Join the conversation about the Principles

We are consulting on the Principles for Responsible Banking until 31 May 2019 and encourage all banks, other financial institutions and interested parties to have your say on the Principles and Implementation Guidance.

The development of the Principles to date has already involved civil society organizations and UNEP FI member banks, investors and insurers. Now it is important we widen this engagement and give others the opportunity to contribute.

There are several ways you can get involved: complete our online consultation form, join a webinar, or attend an information event.

Consultation feedback

The consultation on the Principles runs until the end of May. These are the themes emerging from the feedback received as of 22 January:

“There are a lot of existing frameworks. What do the Principles have to offer?”
The Principles provide a single comprehensive framework to guide banks at the strategic, portfolio and transaction level. Such a framework has been lacking. The Implementation Guidance incorporates many of the existing sustainability frameworks and tools, and suggests how these could be used in implementing the Principles.
“The Principles focus solely on big commercial banks.”
The Principles are for all types and categories of bank, regardless of their business model. They were produced by a development bank, retail banks, and universal banks, with investment departments.
“The Principles contribute further to the reporting burden.”
The Core Group developing the Principles wanted to limit additional reporting as far as possible. Therefore, the requirements are:
  • Banks incorporate reporting on their implementation of the Principles into their existing reports, and
  • Banks complete the Reporting Template by referencing where in their public reports the relevant information can be found. Many banks, especially those that report under the GRI IV, will find that their reporting already addresses most of the requirements.
“Proper disclosure and more objective requirements are needed."
Banks are required to report annually on their implementation of the Principles, material risks and impacts, as well as their targets. This involves disclosing KPIs for addressing and reducing negative – while increasing positive – impacts. Reporting will be subject to review. Banks that consistently and without reasonable explanation fail to comply with these requirements can be removed from the list of signatories.
Please note that certain aspects of the review process are still under discussion with the Founding Banks and Endorser Banks, and that the mechanisms for review will be further developed and detailed in the coming months.

“Review Guidelines are needed to properly assess the Reporting Template, and standardization in reporting is required.”
The Core Group is currently developing the Review Guidelines, which will be available for consultation soon. The Review Guidelines will offer further objectivity in reporting criteria, provide clarity and guidance to reviewers about how to assess reporting, and guide banks on the criteria their reviewer will use to assess their reporting, which will standardize review outcomes.

“Is participation by the assurer or reviewer in the feedback meeting essential?”
Following deliberation on this issue, it was decided that participation by the assurer/reviewer in the feedback meeting between UNEP FI and the bank is not mandatory. Banks may choose to invite the assurer/reviewer if they wish to do so.

“Methodologies need to be developed and more practical examples for implementing the Principles are required.”
The banks involved are working on methodologies to enable them to align with the Paris Climate Agreement and the SDGs. All banks that sign up will have the opportunity to get involved in developing appropriate methodologies and metrics as this is an ongoing process that can be enhanced by exchanging peer expertise and by following global developments on these issues. The Implementation Guidance will be updated every two years (as required) to include progress in metrics, tools and methodologies. Good examples of implementation will be loaded on UNEP FI’s website.
The Rules of the Game: A brief introduction to International Labour Standards, 2014 will be included in the Implementation Guidance as a key resource.
A disclaimer accompanies the Principles for this purpose. See the footnote under Signatory Requirements at the bottom of page 14 of the consultation brochure.

Online consultation

Please comment on the Principles and Implementation Guidance by using this online form.


Every six weeks, UNEP FI and the founding banks will be hosting informative webinars to present and explain the Principles and their target-setting and accountability requirements, and to get your feedback.

The next webinar will take place on 17 April 2019. Two sessions will be held : 9:00 and 16:00 CET. To register for the webinar please, contact

Another webinar is scheduled for 29 May 2019. Further details about these webinars will be provided.

Click here to see the previous webinar.

Information and consultation events

Founding banks, UNEP FI and our partners will all be holding information events where you can hear in person about the Principles for Responsible Banking, and provide your inputs and feedback:

We will publish further dates and information about these and other events here.

Find out more and get involved

If you would like further information about the Principles or how you can contribute, please get in touch.

Don’t forget to give us your feedback on the Principles.