“Previous sector-focused policy-making or a goal-by-goal approach will not achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development or its SDGs. Stronger integrated planning, strategic thinking and policy integration will be crucial for Governments to define the best SDG implementation mix at the local level.”

Repositioning the UN development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda – Ensuring a Better Future for All: Report of the Secretary-General, July 2017

The Positive Impact Initiative invites banks, investors, corporations and governments to co-create commercially viable, impact-based solutions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

By adopting an impact-based approach, business and finance can help build new markets. In doing so they create added value to clients and investee companies at a time of major technological and economic disruptions, rapid social change and mounting environmental pressures. This can bring about a step-change to their contribution to the SDGs and to bridging the SDG financing gap.

According to the United Nations, $5-7 trillion are needed each year through 2030 to meet the SDGs worldwide, including to address needs in infrastructure, access to energy, water, or healthcare. In low and middle-income countries particularly, the greater part of the necessary financing will need to come from private finance.

Stay tuned for a ground-breaking research paper to be released in 2018, that exposes the scope and nature of the financing gap and illustrates the need for a new impact-based approach to business and finance.

Through the Positive Impact Initiative, financial institutions are experimenting with impact-based approaches. We invite financial institutions to get involved and tell us about products and methodologies they are working on. We are reviewing current practice and collaborating to create guidance for others to use and learn from.

We are also exploring how public authorities can stimulate the emergence of new business solutions, via early engagement of the private sector -and private finance in particular- and the preparation of impact-based tenders, as basis for future work.

  • Join the emerging group of actors engaged in the most significant evolution of finance: contact positiveimpact@unepfi.org
  • Follow Positive Impact news on Twitter: @UNEP_FI   #positiveimpactfinance
  • Sign up for Positive Impact Updates
  • Discover our Roadmap to Positive Impact: learn about the Positive Impact Manifesto and Principles that underpin our work:
    • The Manifesto calls for a new financing paradigm, because bridging the funding gap for sustainable development and achieving the SDGs requires a new, impact-based approach, based on a holistic consideration of sustainability issues.
    • Financial institutions can adopt the Principles for Positive Impact Finance, an impact-based tool to help the finance community unlock the SDG opportunity and help overcome the funding gap for sustainable development.



March 2018

  • Webinar: Finance mechanisms to achieve the SDGs

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

  • Presentation and Launch of the Positive Impact Initiative

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

  • Presentation and launch of the Positive Impact Initiative

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

  • Societe Generale’s Sustainable and Positive Impact Finance Conference

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

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

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

  • Positive Impact Initiative African Launch

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

  • Brazilian Launch of the Principles for Positive Impact Finance

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

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

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

  • Launch of the Principles for Positive Impact Finance

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

    Read the press release in English and in French.

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

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

  • Principles for Positive Impact Finance

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

  • Positive Impact Manifesto

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