UNEP FI’s Positive Impact Initiative explores solutions to the financing gap for sustainable development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Initiative helps move the financial sector towards a more thorough and deeper integration of impact analysis in decision-making. This improved understanding of impacts will ultimately also drive more impactful business models and investments.

Via the Principles for Positive Impact Finance, our lenders and investors and a range of stakeholders build on existing impact frameworks to develop guidance and tools for holistic impact analysis across a range of financing instruments.

We are also engaging with the public sector to explore impact-based requests for proposals which can stimulate the private sector to develop impact-based business models.

The initiative is championed by a core group of UNEP FI Members and a wide group of other stakeholders in the public and private sectors.

  • Understand what we mean by Rethinking Impact
  • Download our flyer to learn more about our work and read our FAQ
  • Read our Positive Impact Manifesto, calling for a new financing approach for sustainable development
  • Join the growing community of actors engaged in the most significant evolution of finance and see who’s involved
  • Follow Positive Impact news on Twitter: @UNEP_FI   #positiveimpactnews
  • Sign up for Positive Impact Updates


“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

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

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

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

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

  • Webinar: Positive Impact – Real Estate Investment Framework

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

  • Webinar: Finance mechanisms to achieve the SDGs

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

  • Presentation and Launch of the Positive Impact Initiative

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

  • Presentation and launch of the Positive Impact Initiative

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

  • Societe Generale’s Sustainable and Positive Impact Finance Conference

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

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

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

  • Positive Impact Initiative African Launch

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

  • Brazilian Launch of the Principles for Positive Impact Finance

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

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

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

  • Launch of the Principles for Positive Impact Finance

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

    Read the press release in English and in French.

  • Rethinking Impact to Finance the SDGs – Consultation Version

    Two years after the Positive Impact Manifesto that led to setting up the Positive Impact Initiative at UNEP FI, “Rethinking Impact to Finance the SDGs“  will articulate the concepts of an impact-based economy and extend an open invitation to design the way forward together to shape a meaningful Positive Impact Initiative. A version of this paper was […]

  • 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 […]