The UNEP Statement of Commitment by Financial Institutions on Sustainable Development represents the backbone of the Initiative. By signing up to the Statement, financial institutions openly recognize the role of the financial services sector in making our economy and lifestyles sustainable and commit to the integration of environmental and social considerations into all aspects of their operations.
All financial institutions wishing to join the UNEP Finance Initiative must adhere to the Statement.
UNEP Statement of Commitment by Financial Institutions (FI) on Sustainable Development
We members of the Financial Services Sector recognize that economic development needs to be compatible with human welfare and a healthy environment. To ignore this is to risk increasing social, environmental and financial costs. We further recognize that sustainable development is the collective responsibility of governments, businesses and individuals. We are committed to working collectively toward common sustainability goals.
1. Commitment to Sustainable Development
1.1 We regard sustainable development – defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs – as a fundamental aspect of sound business management.
1.2 We believe that sustainable development is best achieved by allowing markets to work within an appropriate framework of cost efficient regulations and economic instruments. Governments have a leadership role in establishing and enforcing long-term priorities and values.
1.3 We regard financial institutions to be important contributors to sustainable development, through their interaction with other economic sectors and consumers and through their own financing, investment and trading activities.
1.4 We recognize that sustainable development is an institutional commitment and an integral part of our pursuit of both good corporate citizenship and the fundamentals of sound business practices.
1.5 We recognize that the sustainable development agenda is becoming increasingly inter-linked with humanitarian and social issues as the global environment agenda broadens and as climate change brings greater developmental and security challenges.
2. Sustainability Management
2.1 We support a precautionary approach to environmental and social issues, which strives to anticipate and prevent potential negative impacts on the environment and society.
2.2 We will comply with all applicable local, national and international regulations on environmental and social issues. Beyond compliance, we will work towards integrating environmental and social considerations into our operations and business decisions in all markets.
2.3 We recognize that identifying and quantifying environmental and social risks should be part of the normal process of risk assessment and management, both in domestic and international operations.
2.4 We will endeavor to pursue the best practice in environmental management, including energy and water efficiency, recycling and waste reduction. We will seek to form business relations with customers, partners, suppliers and subcontractors who follow similarly high environmental standards.
2.5 We intend to update our practices periodically to incorporate relevant developments in sustainability management. We encourage the industry to undertake research accordingly.
2.6 We recognize the need to conduct regular internal reviews and to measure our progress against our sustainability goals.
2.7 We recognize the need for the financial services sector to adapt and develop products and services which will promote the principles of sustainable development.
3. Public Awareness and Communication
3.1 We recommend that financial institutions develop and publish a statement of their sustainability policy and periodically report on the steps they have taken to promote the integration of environmental and social considerations into their operations.
3.2 We are committed to share relevant information with customers, as appropriate, so that they may strengthen their own capacity to reduce environmental and social risk and promote sustainable development.
3.3 We will foster openness and dialogue relating to sustainability matters with relevant stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, regulators, policy-makers and the public.
3.4 We will work with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to further the principles and goals of this Statement, and seek UNEP’s active support in providing relevant information relating to sustainable development.
3.5 We will encourage other financial institutions to support this Statement. We are committed to share with them our experiences and knowledge in order to extend best practices.
3.6 We recognize the importance of other initiatives by the financial services sector in forwarding the aims and objectives of sustainable finance and will seek to assist such initiatives in an appropriate manner.
3.7 We will work with UNEP periodically to review the success in implementing this Statement and expect all Signatories to make real progress.
Download Statement (PDF: 9KB)