of $600bn Assets Under Management

6 December, 2015

CEO of AP4 Mats Andersson, one of the co-founders of the PDC, presents at the COP 21 Action Day plenary and announces that PDC has far exceeded its decarbonization target and reached the $600bn mark. Other speakers at the plenary included actor Sean Penn, former Vice President Al Gore and former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg.
Watch the Mats Andersson video.
Read From disclosure to action: PDC annual report.

 

UNEP FI welcome new signatory Şekerbank

3 December, 2015


UNEP FI extends a warm welcome to their newest signatory Şekerbank, based in Turkey. Founded in 1953 in Anatolia, Şekerbank T.A.Ş began as a cooperative bank managing the small savings of thousands of sugar beet cooperative member farmers in order to finance agriculture, rural development and local production. Today as a nationwide commercial bank, Şekerbank T.A.Ş.is guided by its founding mission of financing sustainable development.
More information

 

COP 21: UNEP FI mobilises real estate sector to play a significant role in limiting global temperature increase to below 2°C

3 December, 2015

With one-third of all global emissions generated by buildings, current levels of investment in energy efficient buildings need an estimated increase of USD 300 Billion per year by 2020. For the buildings sector to contribute to a below 2°C pathway, therefore, a coalition led by UNEP FI today presents a new briefing on Integrating Climate Risks in Real Estate to send a signal of support to governments at COP and to call on other investors to scale up their investments in energy efficient and sustainable buildings.
In parallel, there is unprecedented mobilisation by banks and investors on energy efficiency aimed at driving action on the policy side.
At COP21, UNEP FI is today co-convening the finance session/panel of the first ever COP Buildings Day, where a new Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC) is being launched to catalyse greater collaboration between real estate stakeholders and organisations to achieve greater scale and increase the pace of transformative action.
Briefing: Integrating Climate Risks in Real Estate
French version
Press release

Discussion group at the COP Buildings Day

 

UNEP FI and PAGE highlight role of finance in Mongolia's green economy development

3 December, 2015

On 25 November in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Forum 2015, organised by UNEP FI and Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) with the Mongolian Bankers Association (MBA) and XAC Bank, brought together some 400 participants to discuss the establishment of a green credit fund as a potential incentive in financing the country’s green development. Mongolia has made strides in translating its Green Development Policy (GDP) into key sectoral actions. But the engagement among the finance sector, government agencies and the private sector can still be invigorated to mobilise finance for this transition to a green inclusive economy.
In her keynote speech, UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) President and Mongolian Parliament member Ms. Oyun Sanjaasuren emphasized that financing the strategic objectives of the GDP will not only contribute to a green inclusive economy, but will also meet some of the Sustainable Development Goals. Panelists from the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism, Bank of Mongolia, International Finance Corporation, Dutch Development Bank (FMO), Mongolian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and MBA agreed that an immediate next step would be to convene a working group through which the financing needs and possibilities for Mongolia can be better understood and eventually designed.

 

UNEP FI and the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI) lead knowledge exchange on green finance in East Asia

3 December, 2015

On 25 November in Seoul, Korea UNEP FI and the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI) brought together participants from Korea, China and Japan at the 3rd International Green Finance Seminar to exchange knowledge and experiences on green finance trends, global green bond trajectory and certification criteria, and environmental risk assessment tools. Around 100 representatives of financial institutions, the private sector, government agencies, and academia attended. The seminar UNEP FI featured the experiences of its Japanese members, particularly in providing inputs to the Japanese Principles sectoral Working Groups, engagements on sustainable property and research on fiduciary duty and natural capital.

 

UNEP FI’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance launches final, groundbreaking report of Global Resilience Project

2 December, 2015

At the “Resilience Day” event of COP21, the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) Initiative launched the final report of its Global Resilience Project. The report focuses on multi-stakeholder partnerships that have worked to address disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in order to build resilience at different levels of society—from districts and municipalities, to cities and countries.
To complement the disaster risk reduction focus, the report features innovative climate and disaster risk transfer/insurance solutions from around the world, from micro to macro levels. This section also includes effective claims management and the innovation of sharing insurance loss data for resilient planning and development by local governments. Many of the case studies include insurance organisations – many of whom are PSI members – exercising leadership and working together with public, private and civil society stakeholders.
Read the report “Collaborating for resilience: Partnerships that build disaster-resilient communities and economies
IAG’s press release

 

UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative one of transformative projects of UN Secretary General's Climate Resilience Initiative

30 November, 2015

A new initiative to build climate resilience in the world’s most vulnerable countries was launched today by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and 13 members within the UN system at COP21, the Paris Climate Conference. The new initiative will strengthen the ability of countries to anticipate hazards, absorb shocks, and reshape development to reduce climate risks. The newly announced initiative, the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Resilience Initiative — Anticipate, Absorb, Reshape — will help address the needs of the nearly 634 million people, or a tenth of the global population who live in at-risk coastal areas just a few meters above existing sea levels, as well as those living in areas at risk of droughts and floods. The Secretary-General’s Climate Resilience Initiative brings transformative projects from different agencies in several areas, including the Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative. The world is now experiencing a strong El Niño event, which could place as many as 4.7 million people at risk from drought in the Pacific alone.

 

The world’s insurers and reinsurers launch an "Appeal on Climate Change" in Paris in run-up to COP negotiations

27 November, 2015

The UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) Initiative, UN leaders, government ministers, and industry leaders launched an ‘Appeal on Climate Change’ calling for the success of COP21 negotiations in early December. The call came at the 7th International Insurance Conference, organised by the French Federation of Insurance Companies (FFSA), and focused on the themes of climate change and financial regulation. The Appeal expresses the world’s insurers and reinsurers hope that an agreement to limit global warming to 2C by the end of the century will be reached. An important gathering of insurance industry leaders and regulators and public policymakers, the 7th International Insurance Conference exemplifies how the public and private sectors can work together to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy.
Read the full AFA press release and Appeal on Climate Change.
See Achim Steiner’s video message.

 

Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition overseeing decarbonization of $230bn Assets Under Management, significantly surpassing their $100bn target

27 November, 2015

The Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC), which aims to support greenhouse gas emissions cuts by engaging institutional investors committed to decarbonizing their portfolios, is now overseeing the decarbonization of $230bn in Assets Under Management (AUM), dramatically surpassing its target of $100 bn.
Hermes Investment Management in the UK, MN Services in the Netherlands, BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Humanis, and Caisse des Dépôts (CDC) in France today joined the coalition, bringing the number of members to 23, managing total assets of $2.2 trillion.
With announcements of new members planned for COP 21, increasing PDC membership is a clear signal that a growing number of leading investors are committed to playing a key role in tackling climate change by reducing the carbon risks and impacts of their portfolios.
Read the full press release.

 

Natural Capital Declaration launches work programme to advance environmental risk management’ in the financial sector

26 November, 2015

The Natural Capital Declaration (NCD), co-convened by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Global Canopy Programme (GCP), announces the launch of the ‘Advancing Environmental Risk Management’ work programme. To be completed over two-and-a-half years from November 2015, the project aims to help catalyse sustainable investments and lending globally by reducing risks from environmental and natural resource pressures. The project will support the development of global methodologies to quantify risk and a have a focus on emerging markets such as South Africa, Indonesia, Colombia and Peru.
Read the scoping report.
Read the full press release.

 

UNEP FI to play leading role at COP 21 - Paris, France, 30 November-11 December

25 November, 2015

With the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy requiring trillions of US dollars, COP21 will highlight mounting concerns surrounding the costs and disruptive impacts that climate change will have on the global economy.
During COP21, UNEP FI will host, and participate in, both official and side events, substantiating the prominent role of the financial sector in mitigating climate change and financing solutions for a sustainable future. Presentations, discussion forums, and round table events will bring together key actors from the finance sector, international organisations and civil society to examine financial risks and opportunities associated with climate change.
COP21 will set the stage for a new generation of global climate change, facilitating collaboration to find innovative solutions to accelerate green growth and sustainable development.
See a detailed list of events.

 

UNEP FI plays central role at high-level national meeting on sustainable finance, Dubai

25 November, 2015

Following on from the first National Roundtable held in May 2015 in Dubai, UNEP FI led the way at a Roundtable of CEOs, as well as board members and senior managers, of national and international financial institutions from across the finance sector in the UAE. The aim of this meeting on 11th November was to raise awareness about sustainable finance and its vast potential for application in the UAE.
The meeting, which was co-organised by UNEP FI and the Ministry of Environment of the UAE in association with the Central Bank of the UAE, the Insurance Authority, Securities and Commodities Authority and the Dubai Financial Services Authority, was attended by high-level representatives from government, with opening remarks made by H.E. Minister of Environment and Water of the UAE, Dr. Rashid bin Fahad. Representatives from the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate for Energy and Climate Change also attended.
This highly successful day, which came in preparation for the hosting of the UNEP FI biennial Global Roundtable Event in Dubai in October 2016, was followed the next day by a workshop for practitioners from the Central Bank, and the banking industry sector. The workshop provided information on how to introduce and implement sustainable finance within their respective organisations.

 

UNEP FI delivers presentation at Convention on Biological Diversity Business & Biodiversity Forum 2015 “Practices, Solutions and the Way Forward”

19 November, 2015

UNEP Finance Initiative presented UNEP projects with a focus on financing mechanisms for biodiversity and sustainable development at the recent Corporate Responsibility Network FIBS and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Hosted by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment in Helsinki, the two day event brought together international biodiversity experts to foster an exchange knowledge of companies’ latest practices on business and biodiversity. The forum aimed to broaden knowledge regarding the central role corporations play in protecting biodiversity and deepen companies’ understanding of business opportunities connected to biodiversity and the risks associated with biodiversity loss.

 

New report co-published by UNEP FI showcases how cities are building resilience to climate risks

2 November, 2015

Launched last week by the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) Initiative and AXA Group, "Business unusual: Why the climate is changing the rules for our cities and SMEs" showcases how cities and SMEs are building resilience to climate risks.
With 60% of the world's population will be living in cities by 2030, cities and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are at the heart economies and societies around the world. As part of this pioneering international study more than 40 urban/city leaders were interviewed, and more than 1,000 SMEs were surveyed, spanning developed and developing countries. The report highlights the pivotal role played by the insurance industry in working with cities and SMEs to help build resilient and sustainable communities and economies.
View the full survey report (also available in French)
Read AXA's press release

 

Investors recognise need to hedge future environmental risks
David Pitt-Watson, Financial Times, 7 October 2015

19 October, 2015

Experts reckon we need to find about $1tn a year to address environmental sustainability; they call it the “clean trillion”. A trillion dollars sounds a lot, but not so much in comparison to the $225tn represented in capital markets, which in turn represents the savings of millions of people. Investment institutions looking after those savings should be seeking sustainable investment opportunities, to provide the returns needed to pay for pensions and other contingencies. It is difficult to see how we can have financial stability without environmental sustainability.
To read in full this Financial Times article by David Pitt-Watson, co-chair of UNEP FI, click here (requires FT login).

 

UNEP FI concludes 2015 Annual General Meeting

19 October, 2015

UNEP FI on 12-13 October 2015 held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Amundi in Paris. The recurring theme of the two-day proceedings was on the changing context for sustainable finance, with a focus on risks and impacts - The increasing diversity and technical specialisation in ESG risks (e.g. water risk tools in corporate bonds and decarbonisation of investment portfolios) and the strategic responses need to the vital challenges such as climate change and energy efficiency.
Read more.

 

Natural Capital Declaration Receives CHF 4.2 Million (US$ 4.3 million) Pledge from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) to Advance Environmental Risk Management in the Financial Sector

13 October, 2015

The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has made a significant commitment to support the Natural Capital Declaration (NCD), the global finance-led initiative convened by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Global Canopy Programme (GCP). SECO has allocated CHF 4.2 million (US$ 4.3 million) to support the NCD’s environmental risk management work programme to map natural capital risks across the portfolios of financial institutions and embed them in credit risk assessments.
Read the press release.

 

Major Banks Commit to Positive Impact Manifesto

13 October, 2015

The role of private finance in supporting the transition to a new economy is an integral and increasingly central part of the sustainability debate. Significant efforts are already underway to promote and enable the finance sector’s participation, yet despite these efforts, the availability of private finance remains limited. A core obstacle persists and threatens to impede the achievement of widespread change: the commercial viability and “bankability” of many of the products, activities and services that define the new economy remains elusive.
The UNEP FI Banking Commission announced today that they would take on this challenge with the launch of a “Positive Impact Manifesto” at the UNEP FI’s 2015 Annual General Meeting. The 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 positive impact on the economy, society or the environment once any potential negative impacts have been duly identified and mitigated”.
Download the Positive Impact Manifesto.
Read the press release.

 

‘UNEP Inquiry’ report reveals how environmental needs can be aligned with global financial system

8 October, 2015

Achieving sustainable development requires investment in an inclusive, green economy. Today, mismatches between what is financed and what needs financing contributes to continued environmental deterioration of natural capital and insufficient investment in infrastructure and people to secure inclusive prosperity. The UNEP Inquiry has explored how changes in financial system design can bring the environment more effectively into financial decision-making. Its insights have been informed by an international Advisory Council and insights from practical country experience and extensive international engagement and research reflected in over fifty research papers.
The report synthesises three key elements. Firstly, financing for sustainable development can be delivered through action within the financial system, as well as in the real economy. Secondly, policy innovations from developing and developed countries demonstrate how the financial system can be better aligned with sustainable development. Thirdly, systematic national action can now be taken to shape a sustainable financial system, complemented by international cooperation.
Download full report: The Financial System We Need
Download summary report: The Financial System We Need
Download media kit
Visit the launch event webpage

 

Visibility and recognition for energy efficiency and its financing at the G20 level

8 October, 2015

In the Communiqué following the first meeting of G20 Energy Ministers early October 2015, the benefits of energy efficiency have been “recognized”, and the Voluntary Energy Efficiency Investment Principles for G20 participating countries have been “welcomed”. This represents a major step forward globally on the policy side, and at very high level. The Ministerial Communiqué will be presented to the G20 Leaders' Summit in mid-November. Financial institutions have the opportunity to express the support of the financial sector on the topic and related mobilisation by endorsing the G20 Energy Efficiency Statement or the Declaration of Banks on Energy Efficiency Finance. Read the G20 Energy Ministerial Communiqué and the Press Release.

 

New Report Launched to End Debate Surrounding Environmental, Social and Governance Issue Integration and Fiduciary Duty

28 September, 2015

A report published by UNEP FI, with partners Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), UNEP Inquiry and the UN Global Compact aims to end the debate surrounding environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and fiduciary duty. The report, which was formally launched at the PRI in Person Conference, London, following a ‘soft’ launch in Rio de Janeiro, is based on an analysis of fiduciary duty and investment practices in eight countries - Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Africa, the UK and the US.
Despite significant progress, too many investors are not yet considering ESG issues in their investment research and decision-making. Failure to consider long-term investment value drivers, which include ESG issues, in investment practice is a failure of fiduciary duty. Furthermore, even with investors that do accept the argument that they should consider ESG issues in their investment processes, implementation remains variable. The report examines the reasons why investors are not systematically integrating ESG as part of their fiduciary duty and proposes practical actions for institutional investors and policy-makers to address these barriers.
Download the full report and additional Media advisory.

Join the UNEP FI and Principles for Responsible Insurance(PRI) for the launch of the report in the US and Canada.
In the US, 8am – 10am, Thursday 1 October, hosted by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, New York.
Detailed US event information and Register.
In Canada, 8am – 10am, Monday 5 October, hosted by BMO Global Management, Toronto.
Detailed Canadian event information and Register.

 

Natural Capital Risk and Opportunities Workshop

25 September, 2015

Join the Natural Capital Declaration and Citi, in affiliation with UNEP FI, to explore emerging approaches to understand financial risks and opportunities linked to natural resource constraints at the Natural Capital Risk and Opportunity Workshop on 26 October 2015 in New York, USA. Registration open until Friday, 16 October.

 

Brazilian insurance industry concentrates on vision for 2030

18 September, 2015

Leaders and officials from the Brazilian insurance industry, including insurers, reinsurers and the regulator - the Brazilian Superintendence of Private Insurance (SUSEP) - convened in Sao Paulo to discuss how Brazil can harness the full potential of its insurance market for sustainable development. The Insurance 2030 Brazil Roundtable, co-hosted by the Brazilian Insurance Confederation (CNseg) and the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) Initiative, was a strategic discussion on how key stakeholders can develop pathways for action, scale and impact through to 2030 - the horizon of the UN Sustainable Development Goals that will be adopted by governments this month.
This Insurance 2030 vision is particularly important since Brazil is the largest insurance market in Latin America, with about half of the premium volume in the region. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres delivered a message at the Roundtable, emphasising the central role of the collaboration of actors, including insurers, in extending the boundaries of insurability towards the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy.
Watch UNFCCC Executive Secretary's message.

 

Investing in energy makes economic sense

17 September, 2015

Seventy financial institutions from over 20 countries have endorsed a Declaration on Energy Efficiency Finance. The move was taken at a two-day conference in Istanbul, “Building a Global Energy Efficiency Financing Alliance”, held jointly by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and UNEP FI in the run up to the G20 summit in November and COP21 climate talks in Paris in December. Sending a positive signal on the mobilization of the banking sector to step up financing for energy efficiency, the Declaration stays open until the COP21. If you wish to support the Declaration, please contact Annie Degen at annie.degen(at)unep.org
Read the Declaration.
Read the press release.

 

New policy briefing on the links between financial stability and environmental sustainability

16 September, 2015

Aimed at financial policy-makers, UNEP FI’s new briefing Banking and Sustainability: Time for Convergence provides a synthesis of the current state of thinking on the stability-sustainability link, based on research and engagement work with experts and practitioners from banks, bank regulators as well as from various scientific disciplines.
The study has been produced following expert input from the UNEP Finance Initiative, the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL, working with and on behalf of the Banking Environment Initiative – BEI) and the UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System.
Read more

 

UNEP FI promotes Energy Efficiency to G20 leaders

15 September, 2015

UNEP FI is part of the Secretariat of the G20 Energy Efficiency Finance Task Group that aims to enhance the flow of finance for energy efficiency by providing analysis and recommendations to G20 policy makers, ahead of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in November 2015. The G20 Energy Efficiency Task Group has developed a ‘G20 Energy Efficiency Investor Statement’ to demonstrate to G20 leaders that the investment community is supportive of both energy efficiency activities and its financing. Investors are encouraged to sign this statement ahead of the Leaders’ Summit and the COP, and if possible before the end of September. For further information, please contact Annie Degen at annie.degen@unep.org

 

Government Subsidies Key Underlying Drivers of Forest Loss Says New UN-REDD. UNEP FI Policy Brief

9 September, 2015

A policy brief launched recently by the UN-REDD Programme in conjunction with UNEP FI ahead of the 14th World Forestry Congress, explores ways to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. The Fiscal incentives for agricultural commodity production: Options to forge compatibility with REDD+ brief aims to encourage the alignment of government subsidies and other fiscal instruments with the objectives of REDD+. The brief calls for greater compatibility between rural development, commodity production and REDD+ objectives to ensure long term sustainability of agricultural production, healthy ecosystems and wellbeing of local communities. The brief acknowledges that subsidy reform should be accompanied by a package of policies, such as sustainable commodity supply chain initiatives and development assistance, to manage the socio-economic impacts of change and reinforce conservation efforts.
Download report: English version Spanish version
Link to UNEP news article

 

New tool for corporate bond credit analysis reveals significant water scarcity risk

9 September, 2015

The Corporate Bonds Water Credit Risk Tool, developed jointly through the Natural Capital Declaration (NCD) – an UNEP FI-led partner organisation – the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the German Association for Environment and Sustainability in Financial Institutions (VfU), was unveiled today at the Principles for Responsible Investment in Person conference, London. Developed in response to a growing demand for analytics to integrate water risk factors into investment analytics, this tool allows financial institutions to incorporate water risk in corporate bond credit risk analyses. The tool contains an analysis of 24 companies in the beverages, mining and power sector, and allows users to add their own companies and analysis.
Link to related NCD press release.
Links to Integration of Water Stress into Corporate Bond Credit Analysis report:
Summary Version
Full Version

 

UNEP FI-led Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative Model Reporting Guidance and Letter Campaign to Exchanges

7 September, 2015

Produced in collaboration with a global multi-stakeholder advisory group of experts, the UNEP FI-led Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE) has today produced a Model Guidance to support all exchanges in their work to enhance transparency in their markets. Investors and companies increasingly look to exchanges to help support more sustainable markets, yet fewer than one-third of all exchanges offer guidance on reporting environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations. To advance this effort, the SSE will publicly track 60 markets to clarify which exchanges offer guidance to their issuers, or have committed to doing so. Seven exchanges have already committed to producing their own reporting guidance.
To support this global effort, the UNEP-FI created Principles for Responsible Investment has launched a letter campaign, led by Allianz Global Investors, inviting investors and companies to engage exchanges on the importance of transparency. The letter specifically asks all exchanges who do not currently have a guidance to put one in place by the end of 2016 and therefore highlights an important opportunity for creating more sustainable capital markets. The final deadline to sign the letter will be 7 October.
Press release here
Model Guidance here

 

Costs of Climate Change - Climate Finance

7 September, 2015

UNEP FI’s acting Head Eric Usher discussed the potential costs and risks for the global economy associated with climate change on Dukascopy TV. Highlighted, was the need to shift focus to risk based climate costs as well as those which are mean based. The challenge of overcoming the capital intensive nature associated with transitioning to a green economy was acknowledged along with the significant role played by the financial sector in this transition.
Link to online video.

 

UNEP FI emphasises role of risk and insurance communities in sub-Saharan Africa in addressing environmental and social challenges

1 September, 2015

UNEP FI delivered the keynote address at Commercial Risk Africa's Risk Frontiers - Southern Africa Summit in Gaborone, Botswana on 23 July. As the region with the lowest insurance penetration and density, there is a huge opportunity to embed sustainability in Africa whilst the African insurance industry and economy are growing. Engagements that are not limited to South Africa, the biggest African insurance market, are important to ensure an inclusive approach and to promote diversity.
The summit therefore gathered CEOs and experts from Africa and the international risk management and insurance communities, as well as various companies across sectors, to establish how environmental, social, political, financial and legal risks can be better managed, and to develop a professional corporate risk management community at national, regional and pan-African levels.
Read the report of the event.

 

UNEP FI partners with the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water to develop online survey on green finance

1 September, 2015

UNEP FI has been working closely with the Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to support its plans in the transition to a Green Economy. Financing is a major factor in fulfilling the UAE’s ‘Green Agenda’ and a key element in supporting and facilitating sustainable development. This financing covers a range of projects, businesses, industry, organisations and general events and campaigns.
Within this framework and as a first step to encourage the embedding of green and sustainable finance in the UAE, UNEP FI has worked with MoEW to develop an online questionnaire to map out the current state of green finance in the UAE and ascertain the current funding practices of green projects. The study will conclude by the end of August and will highlight the challenges and expectations of the market. A summary of the outcomes of the survey will be published but without identifying individual institutions or respondents. Any questions will be responded to at greendevelopment@moew.gov.ae or by telephoning 04 214 8512.
Survey part 1
Survey part 2

 

UNEP FI and the World Resources Institute launch framework for financial institutions to manage carbon risks

31 August, 2015

The transition to the low-carbon economy is of vital strategic relevance to financial intermediaries and investors across financial markets, both in terms of opportunities and risks. Whilst an unprecedented increase in private finance is required for investments to underpin the low-carbon economy, the transition also presents significant financial risks. These range from a reduced profitability of investee companies to full loan defaults from the stranding of assets. This UNEPFI / WRI report therefore establishes a framework that offers guidance to a range of financial institutions to systematically address the financial risks linked to carbon-intensive business models and assets. Read the report.

 

New Lending and Investment Tool Sets Agricultural Supply Chain on Sustainable Path, Reducing Deforestation Threat

29 July, 2015

A new lending and investment policy tool for financial institutions, unveiled today, aims to reduce the deforestation risk caused by the unsustainable production, trade, processing and retail of soft commodities, especially soy, palm oil and beef.
New research by UNEP FI and the Natural Capital Declaration highlights the critical need to fundamentally strengthen how financial institutions view, address and manage deforestation and degradations risks.
Read the full press release.
Access both the report and the tool.

 

UNEP Applauds Potential of Addis Ababa Action Agenda to Speed Financing for Development

16 July, 2015

Governments agreed Thursday to a series of measures that support the redirection of international financing towards supporting sustainable development.
The Addis Ababa Action Agenda — reached ahead of the SDGs Summit in September and the crucial UN Climate Change talks in Paris, later his year — provides a foundation for implementing the global sustainable development agenda. It presents an ambitious financing framework that recognizes the need for public and private resource mobilization to meet the sustainable financing challenge.
Read the press release.
Photo: UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner speaking at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa

 

UNEP calls for “loud revolution” to complete the transition to a world green economy

15 July, 2015

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has called for a “loud revolution” to mobilise the trillions of dollars needed for the transition to a greener, more sustainable world economy. The call, which came at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, urged individual countries and the international community to take action to introduce new, and expand upon existing, innovations on sustainable development.
Read more.

 

UNEP FI leads the way on sustainability issues among Nigeria financial sector

2 July, 2015

In line with its commitment to embed sustainability across the finance sector worldwide, UNEP FI, in partnership with Nigeria’s Financial Services Regulation Coordination Committee (FSRCC) held awareness raising sessions on sustainable finance for Board members of the 10 member agencies of the FSRCC on 1-2 July, 2015, in Abuja, Nigeria. The objectives of the one-and-a-half day meetings were to brief the participants on the developments around the concept of sustainable finance internationally, examine the relevant developments in the Nigerian financial system and explore ways for promoting sustainable finance in the Nigeria financial industry in line with international best practice.
Read more.

 

UNEP FI's PSI leads the way at Global Insurance Forum of the International Insurance Society, New York

18 June, 2015

The UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) Initiative and the UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System were key players at the 2015 Global Insurance Forum of the International Insurance Society, held in New York from 14 - 17 June. The forum culminated in a UN - Insurance Sector Summit held at the UN Headquarters, at which United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, Mr. Achim Steiner, delivered a keynote address on insurance and global sustainable development challenges and opportunities.
Read the press release.
Watch Mr Steiner’s video address.

 

UNEP FI and partners release case study on the use of climate information in the finance sector

10 June, 2015

Using the example of South-African insurer Santam this report portrays how climatic shifts can lead to business challenges and new financial risks. It details how Santam decided to respond to these new threats; how a corresponding organizational process was initiated and carried out; and, importantly, the role of climate information in steering Santam's response measures towards increased climate-resilience.
Read the report.

 

Green economy financing gathers momentum amongst UAE financial institutions

25 May, 2015

At an unprecedented national conference held in Dubai, financial institutions (FIs), financial regulators, Green Economy policy makers and businesses gathered from across the UAE to commence dialogue on motivating the finance sector to become actively involved in the transition to a greener, more sustainable economy in the UAE and globally.
The conference – the ‘National Roundtable on Financing and Investing in Green Economy’ – co-hosted by UNEP FI and attended by 150 participants, explored the opportunities and challenges faced by the UAE finance sector in financing and investing in the Green Economy.
Read the UNEP FI brochure (English & Arabic).
Read the press release.
Read the speech by UNEP FI’s acting Head Mr Eric Usher.

 

Climate Finance Week: PDC, co-founded by UNEP FI, creating momentum to drive down GHG emissions with decarbonization of $45billion AUM; President Hollande hails its work

22 May, 2015

‘Climate Finance Week’, a series of events held in Paris on 19-22 May in preparation for the COP21 in December, successfully showcased a number of activities to combat climate change being led by UNEP FI and partners. The Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC), a project co-founded by UNEP FI, has now been joined by the UK’s Environment Agency Pension Fund, Local Government Super (LGS) in Australia and the French pension fund for civil servants (ERAFP), bringing the total number of PDC members to 12. This means that the PDC is now overseeing the decarbonization of US$ 45bn AUM, well on its way to the target of US$ 100bn in AUM by COP 21. The news comes in the wake of the endorsement of the work of the PDC by the President of France, François Hollande.
Read the full press release about the new members of PDC.
Read President Hollande’s comments in full.
Read a summary of UNEP FI’s work during Climate Finance Week.

 

UNEP FI and partners release draft report on climate-performance metrics and strategies for asset owners

19 May, 2015

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), in collaboration with World Resource Institute’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the 2 Degree Investing Initiative, have released a final draft for discussion of their report “Climate Strategies and Metrics: Exploring Options for Institutional Investors”, at an event during Paris Climate Week.
The aim of the report is to inform institutional investors exploring to better align their portfolios with the low-carbon economy. In particular, the report serves as a valuable input to UNEP FI's Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition given that it further clarifies and compares different types of decarbonization and the different metrics through which ‘decarbonization progress’ can be measured. The report will formally published later in the summer.

 

UNEP FI supports Bank al Maghrib CEO convening to launch sustainable finance strategy in Morocco

19 May, 2015

One year after Bank al Maghrib (Moroccan Central Bank) held its first convening on finance and sustainability issues in June 2014, UNEP FI, together with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has now lent its support to the Central Bank. On 19th May Bank al Maghrib convened a national CEO Roundtable, inviting all the country's banks to establish a Sustainable Finance Strategy for Morocco. The Roundtable was hosted by Governor Abdellatif Jouahri and addressed by Mr. Abdelouahed Fikrat, Secretary General for the Environment, followed by an expert panel featuring BMCE Bank, IFC, Societe Generale, and UNEP FI.
A working group co-led by Bank al Maghrib and GPBM (Moroccan Banking Association) will now be formed to develop a roadmap for the country’s banking sector. The roadmap is intended to contribute to achieving Morocco’s impending National Strategy on Sustainable Development, a policy framework that is currently being adopted in the wake of new environmental legislation passed in 2014.
Read the full press release.

Governor Abdellatif Jouahri, Bank al-Maghrib, during discussions at the Roundtable

 

South East Asian Capital Market Leaders Pursue Sustainable Business Agenda

18 May, 2015

The United Nations’ Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, a peer-to-peer learning platform for exploring how stock exchanges can promote improved corporate performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, held its first Regional Dialogue for South East Asia in the heart of Bangkok earlier today. Co-convened by UNEP FI, the Dialogue brought together capital market leaders to tackle the most relevant and pressing sustainability topics in the region’s capital markets. In a specially recorded message to mark the occasion, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, Mr Achim Steiner, spoke of the invaluable contribution that the SSE can make in promoting the transition to a green economy.
Watch Mr Steiner’s video message. (7:30 mins)
Read the full press release about the event.
To access press coverage click here.
Korea Stock Exchange joins SSE Initiative.

 

UNEP FI’s PSI jointly hosts unprecedented ‘Roundtable’ on insurance industry and sustainable development

12 May, 2015

UNEP FI’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the insurance industry, jointly hosted a Roundtable at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue on Insurance 2030: Policies and partnerships for sustainable development on 11th and 12th May. The Roundtable convened insurance leaders, policymakers and stakeholders to begin the essential process of developing the strategic framework to harness the full potential of the insurance industry for sustainable development through to 2030. It proposed a suite of policy and partnership options that would strengthen the alignment between the insurance industry and sustainable development, and form the basis for a set of “Insurance Development Goals”. Key speakers included the UNEP Executive Director, Mr Achim Steiner.
Read the full summary of the conference.
Roundtable organisers from UNEP and Swiss Re with Mr. Bruno Oberle (back row middle), Director of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment

 

G7 Countries, Top Insurers Team Up for Climate Change Resilience

7 May, 2015

German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Müller, has unveiled the new G7 Initiative on Climate Risk Insurance, during a high-level forum attended by, as well as decision makers from the G7 and developing countries, the insurance industry, academia and civil society. Efforts to attract greater engagement by the insurance industry have been spearheaded by UNEP FI’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) - the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the insurance industry, with 80 members representing more than 15% of world premium and US $9 trillion in assets. Read more
UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner (first left) talking to the high level panel during the G7 Conference on Climate Risk Insurance

 

UNEP FI leads sustainable finance support for Turkey’s finance sector

5 May, 2015

The Sustainable Finance Forum Turkey, launched in 2013 by UNEP FI in partnership with the Business Council for Sustainable Development and Global Compact Turkey, hosted its third multi-stakeholder discussion on 5th May in Istanbul. The topic under discussion was sustainable finance in Turkey in the context of the current international processes on climate and sustainable development.
The Forum, dedicated to understanding the complex interlinkages between finance and sustainability, and the practical ways to drive sustainability into the finance sector culture, this year focused on a broad range of subjects. These included the Turkish finance sector and its alignment with the post-Kyoto political commitments on climate change, water-related environmental and social risks and opportunities for finance, corporate governance in today's financial markets, and practical tools and initiatives to mainstream sustainability in finance, with a focus on long-term financing.
To read more, click here.

 

UNEP FI co-led Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative to hold ground-breaking South-East Asia Regional Dialogue in Bangkok, Thailand, 18th May

5 May, 2015

The UNEP FI co-led Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE) will hold its first SSE Regional Dialogue in South East Asia on 18th May in Bangkok, Thailand. 19 stock exchanges have already partnered with the SSE, representing more than 17,000 listed companies and approximately $36 trillion in market capitalisation.

The inaugural South-East Asia Regional Dialogue in Bangkok will offer a unique platform for CEOs of stock exchanges, listed companies and institutional investors, along with high-level policy makers and regulators, to demonstrate leadership on sustainable development and investment. The challenges facing capital markets will be tackled head-on, with the expectation that more exchanges will join the SSE, and as importantly, capital market players in the region can begin to frame their work for the launch of the SDGs in September.

You can find more details about the event here and you can register here.

 

UNEP FI's Principles for Sustainable Insurance launches call for insurance industry commitments to disaster resilience and sustainable development

1 May, 2015

The UNEP FI-created Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the insurance industry, has launched an unprecedented initiative designed to encourage insurance organisations to demonstrate leadership by making voluntary commitments to build disaster resilience and promote sustainable development. The commitments support the aims of all UN-convened global policy frameworks culminating this year, on disaster risk reduction, financing for development, the Sustainable Development Goals, and climate change. The PSI is backed by insurers representing about 15 per cent of the world’s premium volume with US $9 trillion in assets under their management. These insurance commitments follow the successful launch of the PSI’s “United for disaster resilience” statement at the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan in March, outlining the roles of the insurance industry in helping implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

 

UNEP FI Initiative represented at New York Stock Exchange bell-ringing event

23 April, 2015

The Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC), an initiative created in part by UNEP FI, was today represented at a meeting at the New York Stock Exchange on the need for low-carbon investments. The meeting, to mark Earth Day, and chaired by the UN Pension fund, was a platform to help mainstream the issue of decarbonization and to encourage other pension funds to decarbonize their portfolios.
Click here to read more.

 

Establishing China’s Green Financial System – Report of the Green Finance Task Force

22 April, 2015

China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, has launched a ground-breaking report that sets out in specific and practical terms an ambitious agenda of how China can green its rapidly developing financial and capital markets.

The report, entitled “Establishing China’s Green Financial System”, is the outcome of a Green Finance Task Force which was tasked to develop policy, regulatory and market-innovations that would better align China’s financial system with the needs of green industry and sustainable development. The Task Force was co-convened by the Research Bureau of the People’s Bank of China (PBC) and the United Nations Environment Programme project Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System (`UNEP Inquiry`).
Read the report.

 

UNEP FI project takes further step on making sustainability full part of investors duties in Japan

21 April, 2015

UNEP FI and PRI’s landmark project on Fiduciary Duty – an investigation into why environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are not routinely incorporated into investor portfolios – took a significant step forward at the Responsible Investor Asia 2015 conference in Tokyo, Japan. The panel discussion, which included key players from across the industry, involved a forensic analysis of the Japanese investment market and the barriers to ESG integration.

In all, the project will examine the barriers to ESG integration in eight countries – Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Africa, UK, and USA – and will propose practical actions for institutional investors and policy-makers to address these barriers.

View the event notes.

 

Vacancy for Head of Unit for UNEP FI - applications open

18 April, 2015

UNEP FI is looking for a dynamic Head to lead its work in engaging financial institutions to embed sustainable development practices across their operations. Created in 1992 as a platform linking the United Nations with the financial sector globally, it currently has over 200 members representing Banks, Insurers, and Investors from around the world.
Read more.

 

California department of insurance joins UNEP FI’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance

7 April, 2015

UNEP FI is delighted to announce that the California Department of Insurance, led by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, has recently become a signatory to the UNEP FI-created Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI). California is the largest insurance market in the US and the sixth largest in the world. The California Department of Insurance has taken a leading role in addressing climate change risk in the US insurance industry, and is the second insurance regulator to join the PSI, after the Philippine Insurance Commission. PSI membership in North America was also recently reinforced when TD Insurance in Canada became a PSI signatory company.

 

Fiduciary Duty and ESG Integration: Some Reflections from the UK

20 March, 2015

On 19 March 2015, PRI and UNEP FI convened an investor roundtable to examine how prevailing definitions and interpretations of fiduciary duty affect UK investors’ approach to the integration of ESG issues into their investment processes.
The argument that investors should take account of ESG issues in their investment processes is now relatively uncontroversial. To deliver this change requires that attention is paid to training, behaviours, expectations, professional ethics and transparency across the entire investment industry.
View the event notes.
Reference: Responsible Investor Article (login required).

 

Top Insurers Call for Urgent Action to Reduce Risk from Natural Disasters, Highlight US $190 Billion Annual Losses and Threat to Lives and Livelihoods

18 March, 2015

Sendai, Japan, 14 March 2015 – Top insurers from around the world have called on governments, Saturday, to step up global efforts to build resilience against natural disasters, highlighting that average economic losses from disasters in the last decade amounted to around US $190 billion annually, while average insured losses were at about US $60 billion.
The 'United for Disaster Resilience Statement' was released at the opening of the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction by top insurance companies, members of the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI)—the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the insurance industry. PSI is backed by insurers representing about 15 per cent of the world’s premium volume and US $9 trillion in assets under their management.
The Statement urges governments to adopt the UN Post-2015 Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, emphasizing that the insurance industry is well placed to understand the economic and social impact of disasters given that its core business is to understand, manage and carry risk.
Read the full press release.
Read extensive media coverage of the launch of UNEP FI's PSI initiatives at the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.

 

US$6 trillion Asset Owners meet to address climate change, Columbia University, New York, 9th March

13 March, 2015

Asset owners representing USD $5.8 trillion of assets-under-management attended a high-level workshop co-organized by UNEP FI on “Mobilizing Financial Markets to Catalyze Economic Decarbonization”. The high level meeting represented an excellent opportunity for both governments and investors to discuss how the finance sector can take the lead on economic decarbonization, and the most promising approaches for investor action. It was attended by the French government’s special envoy on climate change and UN Assistant Secretary General on Climate Change Janos Pasztor.

The workshop is a follow up to efforts to mobilize the financial sector behind decarbonization that began at the UN Climate Summit in September 2014. By demonstrating the tremendous momentum coming from the private sector, UNEP FI hopes to support a meaningful agreement at the Conference of the Parties in December 2015. Between now and COP 21, UNEP FI’s Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC) will assemble a coalition of investors who in aggregate will commit to decarbonizing at least USD 100bn in institutional investment across asset classes. Thus far, the PDC membership has grown to approximately USD$35billion in AUM, but much more growth is needed.

 

Launch of Energy Efficiency – the first fuel for the EU Economy - Final Report covering Buildings, Industry and SMEs

27 February, 2015

The Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (“EEFIG”) was established as a specialist expert working group by the European Commission and UNEP FI, in late 2013, as a result of the dialogue between Directorate-General for Energy and UNEP FI, as both institutions were engaging with financial institutions to determine how to overcome the well documented challenges inherent to obtaining long-term financing for energy efficiency.
Founders believe that the creation of EEFIG represents the first time such a dialogue and work platform has been established between the Commission and the financial sector on the topic of energy efficiency finance.
To read the report click here.

 

UNEP FI, in partnership with the PRI, the UN Global Compact and the UNEP Inquiry launches a project to scale up ESG integration as part on investors’ fiduciary duties

18 February, 2015

Fiduciary duties exist to ensure that those who manage other people’s money act in the interests of beneficiaries. Ten years after the original Freshfields and Fiduciary II reports produced by UNEP FI, and despite significant progress, many large investors have yet to make commitments to responsible investment and to consider ESG issues as part of their fiduciary duties. Even among PRI signatories, most investors have yet to fully integrate ESG issues into their investment processes. The report will propose practical actions for institutional investors and policy-makers to address identified and remaining barriers. More information...

 

UNEP FI supports EC efforts for stronger long-term shareholder engagement and corporate governance practices

23 January, 2015

UNEP addresses a letter of support to the European Commission’s proposed revision of the Shareholder Rights Initiative, to encourage long-term shareholders engagement and better corporate governance practices. The topic is particularly relevant for UNEP FI in the context of past work on corporate governance, and the promotion of long-term and sustainable investment. It also comes as a follow-up to UNEP FI contribution to the European Commission’s consultations on the Green Paper on the Long-Term Financing of the European Economy.
Read the letter of support.

 

At COP 20 in Lima UNEP FI starts demystifying private finance vis-a-vis the international climate process

5 December, 2014

There is now – probably more than ever before – a shared understanding in the international climate process that tackling climate change will not be possible without a major mobilization, or a ‘re-channelling’, of private finance. The central question therefore becomes how scarce public financial means can best be used to unlock mitigation and adaptation investment. Finding answers to this question is what UNEP Finance Initiative’s ‘Demystifying’ series aims to contribute to. It does so by helping to increase policy-makers’ understanding of private finance, and by introducing a generic logic and approach – a sequence of questions – that climate negotiators can follow when debating, and ultimately designing, the public interventions required for the unlocking of private climate finance.
Read Demystifying private climate finance, Executive Summary.

 

UNEP FI Human Rights Guidance Tool for the Financial Sector - an online signposting tool for finance practitioners on human rights risks

1 December, 2014

Originally launched in 2007 at UNEP FI Global Roundtable in Melbourne, the Human Rights Guidance Tool for the Financial Sector is a unique tool that allows financial institutions to assess the human rights risks in their business operations, with a focus on lending, and supply chain.
Taking account of the rapidly evolving global business and human rights agenda, a fully revised version of the tool is now made available to finance practitioners. To access the tool click here.

 

Join Growing United Nations Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition

10 November, 2014

In September at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit, a group of investors made a commitment to not only advance investor transparency on climate change, but to also start tackling greenhouse gas emissions and risks associated with their mainstream portfolios by launching the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC).

The PDC aims to catalyze investor action on climate change. It will highlight and enable investors to understand current best practices on the positioning of portfolios for a low-carbon economy. You can join the PDC now, by following the guidelines provided here.

 

Training: Integrating environment, social & governance perspectives in investment decisions

6 November, 2014

UNEP FI in partnership with IL&FS and the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) is launching the first session of a quarterly training programme on ESG integration for investors in India.

The two days training will be hosted by the Bombay Stock Exchange, a member of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative (SSE) on November 28-29 in Mumbai. It will aim to equip Indian investors and investment professionals with a methodology and tools to take ESG factors into account in their investment decision making process. More information here.

 

Stability & Sustainability in Banking Reform: Are Environmental Risks Missing in Basel III?

16 October, 2014

Developed in partnership with the Banking Environment Initiative/BEI (an Initiative convened by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership /CISL) and supported by Bloomberg LP.
This study explores the role that financial – and in particular banking – regulation can play in the transition to a green economy. In particular it analyses whether the Basel Capital Accord (‘Basel III’) adequately addresses systemic environmental risks in the context of its overriding objective of banking stability.
View the Report
View the Executive Briefing

 

Launch of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges 2014 Report on Progress

14 October, 2014

The Sustainable Stock Exchanges 2014 Report on Progress was launched at the Global Dialogue in Geneva on 14 October. The report containing a review of sustainability initiatives at 55 exchanges found substantial progress, engagement, and a set of emerging best practices among exchanges regarding promotion of sustainability reporting and sustainable business practices more generally. However, it also recognized clear potential for the sector to do more. The report notes that many developments in the policy and regulatory landscape have been supportive of late, and highlights practical measures that policy makers and stock exchanges can take to promote sustainability, even in the face of systemic obstacles to sustainable capital markets. View the press release and the report.

 

Commitment to decarbonize USD 100 billion of investment

23 September, 2014

A group of leading institutional investors - including two of the largest asset managers, and pension funds in Europe - have joined forces with the United Nations Environment Programme and its Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), to substantially reduce the carbon footprint of USD100 billion of institutional investment worldwide. Institutional investors are owners of large segments of the global economy. Therefore, it is expected that having a critical mass of them decarbonize their portfolios will send a strong and unequivocal signal to carbon-intensive companies that carbon-efficiency is now center-stage. Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP said, “Institutional investors often have long-term investment horizons and are diversified across the economy. They have an interest in the long-term stability of the whole system rather than the short-term performance of individual market actors. That is why avoiding disruptive climate change, a truly systemic threat, is of such intrinsic interest to them.”
View the Press Release and the Coalition's flyer.

 

World's leading institutional investors managing USD 24 trillion call for carbon pricing, ambitious global climate deal

18 September, 2014

Today, more than 340 global institutional investors representing over USD 24 trillion in assets issued a Global Statement calling on government leaders to provide stable, reliable and economically meaningful carbon pricing that helps redirect investment commensurate with the scale of the climate change challenge. The Statement was coordinated by UNEP FI in collaboration with Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), Ceres' Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) in the United States, the European Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), the Investors Group on Climate Change (IGCC) in Australia and New Zealand and the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC). Achim Steinter, UN Secretary- General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programmed said, "The perception prevails that we need to choose between economic well-being or climate stability. The truth is that we need both. What is needed is an unprecedented re-channeling of investment from today's economy into the low-carbon economy of tomorrow. Investors are owners of large segments of the global economy as well as custodians of citizens' savings around the world. Having such a critical mass of them demand a transition to the low-carbon and green economy is exactly the signal Governments need in order to move to ambitious action quickly."

A report on Financial Institutions Taking Action on Climate Change was also launched. The report highlights examples of action being taken by investors to support a low carbon, climate resilient economy.
View information on the Statement and report at www.investorsonclimatechange.org.

 

UN and World’s Insurers Unite to Tackle Natural Disaster Risk

27 June, 2014

Today the PSI Initiative launched the Global Resilience Project, which aims to tackle natural disaster risk by identifying the most effective measures to combat disasters and helping communities implement them. Led by Insurance Australia Group, the PSI Global Resilience Project has just completed its first phase. This assessed the effectiveness of a range of disaster risk reduction measures across the three most devastating types of natural hazard—cyclone, earthquake and flood. The findings are outlined in a new report, Building disaster-resilient communities and economies. Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Under-Secretary-General of the UN said, “As we transform the global economy into one that is low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive – a key topic under discussion this week at the first United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi as we look for ways to bring in more capital investment to finance this transition – we must also adapt and invest in making our communities and economies climate and disaster-resilient. The Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative harnesses the wealth of risk management expertise in the insurance industry and is putting it to work to find solutions for global sustainability challenges.” The global report was presented at a UN event in London convening insurance industry leaders and key stakeholders. Read the press release. View the report (launch version) (PDF 7.2 MB). More information here.

 

Second year anniversary of the launch of the Principles for Sustainable Insurance

25 June, 2014

Message from the UNEP Executive Director (June 2014)

 

Symposium on Financing a Green Economy

25 June, 2014


Against the backdrop of the inaugural United Nations Environment Assembly, the Symposium on Financing a Green Economy was held on 25 June 2014, to discuss the critical importance of financing in enabling the transition to a green and inclusive economy. In particular the focus of the Symposium was on the rules, policies, regulations, and standards necessary to shape the financial system and drive the allocation of capital. More information here. Read the UNEP news release.

 

Demystifying Climate Change to the Financial Community

24 June, 2014

In partnership with Cambridge University and IIGCC, UNEP FI has developed a summary and fast-track guide to the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the physical, economic, and regulatory impacts of climate change from a finance sector perspective.
View the Report View the Press Release

 

Integrated Governance – A new model of governance for sustainability

16 June, 2014

Integrated Governance – A new model of governance for sustainability was launched today at the margins of the International Corporate Governance Network’s (ICGN) Annual Conference. The report by UNEP FI outlines a new model of corporate governance for sustainability and was developed in consultation with leading governance experts from Harvard Business School and UNEP FI’s Asset Management Working Group (AMWG).
View the Report View the Press Release View the Presentation slides

 

Sustainability Metrics: Translation and Impact on Property Investment and Management

7 May, 2014

Today in London, UNEP FI launched the publication Sustainability Metrics: Translation and Impact on Property Investment and Management. Led by the Property Working Group of UNEP FI and developed by the Centre for Real Estate at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the report was brought about through the support of RICS, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC).
The report provides a framework for a corporate real estate sustainability management (CRESM) system for property investment and management organisations, and offers a pragmatic three level approach (corporate, portfolio and single building level) that aims to help the industry manage the complexity of sustainability metrics and to organize information flows more efficiently.
View the Report, Japanese version
View the Executive Summary
View the Press Release View the Flyer View the Event Page

 

United Nations Agencies and the Private Sector Partner to Highlight Progress for REDD+ Implementation in Asia

6 May, 2014

United Nations (UN) agencies and the private sector convened on the 5th and 6th of May 2014 at the Forests Asia Summit in Jakarta to promote reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) as part of a green economy. The United Nations Office for REDD+ Coordination in Indonesia (UNORCID), the UN-REDD Programme, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UNEP FI jointly hosted two REDD+ related events at the summit entitled ‘Building natural capital: How REDD+ can support a green economy’ and ‘Seeing Green in REDD – Sharing experiences on the equity and economics of REDD+ pilot projects’. View the Press Release. More information here.

 

How to Drive New Finance for Energy Efficiency Investments

15 April, 2014

The latest report by the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG) titled Energy Efficiency - The First Fuel for the EU Economy. How to Drive New Finance for Energy Efficiency Investments was launched in Brussels today. The interim report of the group co-convened by the European Commission / Directorate-General for Energy Energy and UNEP FI focuses on the financing of energy efficiency in buildings in the European Union. The report is organised around the drivers of both supply and demand for financing of projects, the policy-led and market-led approaches and instruments to stimulate more investments in energy efficiency in buildings, as well as some interim recommendations to policy-makers. The report was launched in tandem with the European launch of the publication Commercial Real Estate: Unlocking the Energy Efficiency Retrofit Investment Opportunity, a report by the Property Working Group of UNEP FI. View the report here. See the event page here.

 

Energy Efficient Measures in Building Retrofits Can Deliver Increased Profits and Address Climate Change

26 February, 2014

Energy efficient buildings can deliver up to 20 per cent reduction in energy consumption and provide an overall better market value for investors, says a new report, Commercial Real Estate: Unlocking the Energy Efficiency Retrofit Investment Opportunity, by the UNEP Finance Initiative. Buildings account for approximately a third of the world's energy consumption and global greenhouse gas emissions, and are a high-impact sector for urgent mitigation action on climate change.
"As building owners and operators, real estate professionals have an opportunity to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions while increasing the value of their real estate assets," said Charles Anderson, Director, UNEP Finance Initiative. "The paper strives to show investors that there are options available for all property mixes, and that possessing and managing the right information is crucial to unlocking the energy efficiency retrofit potential."
Read the publication. Japanese version.
View the press release here. See the event page here. Further briefings on the report will be held on: 10 April in Vancouver (more information) 15 April in Brussels (more information)

 

Former CEO to Steward UNEP’s Financial Partnership

24 February, 2014

Charles Anderson, former CEO of Sovereign, New Zealand’s largest life and health insurance business, has joined UNEP to head up its Finance Initiative. Mr. Anderson has more than 30 years of experience in the financial sector and has played key leadership roles in integrating Environmental, Social and Governance concerns into the private sector. As CEO of Sovereign, he was active in the global process that produced the landmark Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) launched at Rio+20 by UNEP FI. Previously he worked at Aviva as Managing Director for Asia Pacific and was an Associate of UK based Leader’s Quest, a not-for-profit promoting social change. He has also served as a Board member of the New Zealand Council for Sustainable Business Development and as Deputy Chair of the Financial Services Council in New Zealand. David Pitt-Watson, Co-Chair of UNEP FI, said, "We are delighted to have Charles as our new director at this critical time. Over the coming months world leaders are engaged in intense discussions to reach agreement on how we secure a framework for the sustainable development of the planet. We all recognize that the purpose of the finance industry is to fund that development. As policy makers and as financiers we face a huge challenge, and a huge opportunity. UNEP FI’s unique partnership is precisely the sort of organization which can address that challenge and respond to the opportunity”. View the press release here. Read Charles' Bio here.

 

New Report Calls for US$12bn Boost for pre-2020 Emission Reductions from Forests and Land Use

31 January, 2014

A new report, Stimulating Interim Demand for REDD+ Emissions Reductions, from the Interim Forest Finance Project - a collaboration of the Global Canopy Programme, the Amazon Environmental Research Institute, Fauna & Flora International, and UNEP Finance Initiative - reveals that demand for REDD+ emission reductions could be as little as 3% of the supply between 2015 and 2020. The report explains the risks of doing nothing, and outlines a suite of options for increasing demand.
View the publication here. View the press release here.

 

Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System

23 January, 2014

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched an Inquiry today into policy options for guiding the global financial system to invest in the transition to a green economy. In the wake of the global financial crisis, there is growing recognition that the financial system must be not only sound and stable, but also sustainable in the way it enables the transition to a low-carbon, green economy. The Inquiry, extending over 18 months to mid-2015, aims to engage, inform and guide policy makers, financial market actors and other stakeholders concerned with the health of the financial system and its potential for shaping the future economy. David Pitt-Watson, Co-Chair of UNEP FI, said: "The world's financial institutions are there to finance a growing, sustainable economy, but the evidence suggests that, today, the industry performs that task poorly. The Inquiry will support the urgent need to reshape a practical and agreed agenda of reform that ensures that the finance industry fulfills its purpose." More information here.

 

Green Growth Knowledge Platform Launched

22 January, 2014

A robust, state-of-the-art knowledge-sharing platform was launched today by the newly established Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP), a diverse consortium of leading institutions and organizations working in areas related to green growth and green economy. The website is in response to increasing demand from both policy makers and the public for information on ways to achieve sustainable economic growth. The website – which features a searchable e-library with over 600 technical and policy resources, as well as dashboards with data and policies for 193 countries – transcends the traditional divide between economy and the environment. More information here.

 

Warsaw Exchange Joins the SSEI

17 December, 2013

The Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) has joined the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative with representatives of the WSE signing a Voluntary Commitment Letter in a ceremony held in Warsaw. WSE is the ninth exchange to join SSE, the first SSE participant in Central and Eastern Europe and the first European participant other than exchange groups. The SSE partners are NYSE Euronext, NASDAQ OMX, Borsa Istanbul, BM&FBBovespa (Brazil), the Bombay Stock Exchange, the Egyptian Exchange, the Johannesburg Exchange, and the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Read the press release here. More information here.

 

Insuring Climate Resilience

10 December, 2013

UNEP FI recently released the Insuring Climate Resilience report as part of its COP 19 activities. This study, based on a survey among over 50 private sector insurance companies worldwide, explores how insurance companies and governments can work together to provide to vulnerable communities, particularly in developing countries, access to the insurance services needed to better cope with weather extremes. View the publication here.

 

WWF Learning Series: REDD+ Finance Webinar

4 December, 2013

UNDP and UNEP FI jointly presented on REDD+ finance in the December webinar of the WWF Learning Series. In this learning session, an overview of the operational modalities of REDD+ financial arrangements at the national level was presented as well as a discussion on some topline lessons learned from REDD+ finance work so far. UNEP Finance Initiative shared perspectives on private sector results-based payments. The webinar recording is available here.

 

Frankfurt Working Group Meeting on Climate Finance

3 December, 2013

On 2-3 December UNEP, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and the Office of the UN Secretary General, jointly convened a meeting to discuss how the finance sector could make a meaningful contribution to the Secretary General's Leaders Summit on Climate Change in September of 2014. Over 40 organisations participated and crafted a detailed work-programme going forward.

 

UNEP FI strengthens its outreach in South Africa

29 November, 2013

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) officially welcomed its most recent member in South Africa on 29th November. The membership of The Land and Agricultural Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) became official at a signing ceremony held in Pretoria after Mr. Phakamani Hadebe, CEO of Land Bank, and Ms. Madeleine Ronquest, UNEP FI Co-Chair signed the ‘UNEP Statement by Financial Institutions on Sustainable Development’. This event marks an important step in Land Bank’s journey towards an integration as a responsible member of the global economy, with the launch of the bank’s Environmental and Social Sustainability Programme. ‘We are proud of welcoming Land Bank as part of the UNEP FI family and its African Task Force’ said Madeleine Ronquest, UNEP FI Co-Chair and Chair of the African Task Force.

 

From Rio+20 to Beijing 2013: Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative reaches next milestone

29 November, 2013

The UNEP FI events in China's capital in November 2013 represented another milestone in the transformational journey of the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) Initiative, which was launched at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). Endorsed by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, the landmark principles have quickly led to the largest collaborative initiative between the United Nations and the insurance industry. At the 2nd PSI Annual General Meeting, a three-year PSI strategy was approved. The strategy was developed by the PSI Board this year in consultation with PSI signatories and supporters worldwide and a range of key stakeholders, setting the direction for the global initiative in the ..... Read more

 

Launch of the UNEP FI Online Guide to Banking & Sustainability

28 November, 2013

Since its launch at the GRT, the Online Guide to Banking & Sustainability, a tool to help bank employees actively integrate ESG issues into their work by learning from best practice case studies, is quickly becoming a global reference for banking institutions. Integrating sustainability issues into the blue-print of banking institutions is no small task, as the session at the GRT, Evolution Revolution: Making the shift to Sustainable Banking, made clear. Following the launch of the paper version in 2011, the online version homes in on the specific meaning of sustainability for the different areas of a bank and collates a wealth of current practices and approaches deployed by UNEP FI Members in each of these areas. Visit the Online Guide to Banking & Sustainability at www.unepfi.org/bankingguide

 

UNEP FI / GHGP Process to Develop Finance Sector Guidance on GHG Reporting and GHG Risk Assessment

27 November, 2013

UNEP FI and GHG Protocol invite interested stakeholders to participate in a technical working group for the development of a financial sector GHG accounting guidance and carbon asset risk guidance. Please see the Terms of Reference for details about the Technical Working Group process and this link to Survey Monkey where you can express your interest in participation. If you are interested in participating, please complete the survey by December 17. We plan to launch the Technical Working Group process in January, 2014. We hope you will consider engagement in our process. For more information on the GHG Protocol/UNEP FI Financial Sector Guidance go to the project website.

 

Towards a Global Agreement on Climate Change - UNEP FI at the UNFCCC Warsaw COP

26 November, 2013

As world governments gathered in Warsaw to lay the foundations for a process that over the next two years will build a global deal on climate change, it became clear again that the mobilization of climate finance will be a central, make-or-break issue. UNEP FI's natural role is to support the design of a climate finance agenda that is effective in achieving the required reallocation of capital from the conventional to the low-carbon and climate-resilient economy. In Warsaw, through a series of interventions, events, high-level statements, and publications, UNEP FI deepened, to that effect, its engagement with the multilateral process on three issues of critical importance: i) Mobilising private climate finance through the Green Climate Fund; ii) Phasing out deforestation from global supply and investment chains; and iii) Enhancing access to weather ..... Read more

 

Letter to the Financial Times: We must demystify finance for a low-carbon path

25 November, 2013

In a recent letter to the Financial Times, Madeleine Ronquest, Co-Chair of the UNEP Finance Initiative, explained that any new approach to a sustainable future will need to include low-carbon markets, arguing that the current mix of investments, subsidies and low prices is driving us further down a carbon-intensive path. Outlining that the challenge is not in finding private funding, but rather in mobilising the funding to where it needs to go and in finding ways to bridge the barriers standing in its way, Madeleine wrote it was "clear from the discussions in Beijing (2013 UNEP FI Global Roundtable) that financial institutions stand ready to do their part, but greater transparency and clearer (and more stable) incentives and regulations are essential if investors are to be encouraged to do what is right for both themselves and the planet". Please click here to read the full letter as published in the Financial Times.

 

A picture says a 1000 words

22 November, 2013

Over the two days in Beijing, you might have seen our hard-working photographers hovering around the session rooms. As a result, we are now pleased to present some selected snapshots for your viewing. If you are after a specific photo, please contact the GRT Team.

 

Leading Global Finance Institutions Come Together to Finance the Future We Want

21 November, 2013

In the same week that China’s leaders set a new path for economic reform, the world’s premier financial organizations met in Beijing to discuss whether the world has the capability to finance the environmental challenges it faces. At the heart of the talks lies how to realign the financial system to finance a low-carbon, resource-efficient and sustainable ..... Read more View the English Press Release here. View the Chinese Press Release here. More information here.

 

2013 Global Insurance Industry Statement: Building Climate and Disaster-Resilient Communities and Economies

19 November, 2013

UNEP FI in partnership with ClimateWise and the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII), developed a joint statement that sets out a number of key areas of action that insurers have agreed to take forward, and recommendations for the wider multilateral community. The statement was first presented for discussion at the Caring for Climate Business Forum at the UNFCCC COP in Warsaw Poland on 19 November. View the statement here

 

A Green Conference: 559 tonnes were Offset

14 November, 2013

A main priority in the planning of the 2013 UNEP FI Global Roundtable was to achieve a carbon neutral event. With thanks to our Carbon-Neutral partners, the China Beijing Environmental Exchange and the Bank of China, we were able to offset 559 tonnes. At the end of the two-day conference, Mr Shaozhong Du, Chairman of the China Beijing Environmental Exchange presented Ms Yuki Yasui ..... Read more More information here.

 

Day 2 wrap up: The future of finance...

13 November, 2013

Day two of the Global Roundtable, following on from "changing finance" on the previous day, focused on "financing change", in particular on mobilizing finance to foster a more sustainable economy. With sessions focusing on emerging economies, energy efficiency, ESG metrics, capacity building, scientific data, societal issues, and leadership, participants delved into the multiple facets of Sustainable Finance. Many participants were pleasantly surprised to find that emerging economies from Asia, Africa and Latin America were leading the way in innovative financial policies that promote a green economy. The session on scientific data called for policy-makers and regulators to not ignore science in decision-making, but embrace it to have a better understanding of meta and other environmental trends. Culminating in Plenary 4, The Way Forward for Sustainable Finance, the Global Roundtable ended with a look back at the origins of finance, and its fundamental purpose in society, as well as predictions for the future of finance. More information at www.unepfi.org/grt

 

Day 1 of the 2013 Global Roundtable an Overwhelming Success

12 November, 2013

Day 1 of UNEP FI's 2013 Global Roundtable was a overwhelming success, with over 400 participants attending the first day's sessions. Opening with remarks from UNEP FI's Co-Chairs, David Pitt-Watson and Madeleine Ronquest, a welcome message from His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, and speeches from Sha Zukang, Achim Steiner, and Jianping Zhao, the focus moved to the banking, insurance and investment industries. The launch of the Online Guide to Banking and Sustainability was undoubtedly a highlight, a tool that helps banks to understand and implement sustainability based on the UNEP Statement of Commitment by Financial Institutions on Sustainable Development. Ending the day, Plenary 2, asked speakers to discuss the "big" questions of how to mainstream sustainability in the financial system and where the leadership to do this will come from. Achim Steiner, Wanchun Zheng, Jim Leape, Michel Liès, and Cao Wenlian, all concluded that this leadership must come from both the public and private sectors if a sustainable financial system is to be realized. More information at www.unepfi.org/grt

 

UNEP FI 2013 Global Roundtable

29 October, 2013

UNEP FI is pleased to invite you to attend this coming November the UNEP FI Global Roundtable, the Principle event of the Sustainable Finance Week. For more information, please visit www.unepfi.org/grt.

 

New Guidance Will Help Financial Institutions Measure Emissions from Lending and Investment Portfolios

29 October, 2013

In 2013, only six percent of financial companies in the FTSE Global 500 reported any emissions associated with lending and investment portfolios to CDP. To address this gap, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) have begun developing guidance to help financial intermediaries assess the emissions from their lending and investments portfolios. In October, UNEP FI and WRI hosted the first Advisory Committee meeting on Greenhouse Gas Protocol Financial Sector Guidance to begin the guidance development process. The guidance will be a supplement to GHG Protocol’s Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard. View the Press Release here.

 

Kenya’s Banks Chart Way forward to Promote Sustainable Finance and Build Industry Wide Capacity

10 September, 2013

The Kenya banking industry, through their umbrella body the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), during a CEO Roundtable meeting held on 10 September 2013 approved a move forward to create a joint initiative, the KBA Sustainable Finance Initiative (SFI), that promotes best practice in sustainable finance. The role of the SFI would be to explore opportunities for industry alignment while building industry wide capacity in the area of environmental and social risk management, in line with the country’s long-term development plans as outlined in the Government’s Vision 2030. Read the press release here. More information here.

 

New York Stock Exchange joins the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative

24 July, 2013


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to commemorate NYSE Euronext joining the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative which is conveyed by UNEP FI together with UN Global Compact, UNCTAD and the PRI. SSEI explores how exchanges can work together with investors, regulators, and companies to enhance corporate transparency on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues and encourage responsible long-term approaches to investment. View the Press Release here. More information here.

 

Publication: UN, Major Investment Firms Call for Increased Focus on Carbon Risk Management and Carbon Accounting in Investment Industry

19 July, 2013

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative launched a new Investor Briefing today that explains why and how institutional investors should start measuring, disclosing and reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with their investments and investment portfolios. The briefing argues that not only can institutional investors play a catalytic role in the decarbonization of the economy, but increasingly, regulators, policy-makers, investee companies, pension beneficiaries and the public at large are expecting investors to fulfill precisely that responsibility. View the Report here. View the article in the Guardian here. View the Press Release here. More information here.

 

Principles for Sustainable Insurance create largest collaboration between United Nations and insurance industry

19 June, 2013

World’s insurers publicly disclose progress in implementing global principles a year after launch at UN Conference on Sustainable Development Geneva/Nairobi/Sydney/Zurich, 19 June 2013—A year after their launch to support the aims of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (“PSI” or the “Principles”) have led to the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the insurance industry, aimed at propelling environmental, social and economic sustainability. Some 60 leading insurers, insurance market bodies and international organisations have embraced the landmark Principles, doubling the number from last year’s launch. The Principles were developed by the UNEP FI through a six-year global process. They seek to strengthen the insurance industry’s resilience and its contribution to building sustainable communities and economies. The Principles have catalysed a pioneering initiative to tackle environmental, social and governance issues relevant to both the insurance business and sustainable development. These include key issues such as climate change and extreme weather events, environmental degradation, insurance access and affordability, ageing populations, good governance and ethical business practices. See the UN press release here. See the 2013 video message from the UNEP Executive Director here. See the 2012 keynote address by the UNEP Executive Director here. Learn more at www.unepfi.org/psi

 

Publication

17 May, 2013

Natural Capital Declaration Roadmap UNEP FI would like to announce the release of the Natural Capital Declaration (NCD) Roadmap. The Roadmap sets out a plan, providing preliminary guidance on how the four commitments in the Natural Capital Declaration can be implemented by the finance industry. The release of the NCD Roadmap marks the transition from phase I of the NCD to phase II. Phase I refers to the preparation period that included six consultation workshops over an 18 month period in 2010 and 2011, which led to the launch of the Natural Capital Declaration at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June 2012. By the time of the launch, the NCD had been endorsed by the CEOs of 37 financial institutions. Phase II of the NCD focuses on enabling financial institutions to implement the four core commitments through the development of the appropriate tool, metrics and frameworks. The NCD Roadmap lays out this process and provides a framework for the activities each of the four Working Groups, tasked with incorporating Natural Capital considerations into the financial decision making process. View the publication here.

 

UNEP FI Community

15 April, 2013

Grupo Financiero Banorte connects with UNEP FI Grupo Financiero Banorte, currently the third largest banking institution in Mexico measured by size of loans and deposits, is very proud to join UNEPFI. In the words of their CEO Alejandro Valenzuela, they recognize that, “the world can no longer free ride or shut its eyes to the motion of natural capital. Its incorporation in any business decision will be critical if we truly desire a sustainable development in the global ecosystem. This is not an option, it is a necessity for our present and future well-being" Grupo Financiero Banorte recognizes that sustainability is a journey and are proud to work alongside global financial institutions in pursuit of a green economy. UNEP FI currently counts 5 members from Mexico. All are banks. More information here.

 

News: Leading Property Investors Embrace Sustainable Decision Making

5 December, 2012

New Report Outlines How Leading Real Estate Investors are Integrating Responsible Property Investment Principles into their Investment Decisions The today released report by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), Responsible Property Investment – What the leaders are doing 2nd edition outlines how leading global real estate investors are integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria into the different stages of their investment processes. The field of Responsible Property Investment (RPI) has gained increasing prominence and acceptance among real estate investors in both developed and developing countries over the past few years. This report looks at each stage of the investment process and highlights case studies of what some of the foremost property investment organisations around the world have been doing to apply RPI principles within their decision-making, thereby improving the environmental and social performance or governance of their property portfolios. View the publication here. View the press release here.

 

News: Creating the “New Normal”

5 December, 2012

Perspectives on Financing Sustainable Development in the wake of Rio+20 In June 2012, the world’s leaders set in motion an intergovernmental process to develop ‘an effective Sustainable Development Financing Strategy to facilitate the mobilization of resources and their effective use in achieving sustainable development objectives'. The Members of UNEP FI welcome this decision and are keen to assist a process that could be instrumental in bringing about adequate, low cost finance to address issues of sustainable development. Creating the New Normal aims to shed light on some of the issues which negotiators may wish to incorporate in their discussions going forward, identifying key points which it deems key for the development of a meaningful and successful sustainable development financing strategy. View the report here.

 

News: World's Largest Investors Call for More Decisive Action by Governments on Climate Change

20 November, 2012

Representing trillions in assets under management, UNEP FI and global investor groups issue open letter to governments in wake of US President Obama’s re-election and Chinese leadership change Institutional investor networks representing the world’s largest investors today published an open letter addressed to governments of the world’s largest economies calling for a new dialogue on climate change policy in order to avert dangerous climate change and its resulting economic impacts. The letter, announced ahead of international climate negotiations in Doha calls for:

  • Clear, consistent and predictable policies that encourage low carbon investment;
  • Knowledge sharing between governments on effective climate and clean energy policies, building on successful existing national and regional measures;
  • Stronger international agreements that send clear market signals about the future of climate policy and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions

View the open letter here. View the press release here.

 

News

19 November, 2012

E-RISC: A New Angle on Sovereign Credit Risk report successfully launched in London The E-RISC report was successfully launched today at a well-attended event, hosted by Bloomberg. It was initiated by UNEP FI, Global Footprint Network and a number of asset owners, investment managers and information providers. The E-RISC (Environmental Risk in Sovereign Credit) project investigates sovereign credit risk from an angle that has been largely overlooked by bond markets to date: natural resource risks and environmental impacts. The project explored to what extent natural resource risks can impact a country’s economy and thus, its ability to pay its debts. With a current total of more than USD 40 trillion of outstanding sovereign debt, the stakes are high and the issue demands closer inspection. Results provide a first insight into how factors such as resource prices, ecosystem degradation, and climate change impact national economies and provides a sense of how these criteria can be factored in sovereign credit risk models and hence in selection and weighting of sovereign bonds and sovereign credit ratings. More information here. Register for the E-RISC launch event in New York (12 December)

 

Publication

18 November, 2012

Launch of Chief Liquidity Series III The third issue of the Chief Liquidity Series focuses on a number of sub-sectors within the broader extractive sector and was launched at event hosted by Societe Generale in Paris on 30 October. Bringing together representatives from finance, industry, NGOs, consultants and the research community the event explored how water risks and opportunities are currently dealt with by the finance sector and industry. The second part of the highlight highlighted what metrics are currently in place to help the private sector understand, assess and deal with water-related risks. View the publication here. More information here.

 

Project

2 November, 2012

Launch of the E-RISC report in Sydney, London and New York Following an 18 month preparatory period in 2010 and 2011, the E-RISC (Environmental Risk in Sovereign Credit analysis) kicked off in 2012 with the objective to assess the materiality of natural resource risks and environmental impacts for sovereign credit risk. It was initiated by UNEP FI, Global Footprint Network and a number of asset owners, investment managers and information providers. We invite UNEP FI members and the wider financial community active in (sovereign) fixed income to join us for events that are scheduled in Sydney (9 November), London (19 November) and New York (11 December). More information here. Register for E-RISC event Sydney (9 November) Register for E-RISC event London (19 November) Register for E-RISC event New York (12 December)

 

Publications

26 July, 2012

UNEP FI and a series of partners took the first steps of a project that will evaluate the ability of existing incentives within capital markets to drive sustainability with the launch of a working paper. Tomorrow’s Capital Markets represents the first phase of a long-term effort that aims to scrutinise sustainability the effectiveness of the current incentives structure and correct its most blatant flaws. The paper identifies the complexity of incentives faced by different actors along the investment chain and flags some of the fundamental challenges – from communication gaps to the lack of viable metrics – arising from this intricate web. Tomorrow’s Capital Markets also extends an invitation to all parties interested in developing this agenda to partake in dialogues scheduled throughout 2012-13. The initiative will culminate with a major presentation of findings and proposals in the fall of 2013. More information and full download here.

 

UNEP FI Publications

23 July, 2012

Creeping environmental, social, and governance risks a threat to financial stability, says new report Policy-makers and financiers seeking to bring equilibrium back to the markets should heed the thinking of financial sustainability advocates to stay clear of creeping environmental, social, and governance risks, according to a joint report by the UNEP Finance Initiative, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and the Blended Capital Group. Released today, Lenses and Clocks: Financial stability and systemic risks, argues that post-financial crisis efforts to shield the economy from volatility must be extended to include emerging sources of instability in the environmental, social, and governance realms if markets are to achieve robust growth and create wealth for all. The report contends that the imperative of detecting long-term financial risks – a lesson of the recent financial crisis – requires a heightened perception for unconventional, long-term risk. Such long-term but steadily growing risks include climate change, resource depletion, social upheaval, and other risks stemming from environmental, social, and governance phenomena – all of which are seldom identified and assessed by financial analysts, and therefore too rarely managed by financial institutions. “Understanding these threats will inform the choices we make to benefit from the opportunities ahead of us and, in doing so, improve life of billions of our fellow human beings, rebuild the planet’s natural capital and foster markets based on fairness and equality,” said the Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown MP, whose recent counsel on financial stability and sustainability to the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Global Sustainability informed the report. More information and full download here.

 

UNEP FI News

9 July, 2012

UNEP FI connects with UN climate change convention secretariat on role of finance UNEP FI is among stakeholders who, at the demand of global regulators, have fleshed out the current and future role of finance in the architecture of the global climate change treaty at a Bonn workshop. The three-day workshop in Bonn follows the recent decision by parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to develop a work program on long-term finance which should be rolled out throughout 2012. "I would argue and I think most UNEP FI members would argue that private sector finance is a stronger driver of efficiency because it has profitability incentives", said Geoff Sinclair, head of carbon trading at UNEP FI member institution Standard Chartered, who partook in a session on scaling up the mobilization of climate change finance. The UNFCCC confirmed the creation of a Green Climate Fund – a mechanism to assist the developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change – at its 16th Conference of the Parties in Cancun, Mexico. More information here.

 

News from Rio: Brazil, Denmark, France and South Africa join in commitment to sustainability reporting

21 June, 2012

Today a group of leading governments joined together to commit to corporate sustainability reporting, in support of paragraph 47 of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio+20 – outcome document. UNEP FI has been a vocal advocate of the inclusion of corporate sustainability reporting as one of the conference's deliverables, as detailed in its Rio+20 Position Paper. With the commitment, Brazil, Denmark, France, and South Africa are forming a group of ‘friends of paragraph 47’ to advance corporate sustainability reporting, and to that effect they have invited the UNEP FI-backed Global Reporting Initiative and the United Nations Environment Programme to support them. Making sustainability reporting standard practice among companies will contribute to monitor the impacts on and the contribution to sustainable development by the corporate sector. More information here.

 

News from Rio: UNEP FI and world’s insurers launch global insurance principles at Rio+20 to propel sustainable development

19 June, 2012

Close to 30 leading companies from the insurance industry, worth over USD 5 trillion in total assets and representing over 10 per cent of world premium volume, together with insurance associations from different regions around the world, have joined a UN-backed process to promote a set of Principles for Sustainable Insurance that aim to green the sector and provide insurance tools for risk management in support of environmental, social and economic sustainability. The Principles provide a holistic approach to managing a wide range of global and emerging risks in the insurance business, from climate change and natural disasters to water scarcity, food insecurity and pandemics. They represent the first-ever global sustainability framework tailored for the insurance industry that takes into account the fundamental economic value of natural capital, social capital and good governance. More information here.

 

News from Rio: Exchanges listing over 4,600 companies commit to promoting sustainability

19 June, 2012

A core group of five stock exchanges - NASDAQ OMX, BM&FBOVESPA, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) and The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) - announced a commitment to promote long-term, sustainable investment in their markets. The endorsements came during the UNEP FI-co-convened Sustainable Stock Exchanges 2012 Global Dialogues, held at the Corporate Sustainability Forum in Rio de Janeiro. It comes amid high-profile discussions among governments on the role of the private sector - including finance - in building a green economy and the importance of corporate sustainability reporting, on the eve of Rio+20. The leading exchanges, with over 4,600 listed companies in developed and emerging markets, have voluntarily committed to work with investors, companies and regulators to promote long-term sustainable investment and improved environmental, social and corporate governance disclosure and performance among companies listed on their exchange. More information here.

 

Events: Green Growth Action Alliance launched at the B20 Summit

18 June, 2012

The UNEP FI-backed Green Growth Action Alliance, a new partnership initiative addressing the estimated USD 1 trillion annual shortfall in green infrastructure investment, was launched at the Business 20 (B20) Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. As first concrete step, the Alliance will assist Mexico in unlocking private finance to reduce green house gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020. In partnering with the Mexican government the Alliance will identify key roadblocks, design strategies to overcome them and draw in private finance. The Alliance, which is also referred to as G2A2, includes dozens of the world’s largest energy companies, international financial institutions, and development finance institutions. More information here.

 

News from Rio: Far-reaching study on sustainability in Latin American banking sector launched at Rio+20

18 June, 2012

UNEP FI and the Latin American Bank Federation, FELABAN, released at a Rio+20 side-event the results of a pan-Latin American study on the integration of sustainability principles among banks of the region with the report Integracion de la sostenabilidad en las instituciones financieras Latinoamericanas. Conducted among 85 financial institutions in 19 countries, the study is the most important effort ever undertaken in the region on this subject. The report includes 19 case studies of good practices. It crowns a recently agreed partnership between UNEP FI and FELABAN that has infused with new vigour the march towards sustainable finance in Latin America. More information and full download here.

 

News from Rio: 37 finance CEOs announce commitment on natural capital at Rio+20

16 June, 2012

CEOs at the helm of 37 banks, investment funds, and insurance companies announced a far-reaching commitment today to work towards integrating natural capital considerations into their products and services, at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or “Rio+20”. With the unveiling of their ‘Natural Capital Declaration’, the financiers commit their companies to help build an understanding of their impacts and dependencies on natural capital; embed natural capital into their products and services; report or disclose on the theme of natural capital; and account for natural capital in accounting frameworks. It is the first statement of its kind to be signed only by the CEOs of financial institutions– a requirement that aims to ensure that endorsement translates into concrete actions. The Declaration is co-convened by UNEP FI, the Oxford-based tropical-forest group Global Canopy Programme, and the São Paolo-based Center for Sustainability Studies (GVces) of the Business Administration School of the Getulio Vargas Foundation. More information here.

 

In the Press

1 June, 2012

Corporate sustainability reporting in focus in opinion piece from UNEP FI’s David Pitt-Watson The time is ripe for a global policy framework on corporate sustainability reporting, says the Chair of UNEP FI’s Investment Commission David Pitt-Watson in an opinion article recently published in various newspapers across the globe. Co-authored with UNEP’s head Achim Steiner and other advocates of a reporting reform, the article argues that despite existing guidelines and standards, there is a need to level the playing field with a global agreement on reporting. A recent survey of stock exchange respondents has found that 80 per cent of those responding wanted a global approach to sustainability reporting, notes the article. “A range of commitments will be before world leaders in Rio in a few weeks time. Evolving sustainability reporting onto a higher, more widespread and legally-grounded level, ideally in the form of a future convention, should be firmly on their radar,” concludes the article. More information here.

 

Your UNEP FI Community

18 May, 2012

UNEP FI’s insurance role bolstered with new insurance sector members International insurers Sun Life Financials and SulAmérica joined UNEP FI in May. With the launch of UNEP FI’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance a month away, the arrival of the new members bolsters the partnership’s role as a sustainability leader among the global insurance community. Sun Life Financial Inc. is a Toronto-based international financial services company known primarily as a life insurance company, while SulAmérica is Brazil’s third largest insurance company, with 6.7 million customers. The UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance, which will be launched on the eve of Rio+20, are a transformational set of voluntary, global principles to manage environmental, social, and governance in the insurance business. More information here.

 

UNEP FI News

19 April, 2012

UNEP FI voices ideas for Rio+20 with position paper UNEP FI has given the financial sector a voice with the unveiling of a position paper on the upcoming Rio+20 Conference in late April. The document signed by UNEP FI’s co-Chairs Barbara Krumsiek and Richard Burrett makes a clear statement to Rio+20 country delegates on the role of the financial sector in achieving sustainable development. It offers a set of recommendations on how the international community and policy-makers can further enable and incentivise sustainable finance at Rio+20. Rio+20, or the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, marks the 20th anniversary of the seminal 1992 Earth Summit of Rio de Janeiro. Hundreds of delegates from the private sector, among them UNEP FI members, are expected to join the thousands more who will attend the event. More information here.

 

Your UNEP FI Community

10 April, 2012

Africa’s largest insurer bags Climate Change Leadership Award with research supported by UNEP Finance Initiative Santam, Africa’s largest non-life insurer and a member of UNEP FI, has won the 2012 Climate Change Leadership Award under the financial services category. The Climate Change Leadership Award is the first in Africa to recognise, reward, motivate and celebrate businesses, communities, youth, schools and individuals leading the way in combating climate change. Santam won the award due to the research study, Insurance in a Changing Risk Landscape: Local lessons from the Southern Cape of South Africa, said the jury. The study emerged from a research partnership between the Santam Group, WWF, University of Cape Town and Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, and was produced in collaboration with UNEP FI.

 

UNEP FI Publications

26 March, 2012

CEO Briefing on materiality now in French and Spanish UNEP FI’s seminal CEO Briefing Demystifying Materiality is now available to French and Spanish speakers. Initially published in 2010, the relevance of the concise publication on natural capital has not waned, with the issue forecasted to be among topics discussed at the upcoming Rio de Janeiro UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20. UNEP FI’s Natural Capital Declaration is slated to be launched a few days before Rio+20. Demystifying Materiality is designed to brief financial sector employees and other interested audiences on and how natural capital can be hardwired into financial products and services. It includes results from a survey among financial institutions on the financial sector’s perceived exposure to biodiversity and ecosystem services risks. More information here.

 

Your UNEP FI Community

22 March, 2012

Mexican green banking pioneer CIBanco adheres to UNEP FI statement Flagship green Mexican bank CIBanco entered the UNEP FI community in mid-March by signing the UNEP FI Statement on Sustainable Development. “We feel proud to be the first green bank of Mexico and join a community of over 200 institutions and three dozen members in Latin America with one common interest: to identify the best sustainable practices for financial operations,” said CIBanco’s Chairman of the Board of Directors Jorge Rangel de Alba. “We share the vision of this great family of the global financial sector that favors sustainable finance development,” he said. More information here.

 

Your UNEP FI Community

14 March, 2012

Top Nigerian bank connects with UNEP FI Nigeria’s largest bank by market capitalization, Guaranty Trust Bank, stepped up its relationships with the United Nations in early March by becoming the UNEP Finance Initiative’s latest member institution. Guaranty Trust Bank’s activities span all countries of Anglophone West Africa, making its commitment to UNEP FI’s Statement on Sustainable Development – the partnership’s backbone – a significant step toward the mainstreaming of sustainability in that region. “Nigeria’s sustainable scene is becoming more vibrant every day, as recently evidenced by our report Financing Renewable Energy in sub-Saharan Africa. The membership of leading institutions such as Guaranty Trust Bank is key to this trend,” commented UNEP FI’s officer in charge Yuki Yasui. UNEP FI currently counts 15 members in sub-Saharan Africa. All but one are banks. More information here.

 

New Report: Head of UNEP calls for scaled-up renewable energy in Africa at launch

21 February, 2012

Smart public policies are key to powering up sub-Saharan's Africa's clean energy potential, said the head of UNEP Achim Steiner while unveiling UNEP FI's latest report in Nairobi Tuesday. Financing Renewable Energy in Developing Countries: Drivers and Barriers for Private Finance in sub-Saharan Africa outlines how current obstacles to renewable energy solutions in Africa can be tackled with the help of private finance. "Accelerating and scaling-up sustainable energy for all will be key to realizing a transition to a low carbon, resource efficient 'inclusive' Green Economy," said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. The report identifies three main roadblocks to a more vibrant renewable energy sector - namely cost, structure, and risk. It details how these can be overcome in sub-Saharan Africa. Its conclusions and recommendations to sub-Saharan Africa and international policy-makers are based on a survey of 38 financial institutions. More information here.

 

Event: UNEP FI and partners open Natural Capital Declaration for signatures

20 February, 2012


International banks National Australia Bank and Rabobank Group increased their commitment to work towards a more stable world economy today with the announcement of their groundbreaking endorsement of a finance sector declaration on natural capital at a meeting in London. The two banks were first to express their support for the Natural Capital Declaration, which is now open to signatures. By endorsing the declaration, financial institutions re-affirm the importance of natural capital in maintaining a sustainable global economy, and call upon the private and public sectors to work together to create the conditions necessary to maintain and enhance natural capital as a critical economic, ecological and social asset. More information here.

 

Our members: Private equity firm Actis comes on board

10 February, 2012

Pan-emerging market private equity firm Actis became UNEP FI’s 207th member in early February. With a distinctive ethos focused on the transformative force of capital in the developing world, The London-based firm brings to the UNEP FI community a decisively global perspective. “The private equity industry is waking up to the imperative of integrating sustainability issues into investment decisions,” said ESG Senior Advisor Rita Kumar, commenting on key trends in Actis’ sector of activity. “We are now turning our attention to maximise the upside and create value for our portfolio companies through targeted sustainability interventions,” she said. More information here.

 

Our Members: UNEP FI kicks off new year with three new banking members

11 January, 2012

UNEP FI entered the new year with the accession of three banks to its fast-growing family. The advent of Bradesco Bank, Bank bjb and Garanti Bank expands UNEP FI’s fast-growing Banking Commission – whose members make up two-thirds of the partnership. Founded 68 years ago and listed on the Sao Paulo, New York and Madrid stock exchanges, Bradesco Bank is one of Brazil’s chief private banks and owns the largest insurance company in Latin America.
Garanti Bank is Turkey's second largest private bank, and represents the highest ratings assessed to a Turkish bank.
Bank bjb, finally, is a government-owned, commercial bank that promises to bring a fresh perspective to UNEP FI and will contribute to broadening the partnership’s understanding of sustainable banking.
More information here.

 

Event: UNEP FI deepens its engagement in Russia

22 December, 2011

UNEP FI deepened its engagement in Russia in December as it addressed representatives from the Russian banking sector, NGO community, government agencies, and international organizations at an international Moscow conference. "Investment in Sustainability. Role of the Financial Sector" was organized by VnescheconomBank (Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs, VEB), one of the largest state-owned banks in Russia, which has been stepping up its sustainability understanding and practices since the launch of its first sustainability report in 2010. As a back-to-back event to the conference, UNEP FI, WWF Russia and VEB organized a training workshop on Environmental and Social Risk Analysis following the event. More information here.

 

UNEP FI Climate Change Working Group work at heart of discussions in Cancun

11 January, 2011

UNEP FI’s Climate Change Working Group was pleased to be at Cancun for the 2010 COP16 negotiations, and also take part in organising the first World Climate Summit. A key outcome of the negotiations was the Cancun Agreements, welcomed by many as a positive achievement and bringing hope for progress in COP17 this year. Discussions showed how the need to involve the private sector in financing and addressing climate change at an international level is now being recognized, as called for by UNEP Finance Initiative and its members through 2 global industry Statements in 2010. Summary Document: Briefing on COP16 and the Cancun Agreements Find out more information about these activities:
UNEP FI at the UNFCCC COP 16
UNEP FI at the World Climate Summit 2010
Summary of the UNEP FI events at Cancun
Global Insurance Statement 2010
Global Investor Statement 2010

 

UNEP FI at Cancun: 'Financing real transformation? Designing an effective financial mechanism under the Convention'

25 November, 2010

UNEP FI and WWF, with the support of the IIGCC, welcome you to the event "Financing real transformation? Designing an effective financial mechanism under the Convention" on 6 December in Cancun, Mexico at the Jaguar Room. Amidst the UNFCCC Cancun negotiations, we bring together the combined voice of the NGO community and the private financial sector regarding the financing of action to tackle climate change. There is powerful convergence of opinion between NGO community and private finance on the need for increased public finance for climate change action in order to leverage greater amounts of private finance in support of the transition to low-carbon and resource-efficient economic development. The session will explore how significantly scaled up public and private financing are both needed, and how the financial mechanism under the Convention should both aim to leverage private finance and channel public finance into adaptation and mitigation efforts that lack an immediate commercial dimension. The event will highlight what private finance can do in a climate change mitigation context, and in the same time what it cannot do, bringing as speakers key government negotiators, Deutsche Bank and the WWF. Media representatives are welcome. See the Media Advisory. See the Press Release.

 

The world's capital markets demand determined policy action on climate change

16 November, 2010

Over 250 investors responsible for the management of funds the size of US GDP call for policies to unlock low-carbon growth and avoid economic devastation. The world's largest global investors have a powerful message for world governments and climate negotiators in Cancun: take action now in the fight against global warming or risk economic disruptions far more severe than the recent financial crisis. Investors released the statement, which was facilitated by the UNEP FI Climate Change Working Group and Partners, calling for national and international policies that will spur private investment into low-carbon growth and protect the world economy from the worst impacts of climate change. Signatories include both global players like UNEP FI Signatories Allianz and HSBC as well as many smaller institutions from developed and developing countries. This is the largest-ever group of investors to call for government action on climate change. “We cannot drag our feet on the issue of global climate change," said Barbara Krumsiek, Chair of the UNEP FI and CEO of US-based investment firm Calvert Investments. "Calvert is deeply concerned about the devastating impacts climate change - if left unaddressed - will have on the global economy. Based on the Stern Report, we know these impacts could reach global GDP cuts of an unimaginable 20% per year. Why should we take that risk? The solutions are quickly emerging and we must deploy these solutions to help secure the innovation and sustainable growth our economies need." See the Press Release. Media coverage. See the policy impact of the statement. Versions: English Spanish Portuguese

 

Launch of CEO Briefing: 'Demystifying Materiality: Hardwiring biodiversity and ecosystem services into finance'

27 October, 2010

From banks to insurance companies, some key financial institutions are beginning to recognize rising risks to investments from biodiversity and ecosystems loss. These are some of the findings from a new CEO Briefing by UNEP FI, entitled Demystifying Materiality: Hardwiring Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services into Finance, launched at the UN biological diversity convention meeting in Nagoya, Japan. UNEP FI Co-Chair Richard Burrett said: “As the global financial sector recovers and moves into the post financial crisis era, there is one notion that crystallises before our eyes more acutely than ever: we need to understand systemic risk in a genuinely holistic way. This CEO Briefing underscores the critical natural capital that underpins our economic activity and financial capital. As the finance sector, we need to ensure that we operationalise this thinking in the management of investment and lending activities. The CEO Briefing shows why this is the case.”
Read the report. Japanese version. German version. Senior executives' commentary.
Press Release. Press release in Spanish. Media coverage.

 

UNEP FI Co-Chair Richard Burrett on finance, biodiversity and natural capital

14 October, 2010

'Nature is not just about fluffy animals or brightly coloured frogs -- it's central to the health of businesses that need to incorporate environmental impacts into their risk management,' Richard Burrett told Reuters reporter David Fogarty. Days before the start of the UN biodiversity convention negotiations in Nagoya, Co-Chair Burrett explains the links between finance, biodiversity and natural capital. Read the article. Nature central to economy Nature is not just about fluffy animals or brightly coloured frogs — it’s central to the health of businesses that need to incorporate environmental impacts into their risk management, a senior United Nations official said. Such an approach should be obvious, said Richard Burrett, co-chair of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative, yet nature remains essentially invisible to many people and companies, particularly in urban centres. Read more.

 

Putting a Price on Global Environmental Damage

5 October, 2010

San Francisco, USA - Global environmental damage caused by human activity in 2008 represented a monetary value of $ 6.6 trillion, equivalent to 11% of global GDP, calculates a study released today by the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). Those global costs are 20% larger than the $ 5.4 trillion decline in the value of pension funds in developed countries caused by the global financial crisis in 2007/8. The study, an initial effort to quantify in monetary terms the environmental harm caused by business and the possible future consequences for investor portfolios, fund returns and company earnings, estimates that in 2008 the world's top 3,000 public companies were responsible for a third of all global environmental damage. The study warns that as environmental damage and resource depletion increases, and governments start applying a "polluter pays" principle, the value of large portfolios will be affected through higher insurance premiums on companies, taxes, inflated input prices and the price tags for clean-ups. Read the Report.
See the Press release. Media coverage.

 

UNEP FI and partners launch the World Climate Summit

21 September, 2010

The UNEP Finance Initiative and partners, including the World Bank, the UN Global Compact, the Carbon Disclosure Project and many others, have come together to launch the inaugural World Climate Summit, 4-5 December, 2010 at The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, Mexico, in parallel to the UNFCCCCOP 16 conference. As the first founding partner of the WCS and the conference's main focal point on finance, investment and insurance, the UNEP Finance Initiative is supported by a large coalition of financial institutions and investors, both UNEP FI Signatories as well as numerous climate change networks such as IIGCC, IGCC, INCR, the PRI, ClimateWise and FELABAN. Visit the conference's website
Register here
See the Press Release
Media Coverage

 

The finance sector to step up efforts to combat climate change and increase investment in renewable energy, urges Nobel Laureate

14 September, 2010

80 days before the UN climate change negotiations the UNEP Finance Initiative leads the discussion with the finance sector at a forum in Mexico City entitled “The Financial Sector towards COP16” Mexico City, 13 September, 2010 – Less than three months before world leaders will meet in Mexico in attempt to negotiate a new global deal on climate change, leading finance executives came together in Mexico City, under the umbrella of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). The Bankers Club of the Mexican Banking Association (ABM) hosted 55 senior finance executives who exchanged views on the finance sector’s role with regard to climate change solutions. The event was co-organized by the UNEP Finance Initiative, the Mexican Banking Association and the Mexican National Institute of Ecology, and was moderated by Jessica Jacob, UNEP Finance Initiative Latin America Task Force Coordinator. Nobel Laureate Dr. Mario Molina delivered the keynote address, urging the finance sector to increase investment in renewable energy. ‘The private sector has to see the real business and investment opportunities and learn from the existing best practices to accelerate progress. There is no one magical solution. We need to take different simultaneous actions, such as investing in solar and wind energy’, he added. Read more.
Media Coverage.

 

The global insurance industry demands public-private action on climate change adaptation in developing countries

6 September, 2010

Four initiatives representing more than 100 leading international insurance companies are today calling on governments worldwide to harness risk management techniques and insurance expertise to help implement climate change adaptation measures in the developing world as well as to firmly anchor insurance mechanisms as part of the future international climate change regime under the UNFCCC. Read more... Read the Statement: English, French, Spanish, Korean
See the Press Release.
Media Coverage generated by the Global Insurance Industry Statement.

 

Impact of Water Scarcity on Power Generation

6 September, 2010

UNEP FI launches Issue 2 of the Chief Liquidity Series at World Water Week in Stockholm The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) launched Issue 2 of The Chief Liquidity Series focused on the Power Sector at an event entitled ‘Seeking Liquidity: Integrating Corporate Water Performance into the Core of Financial Services and Capital Markets’, during World Water Week. In an effort to encourage new thinking and foster creative solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges, the World Water Week in Stockholm convened leading experts, practitioners and decision makers in the field. UNEP FI led the discussion on how water stresses impacted business performance in water-intensive sectors. Read the Press Release.
Media Coverage.

 

China and the green journey of its financial sector

25 August, 2010

Months before the UN climate change negotiations, the Head of UNEP Finance Initiative Paul Clements-Hunt visits China to engage policy makers and financial institutions. Mr. Paul Clements-Hunt, Head of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and Ms Wei Peng, UNEP FI Asia Task Force Coordinator, are visiting China in early September this year. Months before the UN climate change negotiations they will take the opportunity to engage senior policy officials and leading financial institutions with the view of discussing China's vision of its 'green finance' future. Interested media representatives are invited to get in touch for interviews with Paul Clements-Hunt, whose schedule in China is the following:
1 - 5 Sept, Beijing
6 Sept, Shanghai
7 - 9 Sept, Xia Men See the Full Media Information Note.

 

A Blossoming Relationship — Chiba Bank joins UNEP FI

14 July, 2010

“From small acorns great oak trees grow. Chiba Bank’s joining is an important step and we shall take that message to the Secretary General”, announced Paul Clements-Hunt The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) welcomed The Chiba Bank, Ltd. (Chiba Bank), the second largest regional bank in Japan in terms of assets, as our new member. The UNEP FI membership of Chiba Bank became official at a signing ceremony at Palais des Nations in Geneva, after Mr. Hidetoshi Sakuma, President of Chiba Bank, and Mr. Paul Clements-Hunt, Head of UNEP FI signed the ‘UNEP Statement by Financial Institutions on the Environment and Sustainable Development’, as a sign of future cooperation in the area of sustainable finance. “It is a great pleasure to attend this ceremony for this occasion, and I am very grateful for the support provided by UNEP FI”, said the President of Chiba Bank, Mr. Hidetoshi Sakuma. “Prior to the ceremony Mr Clements-Hunt provided, on two different occasions, seminars on the role of financial institutions in fostering a low-carbon society.”
Read the Story and watch the Video.

 

The Launch of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) for Business Report

13 July, 2010

Biodiversity Is Climbing the Corporate Agenda. Companies with 'Net Positive Impact' on Biological Diversity are Winners in Resource-Constrained World Business leaders in biodiversity-rich developing economies are concerned about losses of 'natural capital', a new report launched today highlights. Over 50 per cent of Chief Executive Officers surveyed in Latin America and 45 per cent in Africa see declines in biodiversity as a challenge to business growth. In contrast, less than 20 per cent of their counterparts in Western Europe share such concerns. The findings, compiled by a study of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), indicate that those corporate chiefs who fail to make sustainable management of biodiversity part of their business plans may find themselves increasingly out of step with the market place. The financial sector, as underlined by UNEP FI Biodiversity Working Group's contribution to the report, has a key role to play. Read the press release in English, Spanish, Arabic, French and Chinese. See the Executive Summary. See the support to TEEB for Business expressed by UNEP FI members...

 

UNEP FI Soft Launch: Conference in Cancun

12 May, 2010

UNEP FI, in a partnership with the World Climate Summit (WCS), Time magazine, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and with the support of the Mexican Government’s Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, Pro Mexico, will convene 300 of the most prominent and influential leaders from business, finance, entrepreneurship, and governments to accelerate, and collaborate on, economic solutions to climate change. The exclusive inaugural summit will run in parallel to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Chance COP 16 conference in Cancun, Mexico December 4-5th, 2010. With the help of its partners, this initiative has access to the largest concentration of industry leaders and investors through more than 60 industry associations, 100 chambers of commerce, 2,500 companies and more than 530 investors representing $64 trillion of assets under management. Watch the Video.
Read the Press Release.

 

Barbara J. Krumsiek and Richard Burrett named Co-Chairs of UNEP Finance Initiative

27 April, 2010

Finance and investment to play a lead role in the May 2012 "Rio+20" United Nations Earth Summit

The largest partnership between the United Nations and the financial services sector has elected two new Co-Chairs to steer the initiative in the run up to the landmark UN "Rio+20" Summit in May 2012. Barbara J. Krumsiek, President & CEO of the Bethesda, Maryland headquartered Calvert Group Ltd, and Richard Burrett, a partner in the London-based Earth Capital Partners, will steer the United Nations Environment programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) for the next two years. The United Nation's "Rio+20" summit will convene in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, twenty years after the original 1992 Rio Earth Summit when world leaders gathered for the first time to discuss environmental and development issues. UNEP FI was formed to provide input to the 1992 summit. The role of finance and capital markets will be central to the Green Economy theme of Rio+20. Read the full Press Release.

 

UNEP FI reaches out to the financial sector in Turkey

16 April, 2010

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative welcomed its first member from the finance sector in Turkey. The membership of the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB) became official at a signing ceremony, after Paul Clements-Hunt, Head of UNEP FI, and Halil Eroğlu, TSKB’s Central Executive Officer (CEO), signed the ‘UNEP Statement by Financial Institutions on the Environment and Sustainable Development’, as a sign of future cooperation in the area of sustainable finance.
Read more.
Press Release.
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