At the 2-year mark, over 40% of the banking sector
is now committed to the Principles for Responsible Banking

2 years since launch, we celebrate the Principles for Responsible Banking and the work of signatory banks as they continue along their 4 year journey of implementation. We also welcome new signatories who now number almost 250 banks representing 40% of banking assets worldwide, and take a look forward to the report on collective progress, scheduled for publication in October this year.

The Principles are the world’s leading framework for responsible banking – unprecedented in their scale and scope, bringing banks across the world together to work on the most challenging and critical topics facing humanity and the environment. Since the establishment of the Principles, signatory banks have been working together to build the foundations, tools and industry guidance to forge pathways and guide the financial community towards the vision set out by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. 

Building foundations together

Since 2019, the Principles have grown from 132 founding banks to almost 250 banks, representing over 40% of banking assets worldwide. Signatories across six continents have been extensively collaborating to develop tools and guidance, breaking new ground and building industry best-practice across key sustainability topics.

A growing community


Data at 22 September 2021. Source: UNEP FI and FSB Global Monitoring Report 2020

Guidance, tools and commitments

Since the year 1 update, banks have further developed the portfolio impact analysis tool allowing banks to further identify and analyse their key areas of positive and negative impact, as well as a suite of guidance on how to set robust targets on biodiversity, financial health and inclusion and gender equality.

With 2021 a critical year for climate, and ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26), signatories have produced leading, science-based guidance for banks on climate target-setting, drafted by banks from the PRB Collective Commitment to Climate Action. With global ambition increasing and science coalescing around a 1.5 degree temperature limit, over 50 signatories have now increased their collective climate ambition, committing to align their investment and lending portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050 through the industry-led, UN-convened Net-Zero Banking Alliance, launched in April 2021.

Hear from CEOs

Tinkoff
Tinkoff
Piraeus Bank
Piraeus Bank
Banco de Fomento Agropecuario
Banco de Fomento Agropecuario
Ibercaja Banco
Ibercaja Banco
Wema Bank Plc
Wema Bank Plc
Global Bank
Global Bank
Center Invest Bank
Center Invest Bank
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Hear from other CEOs and Chairs speaking about the Principles

Transparency and accountability

2021 has seen founding banks publish their initial reports which highlight measures they have taken on their journey to implement the Principles across their activities over their first 18 months. Signatories also worked together to publish guidance on reporting, and guidance for assurance providers, further standardising and providing clarity to all signatories on these critical topics.

March 2021 also saw the establishment of a new Civil Society Advisory Body; unique forum for meaningful and constructive engagement between wider civil society and the collective of signatories. Composed of 12 organizations each representing a region, a key sustainability topic and a key stakeholder group, the Body is designed to allow the Principles to maintain ongoing relevance with societal needs and ensure a strong level of ambition and transparency is maintained.

ING
Anne-Sophie Castelnau, Global Head of Sustainability
ING

“The Principles for Responsible Banking promised us a common language for concerted action. In practice, the Principles brought us more: by jointly agreeing to collective commitments and supporting guidelines for key areas such as climate change, we effectively help shape standard-setting and policy development for responsible banking. I’m really proud ING actively contributes."

IDLC Finance Limited 1
M. Jamal Uddin, CEO & Managing Director
IDLC Finance Limited

“In 2007, we became a member of UNGC and decided to align our business practices to the UNGC principles. Later in 2010, IDLC became a member of UNEP FI, and from 2019 we became a signatory of four major initiatives offered by UNEP FI: 1. Principles of Responsible Banking; 2. Collective Commitment to Climate Action; 3. Tobacco-Free Portfolio; and 4. Net-Zero Banking Alliance."

IDLC Finance Limited 2
M. Jamal Uddin, CEO & Managing Director
IDLC Finance Limited

"IDLC has adopted Green Banking Policy in 2012 and have been successfully implementing Environmental and Social Management System.
The future plan for a sustainable portfolio includes carbon footprint analysis by a professional entity to form initiatives to neutralize adverse impacts.”

Center-invest Bank
Dr. Vasily Vysokov, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Center-invest Bank

"Localization of PRB has created a management culture conducive to continuous innovation amid constant changes.”

BNP Paribas
Laurence Pessez, Global Head of CSR
BNP Paribas

“A collective mobilization is essential to achieve a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. By moving from 132 to more than 240 banks in two years, the Principles for Responsible Banking demonstrate the essential role they can have in this process."

LGT Private Banking
Olivier de Perregaux, CEO
LGT Private Banking

"It is in the concern of every company to take its responsibility towards society and the environment and to contribute to a future worth living. By signing the Principles for Responsible Banking, we became part of the solution and actively support the United Nations' efforts to make the global financial sector more sustainable."

Desjardins Group
Pauline D’Amboise, Secretary General and Vice-President,
Governance and Sustainable Development
Desjardins Group

“As a cooperative financial group, sustainability constitutes our DNA and is a cornerstone of our corporate strategy. Becoming in 2019 the first Canadian financial institution to sign the Principles for Responsible Banking was then a logical result of the responsible leadership we’ve been demonstrating for decades. Since then, we have mobilized to fast-track the implementation of these principles, to measure and improve our impact and to foster a just energy transition. To do so, we are actively working towards net zero emissions by 2040 in our extended operations and in our lending activities and our own investments in three key carbon-intensive sectors: energy, transportation and real estate”

Development and Investment Bank of Turkey
Secil Yildiz, Chief Sustainability Officer
Development and Investment Bank of Turkey

"With the awareness that the resources the ecosytem offers us are not unlimited, being a part of the solution for a sustainable future is inevitable.”

Raiffeisen International Bank AG
Andrea Sihn-Weber, Head of ESG & Group Sustainability Management
Raiffeisen International Bank AG

"At RBI we aim at taking a leading role in our transformation of our markets towards sustainable economies, the Principles for Responsible Banking of the UNEP FI are of great importance for us. Therefore, we are happy to join the celebration of the framework's two-year anniversary!”

Gatehouse Bank
Charles Haresnape, CEO
Gatehouse Bank

"Future ready banks must take ownership of their impact their services have on the environment and communities. An ethical focus will make a real difference to people's lives, now and in the future. At Gatehouse we see enormous value in the UN Principles initiative. We've benefited greatly from the support of the UNEP FI and from global peer learning opportunities, and warmly encourage other financial institutions to join us as signatories."

Banco Sabadell
Ana Ribalta, Sustainability Director
Banco Sabadell

“Through this commitment at Banco Sabadell, together with the other member financial institutions, we are taking on a leadership role, showing how banking products, services and relationships can support and accelerate the changes needed to achieve shared prosperity for both current and future generations, generating a positive impact on people and planet.”

UNEP FI
Eric Usher, Head of UNEP FI
United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative

“The growth in signatories to 40% of the global banking sector speaks to the continued strength and relevance of the Principles for Responsible Banking. They remain the leading global framework for banks to integrate sustainability at the heart of their business, addressing the triple planetary crisis of climate, nature loss and pollution, and delivering a more equitable economy for people and planet.”

UNEP FI PRB
Puleng Ndjwili-Potele, UNEP FI Interim Banking Lead
United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative

“The Principles continue to provide an on-ramp for banks worldwide, at all stages of their sustainability journeys, to accelerate towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. Two years in, signatories across six continents have been extensively collaborating to build the foundations for implementation, developing tools and guidance, breaking new ground, and building industry best-practice across key sustainability topics.”

Looking ahead

Looking ahead, the first, baseline Collective Progress Report of the Principles is scheduled for publication in mid-October. It will review and analyse the collective progress of all current signatories up to the first reporting cycle (18 months since the Principles were created), and includes an independent review from the Civil Society Advisory Body. The report will highlight the promising progress made, but also the array of existing and emerging challenges to be addressed as banks move forward – an essential tool to inform the strategic priorities of the Principles going forward.