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
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is an independent non-profit organization that promotes greater awareness and informed discussion about human rights issues relating to business. Its aim is to encourage companies to advance human rights in business, and eradicate abuse. Website Link | Representative: Phil Bloomer, Executive Director.
Climate Action Network
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 1300 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 120 countries, working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. Website Link | Representative: Iskander Erzini Vernoit, Co-Chair of CAN’s Finance Working Group
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, Senior Director, Company Network.
Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, Conservation International empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, and for the well-being of humanity. Website Link | Representative: Sebastian Troeng, Executive Vice President.
The Center for Sustainability Studies (GVces) of the Business Administration School of Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV-EAESP) is an open environment for study, learning, insights, innovation and the production of knowledge, made up of personnel with a multidisciplinary and diverse background; these are highly creative people that are engaged, committed, curious and bold, and especially motivated by a genuine desire to change the world. Website Link | Representative: Dr. Annelise Vendramini, Sustainable Finance Researcher and Professor.
International Labor Organization (ILO)
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is devoted to advancing opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. Its main aims are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue in handling work-related issues. Website Link | Representative: Craig Churchill, Chief, Social Finance.
International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) – IFRS Foundation
On 3 November 2021, the IFRS Foundation Trustees announced the creation of a new standard-setting board—the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB)—to help meet International investors’ demand for high quality, transparent, reliable and comparable reporting by companies on climate and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters. The intention is for the ISSB to deliver a comprehensive global baseline of sustainability-related disclosure standards that provide investors and other capital market participants with information about companies’ sustainability-related risks and opportunities to help them make informed decisions. Website Link | Representative: Emily Gaston, Research Analyst.
ShareAction is a campaigning organisation pushing the global investment system to take responsibility for its impacts on people and planet, and uses its power to create a green, fair, and healthy society. Website Link | Representative: Jeanne Martin, Head of Banking Programme.
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)
The John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy, Civic Engagement and Responsible Business promotes social change in the Arab region through building a culture of effective giving, corporate social responsibility, and civic responsibility. Website Link | Representative: Dr. Ali Awni, Director of The John D. Gerhart Center.
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.
WWF – an independent conservation organization active in nearly 100 countries – is tackling the deepening crisis of nature loss caused by human activities. Its ambition is to set nature on the path to recovery in the coming decade for the benefit of people and wildlife. Website Link | Representative: Elisa Vacherand, Deputy Practice Leader, Finance.
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: