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 30 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 170 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

  • Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures in Asia

    UNEP FI is excited to offer a webinar for participants in Asia to discuss TCFD and climate risk assessment. The session will explore the TCFD framework, the latest from UNEP FI’s insurance and banking TCFD pilots, and regulatory developments around climate risk. 

  • Workshop on banking and human rights for ASEAN-region banks (By invitation only)

    Join us on a virtual introductory workshop on banking and human rights issues for ASEAN banks. It will include an overview of human rights issues related to businesses in ASEAN and how this relates to banks under both hard and soft laws; how banks in the region are tackling human rights; and a live exercise to develop an ASEAN human rights risk heatmap with the help of experts. The workshop is side event of the UN Virtual Forum on Responsible Business and Human Rights, 9-12 June.

  • Ensuring a Sustainable Recovery in the Asia Pacific: What Role for the Finance Sector?

    As part of the main session of the UN Virtual Forum on Responsible Business and Human Rights – Asia Pacific, UNEP FI is co-organising a session on the role of the finance sector in the sustainable and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 crisis in the ASEAN region.

  • Japan Launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking

    Following the global launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking on 22 September 2019 at the United Nations in New York with 130 banks collectively holding USD 47 trillion in assets signed up, UNEP Finance Initiative together with the Japanese Principles for Financial Action (PFA), a Japan nation-wide sustainable finance forum, held a Japan launch […]

  • Driving Change, Realizing Impact: Launching the Principles for Responsible Banking

    The banking industry is launching the Principles for Responsible Banking on the 23rd of September in New York City. Hosted by the 30 founding banks, the event will bring together banking sector and global thought leaders as well as environmental and development experts to explore the implementation and impact potential of the newly launched Principles for Responsible Banking.

  • 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.