The banking sector plays a crucial role in promoting sustainable development. It can lead the way to a more sustainable economy by lending to economic activities that yield the best return from society’s point of view and by guiding customers and stakeholders to manage social and environmental challenges and opportunities. At UNEP FI, we work hand in hand with our member banks to increase lending that supports socially and environmentally sustainable economic activities. Indeed we have supported 28 of those members to create the Principles for Responsible Banking, which aim to transform the banking industry to enable it to play a leading role in achieving society’s goals as expressed in the Sustainable Development goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Starting with only a few pioneer commercial banks, UNEP-FI’s Banking Programme can now rely on and assist a strong international banking network of over 130 leading banks across the world. Our membership is composed of top international banks, regional leaders, development banks and specialized environmental banks. At UNEP FI, it is our members, through the Banking Committee, which is composed of senior executives from our member banks, that steer the overall strategy and activities of the Banking Programme to lead this change towards becoming sustainable financial institutions. Therefore, our work is closely tailored to the actual needs and interests of our membership and more globally those of the banking sector.

Over the past few years, our work has fallen into the following broad categories of: providing technical research and guidance on sustainable banking tools and practices, spearheading and supporting leadership initiatives, working with members and experts to develop new concepts, methodologies and approaches and promoting policy dialogue and engagement. For a more in-depth description of our current activities, please click on the tabs listed on the right-hand side.

UNEP FI’s banking members and our banking-related work are supported by our four dedicated thematic expert teams:

Climate Risk & Performance
Climate Change is one of UNEP FI’s core themes. The key areas of focus for banking practitioners include:

Natural Capital Risk & Valuation
Ecosystems Management is organized first and foremost through the Natural Capital Finance Alliance, a partnership with the Global Canopy Programme. Key areas of focus for banking practitioners include:

Banking & Human Rights
Over the years, UNEP FI has developed guidance on
human rights and broader social issues and is actively supporting the exploration of the links between environmental issues such as climate change and human rights / social issues. Key resources for banking practitioners include:

Positive impact
The Positive Impact Initiative aims to promote impact-based financing through new business models and financial products. By virtue of a holistic appraisal of sustainability issues, Positive Impact Finance constitutes a direct response to the challenge of financing the Sustainable Development Goals. Key resources for banking practitioners include:

Training and professional development
UNEP FI has a range of training offerings, both online and in workshop format, covering several themes. For further information on each of these services, please visit the Sustainable Finance Training section.

Contact

Simone Dettling
simone.dettling@un.org

  • Banks worldwide lining up to endorse ‘Principles for Responsible Banking’ ahead of 22 September launch at United Nations General Assembly

    22 May 2019, Geneva – The number of banks worldwide endorsing the highly anticipated Principles for Responsible Banking has now jumped to 56, including a spearheading group of 28 ‘Founding Banks’ and a growing list of currently 27 more ‘Endorsing Banks’ representing all five continents. The Principles for Responsible Banking are set to launch on […]

  • Changing Course: UNEP FI and twenty institutional investors launch new guidance to implement TCFD Recommendations

    Twenty institutional investors from eleven countries convened by the UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) today launched comprehensive investor guidance to help assess how climate change and climate action could impact investor portfolios around the world. These assessments enable investors to be more transparent about their climate-related risks and opportunities in line with the recommendations […]

  • World’s banking sector sets 22 September as launch date for highly anticipated Principles for Responsible Banking

    CEOs invited to signing event being held at UN Headquarters parallel to high-level UN General Assembly Leading banks around the globe that are members of UNEP FI have set 22 September as the official launch date of the industry-developed UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking. The Principles provide the framework for a sustainable banking system […]

  • Counting the cost: ENCORE helps banks assess exposure to environmental degradation

    When Madeleine Ronquest attended the Johannesburg launch of an innovative guide designed to help banks assess their exposure to environmental degradation, a quick look around the room proved it was no longer business as usual in the financial sector. “When I started out there weren’t any environmental or sustainability people in the banks, and (at the launch) […]

  • Principles for Responsible Banking on track to become industry standard as over 65 organisations now endorse

    Today 12 more banks are endorsing the UNEP Finance Initiative’s Principles for Responsible Banking, bringing the total number of banks supporting the new framework to 49. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Itaú Unibanco, CaixaBank, Wema Bank, Banco Galicia, BCC Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar, Banco De Fomento Agropecuario, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings, Spare Bank, Arion Bank, ALEXBANK, and […]

  • 17 Institutions Become the First Endorsers of the Principles for Responsible Banking Joining the 28 Founding Banks

    Standard Chartered PLC, KBC Group, KB Financial Group, DGB Financial Group, Natixis, GLS Bank, Landsbankinn, Zenith Bank and Keystone Bank among first Endorsers of the Principles for Responsible Banking Standard Chartered PLC, KBC Group, KB Financial Group, DGB Financial Group, Natixis, GLS Bank, Landsbankinn hf., Zenith Bank and Keystone Bank become the first banks beyond […]

  • Climate Success at COP24: after intense negotiations new rulebook breathes life into Paris Agreement but much more decarbonisation ambition needed

      On Saturday, following two weeks marked by dramatic rhetoric and intense negotiations over legal language, close to 200 Governments bridged a deep global divide and agreed on the set of rules meant to steer countries worldwide in implementing the historic 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. UNEP FI’s Climate Lead, Remco Fischer gives more […]

  • The Principles for Responsible Banking public consultation launch: have your say on the future of banking

    Today at its Global Roundtable in Paris, UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and 28 banks from around the world are launching the Principles for Responsible Banking for global public consultation. Together the banks represent over USD 17 trillion in combined assets, and CEOs from 12 of the banks will attend the launch.

  • UNEP FI working with 16 global insurers to better understand risk & implement TCFD recommendations

    UN Environment’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) announced today a partnership with 16 of the world’s largest insurers—representing around 10% of world premium and USD 5 trillion in assets under management—to develop a new generation of risk assessment tools designed to enable the insurance industry to better understand the impacts of climate change on their business. This understanding is vital for an industry whose core business is to manage risk.

  • UNEP FI’s Expanding Network in Latin America & the Caribbean

    Our network keeps expanding, as three banks and one supporting institution join UNEP FI (English) During the month of August, we welcomed three banks and one supporting institution as new members of UNEP FI in Latin America and the Caribbean. BNF (Banco Nacional de Fomento), BANESCO, Multibank and the institution CECODES (Consejo Empresarial Colombia para […]

  • Finance sector commits to working together to develop Sustainable Finance Roadmaps for Australia & New Zealand

    Finance sector commits to working together to develop Sustainable Finance Roadmaps for Australia & New Zealand Finance sector organisations – including banking, insurance and investment industries, representing over 300 institutions with $10 trillion in assets – have today released a joint statement in support of a sustainable financial system for Australia and New Zealand.

  • TCFD Recommendations: guidance for banking industry to manage physical risks and opportunities now available

    Sixteen leading banks convened by the UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and supported by climate risk advisory firm Acclimatise, have released new methodologies that aim to help the banking industry to understand and manage the physical risks and opportunities of climate change in their loan portfolios.

  • Blog: The World Is Counting on Banks To Deliver Climate Finance. Counting Their Progress Is No Easy Feat

    The Portfolio Carbon Initiative – a collaboration between World Resources Institute (WRI), UNEP Finance Initiative and 2 Degrees Investing Initiative – have published Exploring Metrics to Measure the Climate Progress of Banks to provide insight into which metrics banks can use to report on the extent to which their activities help or hinder the transition […]

  • UPDATED: 28 UNEP FI banking members working together to redefine how the banking industry delivers a sustainable future

    Go to the main Principles for Responsible Banking page for more information and to find out how you and your organisation can get involved. Update as of 30 September: 28 banks are now collaborating to develop the Principles for Responsible Banking. 29 May, 2018 Twenty-six leading banks from 5 continents representing USD 16 trillion in […]

  • UNEP FI グローバルの16 署名銀行がTCFDに関する銀行業界向けのガイドを公表

    ジュネーブ(2018年4月24日)| 国連環境金融イニシアティブ(UNEP FI)の署名機関である16の大手銀行は、気候変動と気候に関する行動がビジネスにどのような影響を与えるかについて銀行の理解を深めるために、共同で開発した手法を発表しました。

    この取り組みは、銀行がTCFDに沿って気候関連のリスクと機会へのエクスポージャーをより透明なものにするための基本的なものです。また、銀行が低炭素経済への移行に貢献し、かつ、その恩恵を享受するために自らの戦略に生かし、さらには、同じ目的のために顧客への働きかけを行い、支援することにもつながります。そもそも、銀行が直面する気候関連のリスクと機会とは、顧客に対するサービスから生じるものであるため、そうした顧客への働きかけや支援ということが非常に重要になります。

  • Extending our Horizons: Assessing Credit Risk and Opportunity in a Changing Climate

    Outputs of a working group of 16 banks piloting the TCFD Recommendations Part I: Transition-related risks and opportunities This report is the result of a collaboration between sixteen of the world’s leading banks with UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and management consultancies Oliver Wyman and Mercer to pilot scenario-based assessments of transition-related risks and […]

  • 16 UNEP FI member banks launch first guidance to help banking industry adopt TCFD Recommendations

      Geneva, 24 April, 2018 | Sixteen leading banks from four continents, convened by the UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), today published a jointly developed methodology to increase banks’ understanding of how climate change and climate action could impact their business. This understanding is fundamental to enable banks to be more transparent about their exposure […]

  • Green Finance Study to take place in Ghana

    In line with one of the proposed Ghana Banking principles of promoting customers to integrate Environmental Social Governance (ESG) in their business, UNEP FI through colleagues at the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) is undertaking a study to assess the level of integration of sustainability in the business sector’s operations, value chains and […]

  • Two Salvadorian Banks Join UNEP FI

    Jan 2018 | San Salvador, El Salvador

    We are pleased to announce the joining of two new banks to the Initiative.
    Banco Hipotecario and Banco de Fomento Agropecuaria held events during January of this year to mark their commitment to sustainable finance.

  • CSI Kenya joins as UNEP FI Supporting Institution

      27 November, 2017 UNEP FI is very pleased to welcome CIS Kenya, a leading credit-focused association, as a supporting institution. Chief Executive Officer Jared Getenga said, “There is no question on who should join the Sustainable Finance Initiative, we should look at it as a matter of when. All businesses have to calculate risks, […]

  • Christiana Figueres challenges UNEP FI’s banking members and wider industry to cut high-carbon investing

    Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, laid down a challenge to the banking industry during UNEP FI’s recent Europe Roundtable when she joined as a surprise guest via live video conference. Christiana, who was one of the architects of the Paris Agreement reached at COP21 in […]

  • BBVA is 14th Leading Bank to Join UNEP FI TCFD Pilot Project

    26 September 2017 We are pleased to announce that UNEP FI member, BBVA Group, is the latest to join UNEP FI’s first-mover project to implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) along with thirteen other leading banks. In collaboration with the pilot project group, they will jointly pioneer practical approaches […]

  • How to Become a Sustainable Bank: Launch of the New Guide to Banking and Sustainability 2.0

    September 2017       What does a sustainable bank look like and what role can each department play to further integrate sustainability across a bank? The UN Environment Finance Initiative’s (UNEP FI) Guide to Banking and Sustainability – Edition 2 is a functional overview of what a sustainable bank looks like and is designed […]

  • Rabobank joins 12 leading banks to pilot recommendations of Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures

    5 September, 2017 We are pleased to announce that UNEP FI member, Rabobank, is the latest to join twelve other first-mover banks working together to implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The leading Dutch Bank has already halted financing of unconventional energy extraction such as shale gas, and no […]

  • Norway’s DNB is twelfth leading bank to join UNEP FI’s TCFD implementation pilot project

    31 July 2017 We are pleased that UNEP FI member, DNB, has become the twelfth leading bank to join our pilot project to implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). This follows the announcement in early July that eleven of UNEP FI’s banking members not only welcomed the recommendations but […]

  • UPDATED: 16 UNEP FI Member Banks Representing Many Trillions of Dollars are First in Industry to Jointly Pilot the TCFD Recommendations

    31 October, 2017: Update – 16 banks now form the UNEP FI TCFD pilot project. 11 July, 2017 Eleven of the world’s leading banks announced on 11 July, 2017 that they will work together with UNEP FI to develop analytical tools and indicators to strengthen their assessment and disclosure of climate-related risks and opportunities. Following […]

  • UNEP FI signatory Shinhan Bank launches a new green loan program

    On April 6th, Shinhan Bank launched its ‘Green Management Firm Loan Program’ with the South Korean Ministry of Environment and KEITI, a UNEP FI Supporting Institution. The program allots USD 87 million for Eco-friendly Small and Medium Entersprises, and loans are made with interest rates of up to 1.3% lower that existing programs. This is […]

  • ABBANK becomes first UNEP FI member in Vietnam

      An Binh Commercial Joint Stock Bank (ABBANK), the fastest growing retail bank in Vietnam, has become the first UNEP FI member in the country. ABBANK prides itself as one of the first banks to adopt the Bank of Vietnam’s directive to promote green credit growth and manage environmental and social risks in financial operations, […]

  • 19 leading global banks and investors totaling $6.6 trillion in assets launch Principles for Positive Impact Finance

    Paris, 30 January 2017

    Today, 19 leading global banks and investors totaling $6.6 trillion in assets, launched the Principles for Positive Impact Finance at an event in Paris. The programme of the event is available here.

    Read the press release in English and in French.

  • ANT Financial Services and UN Environment launch Green Digital Finance Alliance

    On Thursday 19 January 2017, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, UNEP FI member ANT Financial Services and UN Environment launched the ‘Green Digital Finance Alliance’ a ground-breaking initiative to harness digital technologies in catalyzing financing that addresses global environmental challenges. Financing sustainable development is one of the greatest challenge of our times. To […]

  • Chinese online payment provider Ant Financial joins UNEP FI

    Chinese online payment provider Ant Financial joins UNEP FI Ant Financial Services Group has become the first Fintech company to join UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative’s network of more than 200 financial institution signatories. Ant Financial’s signing of the UNEP FI Statement of Commitment by Financial Institutions on Sustainable Development represents the online payments services providers’ recognition of the role of […]

  • The Association of Banks in Jordan joins UNEP Finance Initiative as Supporting Institution

    On 16 October 2016, the Association of Banks in Jordan (ABJ) joined UNEP FI as a Supporting Institution, becoming the second Banking Association in the region to join under this status. The Association, which is an umbrella to 25 Banks in Jordan, seeks to advance the banking business in the country and plays an active […]

  • Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures: Draft Recommendations Report out 14th December

      The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) released its draft Recommendations Report in December 2016. The initiative – set up by the Financial Stability Board – will develop voluntary, consistent climate-related financial risk disclosures for use by companies in providing information to investors, lenders, insurers, and other stakeholders. The task force launched a […]

  • BASA signs agreement to join UNEP FI as Supporting Institution

    On 27 May 2016, the Banking Association South Africa (BASA) signed an agreement to join UNEP FI as a supporting partner becoming the first Banking Industry Association in Africa and third globally, to achieve a Supporting Institution Status. This partnership comes in celebration of 15 years of collaboration between UNEP FI and BASA, a collaboration dating […]

  • Union of Arab Banks (UAB) first institution in the Arab region to join UNEP Finance Initiative as Supporting Institution

    On 12 May 2016, the Union of Arab Banks became the second institution globally and first regionally to join UNEP FI under the Supporting Institution Status. Following the formalization of the partnership agreement under the Supporting Institutions, UNEP FI partnered with the UAB for the 2016 International Arab Banking Summit that took place in Rome […]

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

    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, […]

  • Principles for Responsible Banking Consultation Workshop in Vietnam

    State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and GIZ hosted a UNEP FI’s Principles for Responsible Banking Consultation Workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam. The workshop was chaired by Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Kim Anh, Deputy Governor of the SBV. Over 60 participants including representatives from 17 financial institutions attended. During the workshop, SBV also presented the results from the […]

  • Malaysia Responsible Banking Engagement and Sharing Session

    CIMB Group, one of 28 founding banks of the Principles for Responsible Banking, hosted a Malaysia Responsible Banking Engagement and Sharing Session in collaboration with the Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM) and the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM). Mr. Rafe Haneef, CEO, CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd led the event participated by […]

  • Asia Sustainable Finance Initiative Launch

    UNEP Finance Initiative, as a Knowledge Partner, participated in the launch of the Asia Sustainable Finance Initiative on 21 January 2019 in Singapore. Together with CIMB, UNEP FI’s member in Malaysia, it presented on UNEP FI and the Principles for Responsible Banking. The Asia Sustainable Finance Initiative aims to help shift Asia’s financial flows towards sustainable economic, […]

  • New Guide to Empower Banks To Assess Natural Capital Risk Launching in South Africa

    Johannesburg will see the African launch of the world’s first step-by-step guide to help banks conduct a rapid natural capital risk assessment by the Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA).  The guide is produced in collaboration with global audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. The guide has already been piloted by five banks, including FirstRand Group and the Development Bank of Southern Africa and promotes the use of the […]

  • Webinar: Launch of natural capital risk tool and framework for financial institutions

    The Natural Capital Finance Alliance, funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the MAVA Foundation, has come up with tools and insights to help practitioners identify material natural capital risks and opportunities within their portfolios and integrate these considerations into financial decision making. The webinar will provide an overview of the recently launched ENCORE tool (Exploring Natural Capital Opportunities, Risks and Exposure). It also marks the official online launch of the NCFA’s latest report produced by PwC, which applies the ENCORE tool to develop a natural capital assessment framework for enhanced portfolio risk management in banks.

  • Webinar: Hear from participants in UNEP FI’s pilot implementing TCFD Recommendations with 16 banks

    This Webinar will discuss the results of a collaboration between sixteen of the world’s leading banks with UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and climate risk and adaptation advisory firm Acclimatise. The banks set out to develop and test a widely applicable scenario-based approach for estimating the impact of climate change on their corporate lending portfolios as recommended by the Recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Hear directly from the banks, climate consultants and UNEP FI secretariat involved in this project.

  • Webinar: Learn more about the first guidance to help the banking industry adopt the TCFD Recommendations

    Sixteen banks working in collaboration with UNEP FI, risk and investment management experts, and leading scientists have recently published a jointly developed methodology that will enable banks to be more transparent about their exposure to climate-related risks and opportunities, in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

    Join this webinar to hear more about the methodology for scenario-based assessment of risks and opportunities from the transition to a low-carbon economy.

  • Sustainable Investment Forum Europe: Financing Innovation for a Low Carbon Future

    Building on the success of its Forum in New York, Climate Action is bringing the Sustainable Investment Forum to Europe in March 2018 in partnership with UNEP FI.
    The European Forum will welcome 250+ high-level decision-makers from the finance community, European governments and think tanks to meet, network, share ideas and discuss concrete solutions to the current challenges of the European and global climate finance market.

  • Introductory Training Workshop on Environmental and Social Risk Analysis in Ecuador

    UNEP FI/Ecobanking will conduct an Introductory Environmental and Social Risk Analysis training workshop. This training session will take place in Guayaquill on the 23th of November.

  • Introductory Training Workshop on Environmental and Social Risk Analysis in Ecuador

    UNEP FI/Ecobanking will conduct an Introductory Environmental and Social Risk Analysis training workshop, in collaboration with ASOBANCA, Ministry of Environment of Ecuador and PNUD. This training session will take place in Quito on the 21th of November.

  • Introductory Seminar on Environmental and Social Risk Analysis in Egypt

    UNEP FI/Ecobanking will conduct an Introductory Environmental and Social Risk Analysis training workshop, in collaboration with the Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI). This training session will take place in Cairo on the 15th of November.

  • Workshop On Opportunities And Challenges Of The Banking Sector For The Financing Of Distributed Photovoltaic Generation Projects In Chile

    El Workshop “Financiamiento de Energía Solar Distribuida en Chile: Una gran Oportunidad para la Banca PYME Nacional” se llevará a cabo por la primera vez el 16 de noviembre en Santiago de Chile. El taller es organizado por ONU Medio Ambiente Iniciativa Financiera (UNEP FI), Fundación Chile y Fraunhofer Chile.

  • Third Stakeholder Meeting of the EMF-ECBC Energy Efficiency Mortgages Initiative

    UNEP FI supports the Energy Efficient Mortgage Initiative launched last year by the European Mortgage Federation- European Covered Bond Council (EMF-ECBC) which will have its third stakeholder meeting and kick off of the Energy Efficient Mortgages Action Plan on June 9.

  • 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.