The businesses that we finance, invest in and insure depend on nature and biodiversity. The world’s ocean, forests and lands provide much of the raw materials, goods and services which underpin the global economy.

At risk from over-exploitation and environmental degradation, there is an urgent need to manage these natural assets more effectively in order to ensure the health and  wellbeing of society, and stability of businesses and the financial system at the heart of the economy.

The financial community has a critical role to play in safeguarding this stock of natural capital, through financing, insuring and investing in companies in the real economy.

UNEP FI works with members and partners to embed sustainable decision-making into mainstream finance. We provide technical research and guidance, working with the financial community on cutting-edge  innovations and frameworks, and developing industry-wide tools linking science, policy, economics and finance, bringing nature to the heart of financial decision-making.

Explore our tools, projects, initiatives and resources below:

Nature & Financial Disclosures:

  • Task Force on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) – a market-led taskforce ​supported by the G7 delivering a framework by 2023 for organisations to report and act on evolving nature-related risks, in order to support a shift in global financial flows away from nature-negative outcomes and toward nature-positive outcomes. UNEP FI is part of the TNFD Stewardship Group. UNEP is the executing agency of the anchor investment by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
  • Nature in Scope — A summary of TNFD’s proposed scope, governance, work plan, communication and resourcing plan
  • Proposed Technical Scope — Recommendations for the TNFD

Oceans and land:

Projects with the Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA):

How to start Setting Biodiversity Targets:

  1. Read our report to get started
  2. Use our online ENCORE tool to see which sectors impact and depend on natural capital
  3. Explore our Blue Finance and Land Use initiatives looking at ocean and land impacts
  4. For banks: join our PRB sub-working group on biodiversity target-setting

Latest Reports:

Financing a sustainable blue economy: recommended exclusions list

Based on the market-first practical guidance for financial institutions, Turning the Tide, UNEP FI’s recommended exclusions list for a sustainable blue economy provides financial institutions with an overview of activities to exclude from financing due to their damaging impact on the ocean and high risk.

Turning the Tide: How to Finance a Sustainable Ocean Recovery

A practical guide for financial institutions to lead a sustainable ocean recovery This seminal guidance is a market-first practical toolkit for financial institutions to pivot their activities towards financing a sustainable blue economy. Designed for banks, insurers and investors, the guidance outlines how to avoid and mitigate environmental and social risks and impacts, as well…

The Rising Tide: Mapping Ocean Finance for a New Decade

The Rising Tide report maps the current state of ocean finance revealing trends in lending, underwriting and investment activities which impact the ocean. It reveals the frameworks and financial instruments that are successfully addressing ocean sustainability and highlights new opportunities and gaps in the market. It looks across five major ocean-linked sectors chosen for their established…

Good Growth Partnership: Year Three Highlights Report

This 3-year progress report provides an update on how the Good Growth Partnership is cultivating sustainability in commodity supply chains, The Good Growth Partnership convenes a wide range of stakeholders and initiatives throughout soy, beef and palm oil supply chains to reduce deforestation and enable sustainable development. It joins forces with national and regional leaders…

24 June 2021

An interview with a CEO: Ilias Tsakiris

You have signed the UNEP FI Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles.  Why did American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company take this step and has it been a challenge to adopt sustainable insurance practices? Shipping itself is crucial to global sustainability. As the carrier of world trade it is the key component in bringing food, energy, vital goods, jobs…

18 June 2021

ESG Investor: Pouring Money on Troubled Waters

Investment in blue economy is vital for planet’s future, but the breadth of risks to ocean health pose challenges to asset owners. The ocean economy is estimated to be worth US$2.5 trillion annually, but just US$13 billion has been invested during the past ten years to support sustainability, according to an international joint academic and public institution report. If further action is not taken to tackle the effects of unsustainable use of oceans and their resources, a total of between US$200 billion-US$1 trillion will be required annually by 2100 to pay for coastal protection, relocation of people and loss of land to sea level rise.

17 June 2021

Financing a sustainable blue economy: recommended exclusions list published

Based on the market-first practical guidance for financial institutions, Turning the Tide, UNEP FI’s recommended exclusions list for a sustainable blue economy provides financial institutions with an overview of activities to exclude from financing due to their damaging impact on the ocean and high risk.

4 June 2021

Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) launched

Major financial institutions and multinational corporates have endorsed the launch of a new market-led Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), which will support business in assessing emerging nature-related risks and opportunities.

26 May 2021

Aligning financial portfolios with biodiversity goals: discover the new addition to the ENCORE tool

In a critical decade for climate and nature, banks and investors can now explore their portfolio’s impact on species extinction risk and ecological integrity, and take immediate action to reverse biodiversity loss. New UN-backed ENCORE biodiversity module has been launched, enabling financial institutions to explore to what extent their financial portfolio indirectly drives species extinction…

16 April 2021

Portugal Endorses the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles at EIB & WWF Event

Read about the conference hosted by the European Investment Bank and WWF, where Portugal, represented by Ricardo Serrão Santos, Minister of the Sea Republic of Portugal, endorsed the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles and the EBRD and the Asian Development Bank were welcomed as recent signatories of the Principles.

11 March 2021

The Land Bank: Our financial sustainability relies on nature

The South African development bank for the agriculture sector is taking action on nature-related risks, as drought contributes to loan defaults in their portfolio. To ensure the long-term success of South Africa’s agriculture sector, Land Bank considers it vital to simultaneously support equitable ownership of land and tackle natural capital risks.

2 March 2021

How to Finance a Sustainable Ocean Recovery – Seminal New Guidance Published

New practical guidance enables banks, investors and insurers to understand their impact on ocean health and immediately take action to accelerate the transition to a sustainable blue economy. Leveraging best practice based on input from more than 50 pioneering institutions and experts, this guidance sets out pathways to sustainable growth across five key ocean sectors, chosen for their established connection to private finance. It presents a detailed breakdown of which activities to seek out as best practice, which activities to challenge, and which activities to avoid financing completely due to their damaging nature.

2 February 2021

UNEP FI Launches New Report Mapping the State of Ocean Finance

This foundational report maps ocean finance, revealing trends in lending, underwriting and investment activities which impact the ocean .It includes survey results across 100+ financial professionals revealing current trends, frameworks and financial instruments that are successfully addressing ocean sustainability and highlights new opportunities and gaps in the market. The report covers 5 key ocean sectors: seafood, ports, shipping, coastal and marine tourism and marine renewable energy, notably offshore wind, chosen for their established connection with private finance.

21 January 2021

One Planet Summit: Biodiversity rises up the Global Agenda

Biodiversity is catching up with climate on the global policy agenda, motivating leading financial institutions to understand their impacts and dependencies on nature. A first step for financial institutions is to look at the impacts and dependencies on nature across the industries they invest in, lend to or insure.

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26 May 2021 | Online

Aligning Financial Portfolios with Biodiversity Goals

The new, ground-breaking biodiversity module within the ENCORE tool enables financial institutions to identify risks and opportunities, in order to align their activities to a goal of no net biodiversity loss globally. Two sessions of the webinar “Aligning Financial Portfolios with Biodiversity Goals” will be held virtually on Wednesday, 26th May 2021 to introduce this…

16 April 2021 | Online conference

Sustainable Financing of the Blue Economy

The European Investment Bank, WWF and the partners of the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles are delighted to invite you to join an event on the margins of the 2021 virtual Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group: Sustainable Financing of the Blue Economy.

1-5 March 2021 | Online

The Economist Group’s Eighth Annual World Ocean Summit Virtual Week

The Economist’s World Ocean Summit 2021 is going virtual for the first time and for this year only, the event is free-to-attend. The virtual week offers the opportunity to access 30 hours of highly curated content over five days, and the chance to make meaningful connections no matter where you are in the world. The focus continues on high-level conversation and policymaking in plenary sessions as well as industry focus in six dedicated tracks: aquaculture, fishing, energy, plastics, shipping, and tourism.

10 February 2021 | Webinar

Science-Based Target Setting on Biodiversity

Many companies are already setting climate science based targets (SBTs) to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Companies are now also considering nature science based targets in order to operate within planetary boundaries. Join a webinar co-hosted by UNEP FI and PRI for more.

10 November 2020 | Webinar

Insuring a Sustainable Ocean Economy: A Deep Dive for the Insurance Industry

Join leading insurers and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) to discuss sustainability challenges and opportunities in the context of the 21st century ocean economy, and find out how to get involved in UNEP FI’s new Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative to develop sustainable finance strategies and approaches to ocean-based industries.

17 August 2020

Webinar: Biodiversity and the Financial Sector (in Portuguese)

The Financial Innovation Laboratory (LAB), the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban) will discuss how the financial sector can address biodiversity and natural capital issues.

20 November 2019 | Paris, France

Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Workshop

UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the European Commission are organising a Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Workshop alongside the Sustainable Ocean Summit. Participants will explore what is required for the finance sector to accelerate uptake of finance-related policies, practices, financial instruments, opportunities and initiatives to contribute to a sustainable blue economy.

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Financing a sustainable blue economy: recommended exclusions list

Based on the market-first practical guidance for financial institutions, Turning the Tide, UNEP FI’s recommended exclusions list for a sustainable blue economy provides financial institutions with an overview of activities to exclude from financing due to their damaging impact on the ocean and high risk.

Turning the Tide: How to Finance a Sustainable Ocean Recovery

A practical guide for financial institutions to lead a sustainable ocean recovery This seminal guidance is a market-first practical toolkit for financial institutions to pivot their activities towards financing a sustainable blue economy. Designed for banks, insurers and investors, the guidance outlines how to avoid and mitigate environmental and social risks and impacts, as well…

The Rising Tide: Mapping Ocean Finance for a New Decade

The Rising Tide report maps the current state of ocean finance revealing trends in lending, underwriting and investment activities which impact the ocean. It reveals the frameworks and financial instruments that are successfully addressing ocean sustainability and highlights new opportunities and gaps in the market. It looks across five major ocean-linked sectors chosen for their established…

Good Growth Partnership: Year Three Highlights Report

This 3-year progress report provides an update on how the Good Growth Partnership is cultivating sustainability in commodity supply chains, The Good Growth Partnership convenes a wide range of stakeholders and initiatives throughout soy, beef and palm oil supply chains to reduce deforestation and enable sustainable development. It joins forces with national and regional leaders…

Unwrapping the risks of plastic pollution to the insurance industry

Plastic is an increasingly high-profile threat to our climate, ocean, wildlife and human health as it becomes widespread both in the ocean and on land, where it is impacting our ecosystems and threatening lives and human health. Plastics also make a direct contribution to climate change: their energy-intensive manufacture from fossil fuels, recycling and incineration…

Year Two Good Growth Partnership Highlights Report

The Good Growth Partnership convenes a wide range of stakeholders and initiatives throughout soy, beef and palm oil supply chains to reduce deforestation and enable sustainable development. Since its inception in 2017, the Good Growth Partnership has brought together a growing coalition of committed changemakers to achieve greater results throughout its focal commodity supply chains…

Protecting our World Heritage, insuring a sustainable future

World Heritage Sites are recognised for their unparalleled beauty, global significance and/or biological diversity and the important economic, social and environmental benefits they provide to people. They are a source of inspiration and contribute to human well-being.  However, almost half of all natural World Heritage Sites across the globe are threatened by industrial activities and…

Natural Capital Credit Risk Assessment in Agricultural Lending

The report, ‘Natural Capital Credit Risk Assessment in Agricultural Lending’ is a new template that enables financial institutions to conduct natural capital credit risk assessment across different agricultural sectors and geographies, taking into account factors such as water availability, use and quality; soil health; biodiversity; energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The new sector-specific guide…

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