Launched in March 2021 after a robust and transparent application process, the Civil Society Advisory Body of the Principles for Responsible Banking is a unique forum for meaningful and constructive engagement between wider civil society and the signatories to the Principles for Responsible Banking. The Body puts each signatory’s commitment to “proactively and responsibly consult, engage and partner with relevant stakeholders to achieve society’s goals” (Principles 4: Stakeholders) into practice at the collective level. It is a key mechanism to help the Principles maintain ongoing relevance with societal needs and ensure Signatory Banks deliver on their commitments with ambition and transparency.
What is the role of the Advisory Body?
Composed of 12 organizations each representing a region (Africa & Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America), key sustainability topic (Biodiversity & Ecosystems, Climate, Human Rights & Gender, Poverty & Social Issues and Transparency & Accountability), and key stakeholder group (Clients & Customers and Employees), the Body contributes to and supports the effective implementation of the Principles by engaging with the Banking Board and the community of Signatory banks, providing inputs in regular progress evaluations and advising on strategy and framework revisions. For example, the Body will:
- Provide an independent assessment of the collective progress of the Signatory banks in the biennial progress report.
- Provide inputs in the biennial revision of the Principles for Responsible Banking and their Framework Documents to help maintain the ambition of the Principles and their alignment with evolving societal needs.
- In regular meetings, engage the community of Signatories on topics that the Body considers as priority.
- Provide expert support to the implementation working groups.
For more details on the Body, please refer to Section 3 of UNEP FI Banking Governance Framework.
Civil Society Advisory Body Members
Chair of the Civil Society Advisory Body
Program Director, Company Network
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Climate Action Network
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization leading the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Through our powerful networks and advocacy, we tackle the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and human rights abuses. Website Link | Representative: Daniel Saccardi, Program Director, Company Network.
International Labor Organization (ILO)
The European Federation of Investors and Financial Services Users (Better Finance)
BETTER FINANCE, the European Federation of Investors and Financial Services Users, is the public interest non-governmental organisation advocating and defending the interests of European citizens as financial services users at European level. Website Link | Representative: Aleksandra Maczynska, Executive Director
The John D. Gerhart Center (American University in Cairo)
UNI Finance – UNI Global Union
UNI Finance, the Global Union for all finance and insurance workers represents 3 million employees in 237 trade unions worldwide. UNI Finance implements the objectives of UNI in the context of the finance industry and addresses sector-specific issues of relevance to all its members. Website Link | Representative: Michael Budolfsen, Vice-President.
Value Reporting Foundation
The Value Reporting Foundation is a global nonprofit organization that offers a comprehensive suite of resources designed to help businesses and investors develop a shared understanding of enterprise value—how it is created, preserved and eroded. Our resources include: The Integrated Thinking Principles, the Integrated Reporting Framework and SASB Standards. Combined, these tools provide the 21st century market infrastructure to assess, develop, manage and communicate strategy to create long-term value and drive improved performance. Website Link | Representative: Emily Gaston, Research Analyst.
How can my organisation get involved?
The Civil Society Advisory Body facilitates constructive engagement between the banking industry and wider civil society. Body members regularly reach out to, engage and lead consultation with other civil society organizations to ensure that the diverse views of wider civil society are reflected. Civil society institutions are encouraged to engage with the Body Members most relevant to their field of work. For questions, please contact Oualid Rokneddine.
Application Process | The 2020 application process for the first 2-year term is closed. The next available call for applications will be launched in Q4 2022. For reference, please find the 2020 application form. Info Session: Watch our info session here during the 2020 call for applications, in which the UNEP FI Secretariat and Banking Board representatives presented the Advisory Body and answered questions from civil society institutions.
Hear what some of the Body Members expect from the Principles for Responsible Banking: